How to Foster Creativity and Innovation

The idea that creativity is an unattainable trait that can’t be learned is a myth. The truth is everyone can be creative, all it requires is appropriate training practice and time.

The myth that Creativity resides in the right brain stems from a research that was conducted on epileptic patients in the 1960s by Roger W. Sperry, a Psychobiologist and Nobel Prize Winner. Sperry discovered that by cutting off the corpus callosum (a nerve fibre that connects the two hemispheres of the brain), it might be possible to reduce or completely eliminate epileptic seizures. By doing this, they discovered that each brain could act independently; as these hemispheres processed information differently. He came to the conclusion that the left brain was more logical, analytical and verbal than the right brain, which was more imaginative, intuitive, arts inclined, etc.

The Role of the Left and Right Brain in the Creativity Process

However, Sperry’s research failed to take healthy humans into consideration as they still had the corpus callosum intact. A group of neuroscientists later tested this theory and found no proof to back the claim that the Right Brain is responsible for creativity. Even though the two hemispheres work differently, they complement each other and share information.

That being said, Creativity and Logical thinking, and every other mental activityrequire both the right and the left brain. Thus, no individual can use only one side of the brain at a time.

  • What Habits stifle your Creativity?
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Blocks to Creativity

Creative blocks refer to barriers to creativity; they are factors that prevent or suppress an individual’s creativity. Multiple factors are responsible for creative blocks but they can be grouped into five (5) major blocks.

These include:

  1. Perceptual blocks: These are barriers that prevent the individual from having a clear understanding of the problem.
  2. Emotional blocks: These are barriers that prevent freedom of expressing ideas and are internal to the individual. They often occur due to fear.
  3. Intellectual/Conceptual blocks: These are barriers to creativity that arise as a result of the inability of the individual to think through a process or proffer solutions to problems.
  4. Environmental blocks: These are barriers that are imposed by an individual’s social and physical surroundings.
  5. Cultural blocks: These barriers arise as a result of societal pressures to conform to social expectations

A Creative Thinker must:

i)  Be inquisitive

ii)  Be willing to take risks

iii)  Be challenge-oriented

iv)  Be flexible in thought

v)  Be adaptable

vi)  See problems as opportunities

vii)  Be open-minded; willing to accept constructive criticism

viii)  Be optimistic

ix)  Pay attention to details

x)  Be future-oriented

Tips to Cultivating a Creative Mindset

1) Be curious!

2) Give yourself permission to create junk

3) See problems as opportunities

4) Be open, share your work with others for feedback

5) Find your creative space

6) See the funny side of things

7) Be optimistic

Sam Icon
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About Sam Icon

Sam Icon (Sampson Arhin) is a Professional Content Creator, Geographer, Blogger, Web Designer & Tech addict, Digital Advertiser, Preceptor and Entrepreneur.

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