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Everyone recognizes the importance of creativity and innovation. It is the creative thinking that leads to innovation. Creativity is about being able to generate new, novel and unique ideas that are significantly different from existing situations. Using the ideas, we move on to develop new products, services or processes. While it is a fact that all of us are capable of coming up with new and innovative ideas, some do not think that they are creative. The truth is, all of us are capable of thinking creatively, but how sure are you that you are creative?

Though many argue that the creative potential in each of us is similar when we were young, the degree of creativity differs in adulthood. How do we bring back the high level of creativity juice in us? What can we do to unfold the creative potential in us? One way to get that done is to be with people who are more creative. The very fact of being in the presence of highly creative people will infect you with their creative idea virus. As managers you should identify the creative people with the right qualities and make them part of the team. Once you have a small group of creative pool of employees, you can bring in others to be with them. The challenge is how do we know a person is more creative than another person who is just averagely creative?

Creative people demonstrate certain qualities. Creative people exhibit the following qualities:

  • Adaptable – creative people do not stay put with a fixed mindset. They are willing to go with the flow. They are highly adaptable to the changing environment and work situations.
  • Bring out highly imaginative ideas – their ability to synthesize and present problems and solutions in a new way is their prime strength of creative persons.
  • Challenge the status quo – while everyone finds comfort in a routine way of doing things, creative people are the first one to challenge the practice, policy or the assumption. If you do have a person who keeps on asking why or why not, he/she is the person you should bring into the team.
  • Demonstrate high degree of Curiosity – Creative people find everything fascinating. They are always curious, by asking why.
  • Emphasize the future oriented solutions – their action and thinking are very much future oriented. While they accept the usefulness of past and present, they use them to generate new solutions or ideas, without letting the past and present limit their options.
  • Follow their gut feelings – when every one view things from a firm mindset, they are prepared to follow their intuitive feelings without feeling guilty or uneasy about it.
  • Generate ideas by going beyond the normal idea – They insist on asking ‘what else’, even when they are presented with a good idea that almost appears to be the right idea.
  • Help others to see the link between ideas – asking open ended questions is one best way to let others see the link and relationship between ideas.
  • Initiate new ideas – most of the time it is the highly creative people who get the ball rolling by putting a unique and innovative ideas.

Creative people demonstrate a high degree of perseverance that enables them to remain focused on the task at hand. Creative people find it easy to break away from an existing connection and make new connections to ideas and thought processes that are completely new. While we would be able to use the above list to identify highly creative people so that we can make them as part of the team, it would be a great start to use the list to answer “Am I Creative?” If someone were to ask us ‘How Creative Are You?” or “Are you creative?” we should be able to answer those two questions by saying ‘yes’, with confidence. Are you creative?