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Being Creative Isn’t A Genius Thing

Date - 01 September 2016/ Category - Personal Lessons
Personal lessons

If your work is stuck for ideas then they might ask you to get into teams and come up with some new products.

This brainstorming type of action is repeated up and down the country, but I’ve got news for you it doesn’t work.

People who work alone, or work without the fear of being marked on their work are both more creative and more productive than those who work in teams.

Contrary to popular opinion, team work can often stifle creativity because the fear of being watch, or going against the group opinion forces people to play it safe.

In effect then you can take three great workers and one good one, but the strangest thing can happen; put the good worker head to head with three great workers (working together) and the good worker will often come out with more highly creative solutions.

The fear of breaking from the norm isn’t the only reason this happens. As a society we fear failure more if people can watch us fail and as such, if we need to create something it’s often better to do the leg work on our own so that we aren’t afraid to scrap a few bad ideas along the way.

Of course it’s good to bounce ideas off people, but when bouncing ideas it’s better to have a well formed idea to play with than something more ethereal.

The reason for this is simple, most people take an idea as a finished concept and as such treat it as a failure too early. If you go to a friend with a half created idea that you haven’t properly though out then they will treat it as if you have it 100% sorted and criticise it as such.

In order to avoid this then you need to create ideas on your own, work on them and refine them and only when you’ve tested them yourself take them to others to criticise.

It’s much easier to fail in private than in public.

James Dyson (of the vacuum fame) states that when he creates new ideas, he first makes something he knows can’t work, as his first idea has to fail and then bit by bit he keeps refining it until it becomes something great.

He tried over 5000 prototypes of his vacuum before he was ready to tell the world about it – most people would have shown it to the world after 2 or 3 goes and given up thanks to the criticism.

Chapter Summary:

• You are more creative on your on
• Group brainstorming doesn’t work
• Be prepared to have bad ideas and fail but do it in private
• Only show your well throughout ideas or plans to others so they can tweak then, not shoot them down

Read our next blog post “The fine line between confidence & arrogance”.