By Guest Blogger, Kathy Pennell Cooperman of KC Leadership Consulting LLC
This time of year, I’m personally inspired by all the hype about “back to school”. I have fond memories of shopping for school supplies to start a brand new school year. My favorite memory about “back to school” was purchasing that 64-count, built-in sharpener Crayola crayons box. Just the thought of it makes me want to create something brand new.
How would you rate your own level of creativity in your current role . . . or even in life, overall? It’s easy to fall victim to the old “that’s not the way we do things around here” syndrome.
Test yourself on the following creativity quizzes (no peeking at the answers before giving it a try):
- Plant 10 trees in 5 rows with 4 trees per row.
- Use a dot to represent one tree
- The rows must be straight
- Brainstorm for one minute:
- Make a list of as many uses for a brick as you can think of.
Answer to quiz #1:
A 5-‐pointed star with dots at every point and every intersection.
Answer to quiz #2:
- How many did you get?
- Now go back and see if you had not only a large quantity of ideas but also a lot of different uses for the brick such as:
- Building a wall
- Art decoration
- A weapon
- Place in the tank of toilet to conserve water
- Paper weight
- Door stop
- Crushed, use it for art supplies
- Etc., etc.
You’re close to a genius (slight hyperbole) if you listed a large number of ideas PLUS a variety of different uses (not all building, for example).
In the next week, challenge yourself to see things differently. A great book to learn more about thinking creatively is Thinkertoys: A Handbook of Creative-Thinking Techniques. Have fun with it!