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creative thinking

What is Creative Thinking?  If you played with a kaleidoscope, you can see creativity in action.  In the end of the revolving drum, pieces of glass are mixed together to form a pattern.  If you shake the cylinder, the pieces of glass will form a new pattern.  This is what creativity is all about.  A creative person is someone who mixes together the information and experiences stored in his mind, and then generates new associations.  A creative person also seeks new information and new experiences to help derive new associations, combining new and existing information.

Creativity will help you:

  1. Increase your sensitivity to problems, needs, and opportunities, and your power to observe and perceive with more wide-awake attention.

  2. Look at situations from new and different perspectives.

  3. Break the habitual patterns and escape from the rut of old ideas.

  4. Rid yourself of old solutions, old attitudes, and old ways of doing things that are no longer appropriate or relevant.

  5. Think beyond the safe, tired, and sure ways of doing things. (Known as “thinking outside the box.”)

  6. You will discard your concern for failure because you know that a creative approach will provide you the opportunity for success and that failure is not attempting to find a creative solution to a problem.

  7. Increase the number of alternatives, which you will be able to identify in solving a particular problem.

  8. Extend, expand, improve, develop, and express your creative capabilities.

  9. Look to the future always searching for a ‘creative’ opportunity for success.

  10. Rekindle the spirit of experimentation and fun, making life more interesting and more satisfying.

  11. Provide yourself with a greater sense of accomplishment and purpose.

  12. Reduce the number of unsolved problems and the frustration that is created by an unsolved problem.

  13. Get excited about life and how you can help others accomplish their goals.

  14. Improve your mental health.

  15. Make life fun, more interesting, and more satisfying.

  16. Provides a fundamental ‘brick’ in your foundation for personal and leadership growth and development, which helps ensure success and happiness.

How to Improve Your Ability To Think Creatively


Stretch your imagination.  Do not rule out any creative thought you may have.  Place no judgments on your thinking.  Keep negative thoughts of what others may think or previous negative experiences out of your mind.  Avoid categorizing your thoughts prematurely.  For example – “that won’t work,” or “it’s already been done,” or “it’s a dumb idea,” etc.


Limit your thinking to new combinations.  Try to think of a new whole – possibly made up of old parts and possibly of new parts, or a combination of each.  Avoid assessing the immediate value of an idea.  Think in terms of improving your ideas – one idea leading to another.


Do you think best alone or in a small group?  Do you like a quiet atmosphere or some background noise?  Do you like to sit at a desk or in a nice soft chair?  Analyze your environment so that you can do your best thinking.


Creative thinkers call on their memories for associations of past experiences.  Past experiences many times will help to stimulate creative thinking.  Becoming familiar with other people’s experiences through reading, watching movies, plays, etc., also help the creative thinker to build a backlog of experiences to call upon for creative thoughts.


Thomas Edison’s famous comment is relevant here: “Creative thinking is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.” Creative people are persistent.  They continue to try ideas many times, failing again and again.  They don’t give up easily, knowing that one fresh, creative idea will reward them greatly for all the time and energy they spent generating the idea.



The purpose of brainstorming is to generate as many ideas as possible on a topic, whether good or bad, in a short amount of time.  Brainstorming allows one’s mind to be open to new ideas and concepts.  Brainstorming enables a person to be creative, either by oneself or in a group.


1.                  Everyone in the group has ideas and must participate in brainstorming.

2.                  No idea is good or bad while you are brainstorming.  Participants in brainstorming suspend critical judgment.


1.                  Everyone in the group sits in a circle, so that everyone can be seen and heard.

2.                  A recorder is appointed who writes down each idea brainstormed on an easel pad of paper, which can be seen by all.

3.                  The leader goes around the circle, asking each participant to throw out an idea.

4.                  Keep going around the circle, asking each participant to throw out an idea.

5.                  If, after the first go around, a person in the group does not have an idea to offer, the person simply says “pass.”

6.                  Participants should pay attention to the ideas suggested.  An idea may well prompt another’s creativity, leading to another idea.  This is called “idea building.”

7.                  As ideas are suggested, no one comments on the idea, either pro or con.  Save critical judgment until later in the process.

8.                  Once all ideas have been recorded, the group is lead in a discussion of each idea to determine what each idea is about and the support it has within the group.  During this time, a less formal form of brainstorming often takes place.  These new ideas should also be recorded on the easel pad of ideas.

9.                  Through discussion and further informal brainstorming the group narrows down the ideas to the one that all can reach consensus on.

10.              If the group is large, it can be broken down into smaller brainstorming groups, who report out their lists when the entire body comes back together.

Remember: Brainstorming is high energy and can appear chaotic.  By following the process outlined above, high energy can be channeled into a great end product.

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Last modified: March 22, 2014