Creativity is the act of turning new and imaginative ideas into reality.

It’s characterised by the ability to perceive the world in new ways, to find hidden patterns, to make connections between seemingly unrelated phenomena, and to generate solutions. Creativity involves two processes: thinking, then producing.

Stanford University Professor Tina Seelig carried out research into what brings an idea to life. She came up with a concept called the ‘Innovation Engine’, interweaving six common characteristics of truly creative people.

The characteristics are there to support and develop each other and can’t exist independently.

 

Imagination

Holding on to a childlike sense of imagination, which expands our thinking beyond what is necessarily the ‘right’ answer. This is why it’s important to look at life from different perspectives, to question the questions and to re-frame problems.

Generating ideas without limitation opens up the possibilities. Challenging the norm will allow different answers to be found.

 

Knowledge

Knowledge is the “toolbox for imagination.” It expands our world and our thinking. We need knowledge and to be able to pay attention to the world around us in order to feed inspiration.

 

Attitude

Creativity is found by having the confidence to solve a challenge. With this comes the ability to think around an idea in order to solve a problem.

 

Environment

Creativity needs the right environment and space for ideas to grow. The environment is made up of our physical work space, the people within it (including colleagues and clients), the rules and the rewards. This is why creative agencies and innovation companies such as Google spend so much time and energy creating flexible, inspirational spaces.

 

Resources

Resources are far more than just money. In order to breed creativity, we should look at the resources we have around us. This includes people, natural resources and communities – and it’s these communities that are key to building cultures.

Culture

People, environments and attitudes determine culture. Culture, in turn, can impact creative thought process and the development of ideas. It determines how we deal with setbacks, and how we deal with the unexpected.

Culture affects the way we think, feel and act. How likely are you to flourish in an environment where there is a blame culture, compared with a culture which celebrates experimentation and play with purpose?