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3 Simple Steps To Stimulate Creativity

Posted on Apr 10, 2012

Many of the world’s top CEOs agree that creativity is the most important skill to navigate today’s complex world.

Yet our educational system is putting less emphasis on fostering creativity than in the past, Anne Kreamer notes in a column at Harvard Business Review. As a society, we must deliver more people to what Apple’s late co-founder, Steve Jobs, called “the intersection of technology and the humanities,” Kreamer writes.

Leilani Doyle, vice president of marketing and product management at US Dataworks, agrees that we need to place more emphasis on innovation in education.

“In an aging public school system that was primarily designed to prepare workers for the repetitive nature of the industrial age,” Doyle says, “true leaders in the age of connectedness need time to wander and explore.”

Kreamer, the former creative director for Nickelodeon and Nick at Nite, offers these three suggestions for reinvigoration:

  1. Reduce stress, but don’t relax too much: Stress affects our creativity, Kreamer notes in the column. She cites a study that recommends embracing an in-between emotional state in which you’re neither stressed out nor too complacent.
  2. Get out of the office and into unfamiliar environments: Fill your creative well by getting out and observing. Charles Dickens often walked through the streets of London just to help him explore his mind and emotions against the ever-changing backdrop of the city.
  3. Let your mind wander: Getting away from the office does no good unless you allow your mind to go roaming to see things in new ways.

Source: Harvard Business Review, March 2012