How to boost your and your team's power to create at work [... and come up with innovative solutions, design and products]
I talk about creativity and innovation: What the similarities and differences between them are and how they relate to each other. Innovation is more related to the present and to the specific culture and technological level.
Creativity is more timeless, especially when it comes to art. We can also think of creativity as a tool, a skill or a stage in the innovation process.
Creativity and innovation course in Hong Kong
You are going to learn how to create and help your team to come up with valuable, new things by improving the components of your creative power, set up stimulating social and physical environment both at team and organisation level and apply processes that leads to innovation and progress.
If you want to develop new products and services, cut cost, boost profitability, come up with new, powerful marketing solutions and messages, innovative designs, eye-catching styles, you can become better and better if you know what and how to do.
This creativity development and innovation course is in English on 1-to-1 and small group basis in Hong Kong.
There is nothing mysterious about creativity and you can learn and develop your capability to produce things that haven't existed before.
Creativity does not exist. But if you want to create valuable art works, make a scientific discovery, or start a successful business, among the many components you will find the time component.
One is the long-term, life-long preparation and the other is the long hours you need to work on your current project. The longer time you spend on something, more ideas you generate, better strategies you design, more opinions and suggestions you listen to and more experimentation and testing you conducts. Of course, it's not just time but focused, productive time.
What is creativity (and what is it not)?
Creativity is not only about novelty, newness or innovation. It is not about brainstorming. It is not only seeing things from different angels and perspectives. It is not an inborn trait of a person. It is not about being talented. It is not fix. It is not something that you have or don't have.
We use the word creativity but we don't really think about what it actually means. Creativity like other abstract nouns such as love, trust, respect, loyalty are just a mental creation. It does not exist in the real world. It is a concept.
Similarly, the adjective creative is not useful either. It's freezing people into a category, which is also a mental construct. It's better to use a verb when we think about the topic "to create value". It is action. It is doing and thinking about something specific. It is what you can achieve and improve in the real world.
Value is something that you or other people want. And it leads to the view that what we call creativity is not something absolute. It is relative. It depends on the person that is evaluating your idea, work, solution.
Being able to create something like writing a book, making and app or software, inventing a new gadget is necessary but sufficient to become successful financially and with fame or reputation. That is just the first stage or first element of creation.
The others are marketing to build connections or on social media followers. And then you need to create sales, you need to mobile your fans and followers to open their purses and buy your work of art. So you need to be your own manager, agent, publicist, too.
If you understand that creativity is much more about achieving a result that somebody finds valuable than about doing it a new or unique way, then you will be more motivated to learn about this topic and start to develop the necessary mindset and skills.
You want money, fame, recognition, appreciation, getting out of a problem, energy, time, enjoy working, being in the flow, appreciate an art work, laugh about funny jokes, listen to great music, read interesting books etc. And these the things that other people value, too.
So there are two aspects that you need to master. One: creating or solving something and two: finding out what people want, as well as finding people who value what you create and making your existing "audience" value your work more.
In one environment you can be a genius, creative, famous or well paid person while in another people just ignore you and your work.
So you don't just create something. You need to create your audience and / or their perception of you and your product.
Thus, the crucial tools in your creativity toolbox are marketing, sales, influence, motivation, psychology, social networking, communication and all the other tools that creates your audience and their perception of you.
The creative environment
Whether you can come up with a great solution, produce a work of art, run a business successfully depends not only you but on your environment, too. And I mean the people in your work place or school, family members, family, and also the larger environment which includes the culture, the technological development, the available knowledge, legal environment etc.
Thus, a very important aspect of creativity is finding the right environment where you can create. A boss, teacher or friend can encourage you, support you but they also can pull you back.
You need to work on developing the skills that allow you to select the right environment, adapt to it and change it. Leadership skills, relationship and communication skills, learning new mental models to understand the reality around you and many other mindset and skill set will be beneficial for embedding yourself in a supportive environment.
And when you are there in that supportive environment, you need skills to bring out the best of others. In a brainstorming session or in a mastermind group people can stimulate each other and everybody can get in a more creative mental, emotional and physical state where the brain works very effectively.
There is no general creativity. It is domain specific. A person can be a creative genius in one field and a totally useless person in another field.
In this creativity course I don't teach domain specific creativity e.g. music, crafts work, science. You need to learn the skills, knowledge and techniques of your field for hundreds and thousands of hours. And as you become an expert in your field, you will have more and more creative ideas, solutions, perspectives, techniques. They will naturally emerge as more elements are interacting in your mind.
However, there are general, not domain-specific creative processes that you can learn, develop and even transfer from one area to another. For example the learning process. You need to learn a lot of things about your area of expertise to be able to create high value for your customers, audience or yourself. In the course you will learn about how to learn more effectively so you can accelerate your progress to creativity.
Another group of skills that you will learn in this course that strongly influences your creative effort is related to managing yourself.
It includes planning, prioritising, keeping yourself healthy and energetic, being able to modify your physical, emotional and mental state as your work and the situation requires. As you evolve you need to get rid of old habits and acquire new ones. You need to learn how to change habits. You need to improve your organisational skills, time management (you don't manage the time, you manage yourself), handle stress and emotional problems.
Domain specific knowledge and skills
In some field I will teach you some specific skills and technique if that filed is my strength. Depending on your level and interest I may teach you business, programming, mathematical etc. stuff but I definitely cannot help you about music or chemistry.