Creative Thinking

Creative Thinking

Putting Creative Thinking To Work


Like most people, a lot of my working day is made up of a combination of routines and rules which are necessary in order to ensure that my work is consistent and of a uniform quality.  Although these routines and regulations are essential in making sure that my work runs smoothly, equally important, to this end, is creative thinking.


Whilst the ability to abide by rules and routines are the backbone of a successful career, creative thinking can be considered the heart and it is this which makes us not just competent but exceptional in our chosen field.


All too often in our professional lives, we hear the phrase “But that’s how we’ve always done things!”  Creative thinking is the tool that we use to change this to “But, what if there’s a better way?”  By constantly questioning existing systems and procedures, we are able to open our minds to different ways of doing things.


Rather than being limited to the traditionally creative industries such as the arts and the literary world, creative thinking can be used in almost every field of work in order to find better, more efficient and more dynamic ways of getting the job done.  I’m not, of course, suggesting that you start including paintings with your invoices or poems with your professional emails, rather that creative thinking can be used to inject a fresh and innovative perspective into your existing professional life. A recent news story detailed how a software developer outsourced his own job to China, paying only a slight fraction of his salary and spending his days surfing the net and relaxing whilst others did his job for him.  This is, of course, an extreme example of creative thinking – and certainly not recommended to anybody who wants to keep their job – but does highlight the way that creative thinking, or, “thinking outside of the box” can be used in order to work smarter, not harder.


The trick to creative thinking is to learn to look at things differently – instead of “What is it?”, try, “What could it be?”  For example, instead of simply sending out the same tired pitch email because “it’s the way it’s always been done,” a Salesman might decide to alter the email slightly in order to tailor it to each individual recipient.  A postman who has walked or cycled the same route, the same way, for years could use creative thinking in order to look at the route from a different angle to see if there is a quicker or more efficient way of completing it.

Creative Thinking

“Creativity and innovation are about finding unexpected solutions to obvious problems”  Rei Inamoto, chief creative officer at AKQA


Creative thinking in a professional capacity is a way of breaking a task down into its parts and then trying different ways of putting it back together to find the best and most effective method.


By using creative thinking in our professional lives, we allow ourselves to excel in our careers, demonstrating to superiors that, rather than a drone, blindly following instructions, we are able to use initiative and innovation in order to improve our own way and, in turn, the work produced by our employer.


Injecting creative thinking into your work doesn’t have to involve large, bold actions but can be as simple as changing a small part of a regularly used process or changing the order in which we do things in order to go from being good at our jobs to being great at them.

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