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How can you harness creativity

“What the hell is a neuroscientist?” was not entirely the first question I was expecting at 7am a couple of weeks ago, as I groggily subbed for my accountant at a breakfast networking meeting.

It was posed by the exuberant and erudite neuroscientist Professor Roy Pagett, as the introduction to his early morning talk on creativity and achievement.

Our levels of achievement are apparently higher than we think is possible. The head (he told us) is like a 3.5lb ready cooked chicken, but it’s a battery with quadrillions of connections. That we hardly use.

Think Patrick Moore, and you’ll be able to picture what this 74 year old was like. His background was certainly colourful. Having started his career in the RAF, flying Vulcans, he then became MD of the largest manufacturer in Europe of recycled plastics. Won the Churchill Fellowship, then moved out of business and into neuroscience.

He explained that:
The left half (hemisphere) of our brain is the logical side.
It deals with:
Language,
Logic

The right hemisphere deals with
Pictures
Creativity
The whole
This one doesn’t understand words at all.

And it would appear that everyone is born with bags of creativity – but since around the age of 2 to 3 years old, we’ve been suppressing it by the left side of our brain.

We were set a task. How many uses can you find for a pen? Proudly, some of us had half a dozen or so written down. “Ah, very good” enthused Prof P. “If you have got 16 uses, you’ve got the creativity of a 9 year old.”

So how do we use this creativity to improve ourselves (by up to £30K pa too, by the sound of it)

 

Creativity is NOT intuition. Intuition is when an idea just whizzes into your brain – in the middle of the night/or maybe when you’re gardening. So if you’ve not got a pen ready to capture that flash of inspiration… it’s gone.

 

No, creativity is building a bridge between problem and solution.
Usually people do a brainstorming session to get ideas. But it’s only one of a number of tools we can use.

 

So how can you release ‘the lord of the mind’?

 

It all comes down to these things:
a) identify the problem exactly – then think about the solutions
b) keep a note of all your ideas
c) remember that no idea is barmy
d) don’t be judgemental, because you might be hijacking your creativity
e) creativity = bags of ideas
f) Innovation = choose the idea that best fits your parameters, and put your money behind it

Let me know how you use creativity in your business.

Now – where did I put that list??

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