Capture Creativity

You can enhance your creativity by surrounding yourself with diverse stimuli–and, even more important, by changing those stimuli regularly.  Diverse and changing stimuli promote creativity because, like resurgence, they get multiple behaviors competing with each other.

Here’s the great news: Research shows that everyone has creative abilities. The mechanisms that underlie the creative process operate all the time in each of us. Every one of us has the creative potential of Mozart or Picasso or Edison or Einstein. To boost your creative output, capture your new ideas as they occur, challenge yourself in order to get ideas competing, broaden your training so that many new repertoires of behavior will be available to compete, and surround yourself as much as possible with diverse and ever-changing stimuli.

Anyone can master these creative strategies. They’re all that stand between you and the most creative people in history.

Something called “The Shifting Game” uses a team optimally to increase creative output. Two teams are selected from the larger audience. One is instructed to stay together for a 20-minute brainstorming session. The second team is instructed to “shift” twice from five- minute private work sessions to five-minute team meetings. Each team must generate names for a new soft drink, and each has a total of 20 minutes In which to accomplish the task.

The “shifting” group typically generates twice as many Ideas as the brainstorming group. Why? Because creativity is always an individual process, and social disapproval is the major deterrent to creativity our entire lives. Groups are far better at selecting good ideas than at generating them.

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