Blogger A.K. Karthick presents his thoughts on a number of conditions and situation that bottle up creativity. Among my favorites on this list: multithinking/multitasking, being “over-control centric,” and what AK calls “fragile-heartedness.”
Paul Williams offers handfuls of useful suggestions for recharging one’s innovation batteries. Some of his best tips: Carve out protected time to reflect, think and generate ideas; force yourself to develop the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th “right answer” or next best idea; Keep a dedicated idea notebook, recording device, e-mailbox, voice mailbox, etc.
Michael Hyatt, chairman of Thomas Nelson Publishers, shares 7 ways in which the successful creatives he’s worked with differ from the also-rans. His first observation is, in my mind, one of the most crucial:
“Successful creatives think big. The best creatives think, ‘Go big or go home.’ If they are going to go to the trouble of writing a book, preparing a speech, or recording an album, they might as well make the biggest impact they can. They aren’t naive about the amount of work it will take, but they still dream big. They are always asking, ‘What could we do that would exceed everyone’s expectations?’”
Mitch Ditkoff discusses several examples of great thinkers who resolved knotty problems or developed inventions as a result of remembering their dreams, then provides several easy steps to getting better at remembering one’s dreams and using them to solve creative problems.
Jon Jassy writes a post filled with reassuring advice about what to do when you have a creative failure. He asserts that often the difference between a creative failure and a success is knowing what to do with your “mistake”:
“Everybody lays a stinker every now and then— and I mean everybody (which, again, is why I chose my poop analogy). What separates the people who make their stinkers a ‘one-off’ from people who lay repeated stinkers is their ability to recognize and learn from them.”
A fascinating interview with Teresa Amabile, the Edsel Bryant Ford Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. She is in the midst of a ten-year study looking at, among other things, how time pressure in a corporate setting affects employee creativity. She discusses her current findings, which indicate that while too little time pressure can dampen creativity, so can intense time pressures on corporate employees asked to perform creatively (even if they report feeling more creative at that time).