Tapping Into Your Creativity

According to a $2.2 million University of Toronto study, the world is undergoing a profound shift from an industrial economy to an idea-driven, creative one. To prosper in this new climate, the study’s authors maintain, we must boost the creative content of all work in all our industries.

But what if we’re just not creative? Are we doomed to be left behind at work in this new age?

Everyone’s born with an imagination, but often we lose the ability to harness it as we grow up, says Ottawa author Barbara Florio Graham, who teaches a creativity course online. “You need to challenge yourself mentally, especially in ways that combine the left and right brains,” she says, offering an exercise class set to music as a suggestion.

But you don’t have to go it alone. Innovation almost always comes from a team, says Bill Buxton, principal researcher at Microsoft Research. “You must be able to play with ideas and bounce them around.” The stupidest idea is often the one that causes a brilliant-idea rebound, he says.

So grab a box of crayons and rediscover your innate creativity!

Lighting the Spark

Graham’s suggestions to spark your creativity:

  • Listen to instrumental music.
  • Create a story around a photo from a magazine.
  • Doodle with your non-dominant hand, using coloured pencils.
  • Take a walk or a shower.
  • Using your nondominant hand, begin a piece of writing with the phrase, “When I was a child…”

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