Many people say, “I was born without a creative bone in my body”. However, creativity is something that can be developed if we practice well. Like many other skills, creativity too can be improved and fostered. Creativity is trainable; it is learnable.
Creativity can be thought to be made up of these two components-
Relevance is the degree by which a problem is fully solved. Novelty is the degree of uniqueness or originality in that solution.
Suppose, for example, that you are brainstorming for ideas on a particular topic. The idea generation, or the quantity of idea generation with time takes place in these two stages: relevance and novelty. The obvious but necessary, problem-solving, need fulfilling ideas occur in the first stage of relevance. This can also be called the low hanging fruit idea generation stage. After generating these ideas, you may run out of ideas for a short while. But, after giving it a hard thought, you start generating ideas in greater quantity again. This is the novelty phase, wherein innovative, weird, wacky ideas come into the picture.
Novelty has become the hallmark of creative quality, but relevance becomes necessary to qualify that idea as a true solution.
The purpose is the problem that has to be solved. Creativity arises when there is a problem to be solved, and we think of ways to find a solution. The more restrictive the environment, the more creative the opportunity. Finally, motivation arises when we act. And when we act, problems really solve themselves!
Role of play in creativity
Removing play from the creative process removes that ability to marginalize consequences and hinders any creative activity. Play creates a safe environment for failure, which is so feared that we do anything we can do. But failure is the natural component of creativity. Learn to risk and experience smart failure. Smart failure is early failure. Take risks earlier in your creative process, rather than late.
Strategic Play uses the constructs of play as a tutoring tool around a specific problem. This concept has been used to facilitate divergent thinking. In divergent thinking, we solve a problem that has many possible solutions or outcomes. The other type of thinking is convergent thinking, which we use when solving well-defined, straight-forward problems. While convergent thinking is straightforward and simple, divergent thinking is complex.
These were my main takeaways from the LinkedIn course Creativity: Generate Ideas in Greater Quantity and Quality