What makes one person more creative than others? Is creativity something that you are born with, or can it be developed? Should creative people be paid more than typical workers? These questions along with expressions and vocabulary needed to understand creativity will be taught in this Business English lesson.
Vocabulary – Expressions – Phrasal Verbs – Idioms:
Creativity – the ability to think boldly, freshly, constructively and in an original manner. The main source of new ideas in business comes from those with creative minds.
Thinking outside the box – thinking in a way which is not determined by the usual boundaries. It involves finding new solutions to old problems and creative solutions to new ones as they appear.
Brainstorming – a creative thinking activity where a group of people comes up with ideas, discuss the ideas in an uncritical, non-judgemental environment. This is done within, organizations, with clients, and business partners to reach the best solutions.
Trends – fashions, fads and ideas which are currently creating a lot of interest and engagement among consumers. The most popular products and applications currently available.
Innovation – the process of developing new products, services, ideas, and ways of working in a more efficient manner.
Collaborative thinking – an important aspect of creativity in organizations, where people from different disciplines and backgrounds work together on a particular issue or challenge.
Working within the bounds – the opposite of thinking outside the box, where creativity is restricted within certain limits. This is necessary due to budget constraints, requests by the client, and other factors.
Creative slump – a period of time when it is hard to come up with new ideas and ways to look at things. Creative people tend to take time off or other activities to clear their minds and start fresh.
Inspiration – a sudden thought or idea which seems to come from nowhere, and which feeds into creative thinking.
Creative spaces – areas within the workplace which are conducive to creative thinking. For example, a garden, a lounging area, or a recreation area.
The aha or eureka moment – the moment in which inspiration strikes, and suddenly the way to achieve everything you have been thinking about becomes clear.
Open ended questions – questions which can not be answered with a simple “yes” or “no”. They are designed to stimulate creative thinking through discussion and sharing of ideas.
Think on your feet – being capable of adjusting quickly and effectively to new developments. This is done by making rapid and decisive actions as new problems and ideas are presented which require immediate attention.
Convergent thinking – thinking which is very analytical, logical and systematic. This type of thinking is needed when creativity is not the main focus, and in place of it, a straightforward solution is needed.
Divergent thinking – thinking which is free flowing and unrestricted with the idea that by creating many unique ideas the best solution will be found. This type of thinking is used in startups and industries that are highly innovative.
One-track mind – being focused on one thought or solution. This can harm the creative process at times since typically it is good to be able to think of multiple ideas to come up with the best solution.
Train of thought – putting together a sequence of ideas that are connected to each other to come up with a solution.
It is generally thought that the most important element needed for new businesses is creativity. Companies such as Apple have grown huge through the power of creativity by using techniques such as brainstorming, thinking outside the box, and divergent thinking instead of working within the bounds which hold back innovation.
Creative spaces are created in startups and other companies that want to promote inspiration and give their employees and area to get out of their creative slumps. When employees meet for collaborative thinking they try to present many open-ended questions to allow for multiple solutions instead of thinking with a one-track mindset. Employees are free to express their train of thought with others who can help them to develop new ideas while thinking on their feet.
It is good to look at the latest trends in the market for inspiration. One must understand that in many cases innovation comes from looking beyond current ideas and limitations. By thinking differently that aha moment might come to up with the newest and best product being developed by you and your company.
Live Conversation Example:
Mario: I have hit the biggest creative slump of my life. I am struggling to find new product ideas. In need some inspiration to help me think outside of the box.
Jenny: You are trying too hard. You will never get that aha moment this way. Get out of your office cubicle and go to one of the creative spaces here at work. Try to not think with a one-track mind. True innovation comes convergent thinking instead of divergent thinking.
Mario: You are right and thanks for the tips. I also admire how you are able to think on your feet during the meetings with customers. Is creativity something you are born with or can you develop it?
Jenny: I think it is a little bit of both. If you want to be creative you need to have brainstorming sessions with others, work in an organization that believes in collaborative thinking, and do not working within the bounds.
Mario: Thanks for even more tips and for sharing your train of thought when it comes to creativity.
Do you feel that you are a creative person?
What factors limit your ability to be creative at work?
How could you develop a climate of creativity in your organization?
Who is the most creative business person you know? What makes him or her special?
How can the office environment affect creativity?
Does everyone have the ability to think creatively?
Can creative thinking be learned like other skills?
Here is a list of creative quotes to think about http://www.leadershipnow.com/creativityquotes.html