Embracing a Creative and Innovative mindset to solve problems
Rapid changes in technology have altered the society in ways which were inconceivable before. Today’s problems are vastly different from the ones faced one or two decades ago. Applying traditional problem-solving methods to these new challenges, might or might not work and sometimes can even result in a false sense of a solution where the problem remains, but it becomes too large over time and becomes impossible to address. Albert Einstein said, “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”
Changing our thinking by combining analytical and logical thinking with a creative and innovative mindset can help solve the problems we are facing. “About 60% of the CEOs polled by IBM cited creativity as the most important leadership quality, compared with 52% for integrity and 35% for global thinking.” (Most important leadership quality for CEOs)
Although people tend to think that creative thinkers are born and not developed, this notion cannot be further from the truth. Just like analytical and logical thinking, a creative and innovative mindset and thought can be nurtured and developed over time. Currently, creative problem-solving skills are being cultivated in schools, organisations such as “Adobe conducted a new study to understand how educators and policymakers think about creative problem-solving skills, how critical these skills are to future jobs, and how they are currently being nurtured in schools today.”
So where can we start on our journey of embracing a creative and innovative mindset to solve the problems?
1. Being open-minded
Being open-minded is vital to developing creativity. Often, people disregard ideas and opinions merely because those do not fit in with their system of beliefs. Being open-minded can help us learn new things, develop new skills and meet new people, which are critical for the development of an innovative mindset. We can introduce ourselves to ideas which do not fit in with our current beliefs and experience environments which are different from ours.
2. Asking ourselves the question “Why.”
The most significant part of solving a problem is usually identifying the problem. While this might sound easy, most of the time, what we think is the challenge or a problem is not. We can start by asking ourselves the why question and identify the underlying problem, which we would need to solve.
Brainstorming a problem with a group could help us solve a problem with lateral thinking and develop a rich array of creative solutions. Brainstorming brings peoples with diverse experience together and often increases the richness of ideas resulting in better solutions to the problems that we are trying to solve.
To sum up, these are some suggestions to help one get started in developing a creative problem-solving mindset. Being innovative and creative, just like any other skill, improves over time with practice. Embrace the innovative and creative problem-solving skills, apply each of these suggestions and learn from the experience, you might just unearth some hidden treasures and teach us new ways to solve problems.