Imagine: Creativity at Work

by Anne P. Kreitzberg on Apr 03, 2012

I am a Jonah Lehrer groupie. 

I love his writing - which is all about brain science but you don't have to be a brain scientist to understand it. Lehrer's new book is called Imagine.

Imagination is something all of us have but most of us don't know how to capture. We admire creativity in others but often minimize or don't recognize it in ourselves. Why is that?

Maybe we're just not willing to push past the discomfort: the impasse, the 'writer's block', the discard pile of great ideas that lead to a dead end.

Creativity takes exercise, practice, refinement - small iterative improvements. That's where the breakthroughs come from.

An artist sees that adding a tiny dab of yellow, green or blue in just the right place can transform the ordinary into the extraordinary. A scientist is willing to keep moving the puzzle pieces around, over and over again - sometimes for years - until finally the pieces fall into place.

Creativity is the ability to take what is ordinary and turn it into something new or unique. Creativity is borne out of imagination; to see not only what is possible but what seems impossible and not get stuck in the improbable.

Do you think creativity is innate or can be developed? 

What can we do to foster more creativity in the workplace?


right on
Created by Ben Shneiderman in 7/13/2012 8:41:44 AM
I like this clever portrayal of creativity and working through disappointment and brick walls, wrestling with a problem. My only addition is that my creativity is often in a social context of trying out partial solutions on others, presenting possible solutions, and learning from others.