Creativity as a way of successful people thinking. Insights from the Florida Creativity Conference XVI.

About creativity as a leading skill for personal growth of the IV Industrial Revolution epoch, a lot has already been said. And that is useful, and that it is not art, but a way of thinking, and that it stimulates innovation and transformation of enterprises. What else can we learn about creativity? An expert on creative thinking development, a professor at the BSK - KROK Business School, head of the Creativity Research Center, an author of the program "Creative Thinking in Business", Ph.D. Oksana Sedashova, shares the interesting experience about trends in the development of creativity in the world. She has delivered her author's workshop at Florida Creativity Conference XVI (University of South Florida, Sarasota, USA), becoming the only one representative of Europe at the conference.

About Authenticity

Americans are the nation of empathy. They consider the emotional intelligence to be as important as the ability to create a new one. Empathy manifests itself in a very open relationship with society. Representatives of the American nation are very friendly, and they are able to empathize. In addition, empathy is express in the sense of self. That is why the development of creativity begins with a conscious attitude to their desires, dreams, needs, expectations. After all, each is a unique person, endowed with numerous diverse inputs, often developed to abilities and talents. Authenticity is about how to understand and accept yourself in order to maximize your talent. It is on solid authenticity that a great knowledge of technology, methods, and strategies of creativity lies. At the conference, I realized that it was worth achieving harmony with my inner self, awakening the "creative spirit", learning to feel and think so that thoughts supported the desire to create, and not vice versa to drive in fear and shame that nothing would work out well.

That is why at the beginning of the conference, under the guidance of experts, we tried to understand ourselves, recognize our best qualities and allow ourselves to be creative.

About Visual Frameworks

The ability to work with visual images and metaphors is another popular direction in USA for creative solving business problems. This was the theme of the Innovation Laboratory of the Museum of Salvador Dali (Saint-Petersburg, Florida, USA). Dr. Kim Macuare said that it possible to interpret fragments of the Salvador Dali artworks through the prism of our own worldview and education, looking for ideas for solving our problems. Using the visual channel of perception, while thinking about an important issue or problem, we transform the meaning of visual patterns and try to get fresh solutions. Interestingly, my own workshop, which I presented at a conference for the American audience, was in line with this trend: using my own methodology, I showed how to activate and use the imagination to solve business problems.

Many workshops of the conference were also aimed at developing the ability to imagine, fantasize, and apply a probabilistic thinking and analogy.

About dynamic training and gameplay

Watching adults were studying during the Florida Creativity Conference, I saw the pattern that the also dynamic ways of learning allow you to better understand the subject of learning, and through enjoyment of engagement in processes and interpersonal communication. I was present at one master class, where the speaker provided very useful information, but almost did not offer the students a plunge into the atmosphere of research or skills development. It was really boring, and the desire to master the new technology went down to zero. And I have seen other workshops that were very dynamic, participants were offered to create something with their own hands, or to voice their sensory experience in the team, or to generate some ideas. "Sharing" - a very popular element in the United States nowadays and, as it seemed to me, a whole culture to share, distribute the experience of a certain time in a group, a team. Such interpersonal open communication allows the lecturer to understand at what stage of learning is the student, and students - to hear insights from colleagues and, thus, to understand more. For example, this approach was actively used at the conference during training sessions on authenticity and creative potential disclosure.

The workshops, which were built as a game, caused a considerable interest of the audience. The real immersion in the game was the master class by Dr. Csaba Osvath, dedicated to using creative techniques to solve problems through the Lego Serious Play methodology. Dr. Osvath talked about how you can activate innovative thinking through hands, when a person make something. In the master class, 23 algorithms for using Lego in the process of generating ideas and finding solutions were presented: SCAMPER, Design Thinking, and Inversion Method, various types of the Brainstorming, Storytelling - and all by Lego.

About creative profiles in a team

Today one of the main tasks of organizations and enterprises is the creation of effective teams. Very often happens when there are smart self-sufficient people in the company that do not know how to work in a team. The problem here lies not only in the features of corporate culture, the inability to communicate in a team, to negotiate, but also in not understanding their strengths and peculiarities as a person involved in the generation of ideas and decision making, project management. At the conference, FourSight Company presented a valuable tool for defining creativity thinking profiles. Who are you as a creative thinker? Clarifier - the one who knows how to determine the true problems? Ideator - Idea Generator? Developer - Who can choose the best ideas, make better its? Implementer - who knows how to implement ideas? Or combinations of profile data? Each participant of the conference received an individual analysis of his profile and recommendations. When we know what kind of work is best for us, and the leader knows about it, then there is the opportunity to create the most effective team by distributing roles and tasks in accordance with the profile of each employee. This is an important aspect that can lead an organization to a rapid success.

So, creativity. It is not about art at all. This is about how to teach everyone to think creatively in accordance with the peculiarities of his work, his tasks. Teach creatively to interact in teams in order to quickly and effectively find non-obvious successful solutions to solve problems, challenges, tasks. Here are my findings and insights from the Florida Creativity Conference.

The special edition of Harvard Business Review on Creativity, released in April 2019, says that creativity should not be confined to just the "creative types" in your organization. As technologies and strategies change and customers' demands evolve, companies increasingly expect everyone at every level to contribute ideas. So how can you spark new thinking about products, processes, and problems?

The BSK - KROK Business School invites you to study at Creativity Thinking in Business Program, where you will get the tools you need to develop breakthrough creative thinking in your organization, your team, and your own work.

Oksana Sedashova