Creativity has an impact on every kind of human endeavor. Innovations in the arts and sciences would not be possible without it. New medical breakthroughs, technological advances, artistic creations, and social programs all depend on creativity. Creativity helps people to be flexible, cope with challenges, and deal with the demands of daily life. It helps them to solve problems – and sometimes avoid problems altogether! Creative people have the ability to find problems that other people might not notice, and recognize where and how improvements can be made.
De Bono (1970) claimed that creative people engage in “lateral thinking.” Instead of thinking about an issue or problem in a careful, straightforward way, they think around the issue, consider unusual options, and generate a number of creative ideas. According to de Bono, lateral thinking can be stimulated through the use of a variety of techniques, including:
- Generating alternatives (even when there seems to be an obvious solution)
- Challenging assumptions
- Suspending or delaying judgment
- Generating analogies
To learn more about De Bono’s theories and techniques, check out his book, “Lateral Thinking: Creativity Step By Step.” And try some of his techniques if you’d like to enhance and stimulate your creativity! Go beyond the information that you’re given, look at things in new ways, explore, invent, and discover. Everyone has the ability to be creative. The more you use your creative abilities, the stronger they’ll become!
De Bono, E. (1970). Lateral thinking: Creativity step by step. New York, NY: Harper & Row, Publishers.