Seven questions to prompt your own reflections on your creativity.
- What do you consider your creative strengths?
- How do these make you uniquely able to do what you do?
- Where are the applications for these strengths – in business, in life etc.?
- How might you develop your creative strengths?
- Are any aspects of your creativity liabilities in certain situations?
- What untapped parts of your life are currently unused in your work?
- How might you make better or different uses of these strengths?
Following a great post on Linkedin asking about people’s personal creativity strengths by Lynette Jensen in Australia, I was prompted to reflect on my own strengths in this area. Rather than filling in endless questionnaires and conducting 360 degree appraisals, I asked my wife, who probably is more accurate and truthful than the other approaches! She reminded me that I have had an unusually fortunate life in respect of creativity, having more or less mapped out my own career (she is rather jealous! ). She went on to help me notice some of the uncommon strengths that have accrued as a result of this:
- I have worked across 3 distinctly diverse disciplines – Science, Business and Music. This cross-curricular learning helps me make connections between things that apparently others don’t. This makes me variously wonderful, strange, deep, hard to follow and a host of other positives and negatives If working with me is rewarding but hard work, then living with me must be much worse! Fortunately, my wife has the patience of a saint …
- I’ve worked in industry, academia and in the community – in Industry, working for a pharmaceutical company all around the world, in academia, teaching MBA’s in creativity and innovation, in business as a consultant, author and speaker on creativity and innovation in overlapping cycles of 18 years each, plus in the community as a rock musician over my entire life. She said that this gives me the ability to work with people of all levels and viewpoints, from professors, world leaders through to people on the ground floor of companies and those people who are in the gutter, looking at the stars. She reminded me that it is uncommon to be at ease and able to work with people from all walks of life.
- The academic and industry part of my life makes my creativity grounded within a business context. She points out that this is a huge difference to the ‘usual suspects’ in the field and this was confirmed by a corporate client recently, who chose Human Dynamics for a piece of consultancy work preferentially against the market leader, because of our repertoire, depth or experience and grounding.
- I never consider I have stopped learning, which makes me innately curious, the stuff of creativity and innovation. I live to learn and learn to live. Mental playfulness is a muscle that I like to stretch and test, sometimes to destruction. It is a quality that is crucially missing from many companies these days, which may explain how we get hired to help people leverage their creativity and innovation.
Here’s the seven questions again to prompt your own reflections. Alternatively ask someone that knows you well:
For more explorations on what makes individuals especially creative and how to harness that power personally and corporately, check out the book “Best Practice Creativity“. I’m presently writing a follow up volume and looking for stories and examples about what works in the field of personal creativity. Please get in touch if you have a contribution. Full credits given.
About the Blogger: Peter Cook leads The Academy of Rock - Keynote events with a difference and Human Dynamics - Business and organisation development, training and coaching. Contact via firstname.lastname@example.org or +44 (0) 7725 927585