More on Adair: creativity

The previous entry rabbiting on about Adair’s work on teamwork was getting a bit long and I decided this deserved its own topic. Lately I have been thinking more about the creative process, mostly with respect to CRR. My own thinking on creativity is very much in line with what Adair has to say about creativity as well:

The seven habits of successful creative thinkers are:

1. Thinking outside the apparent confines of the problem/situation
2. Welcoming chance intrusions
3. Listening to your depth mind (the unconscious mind)
4. Suspending judgement
5. Using the stepping stones of analogy
6. Tolerating ambiguity
7. Banking all ideas from all sources

There are number of obstacles which inhibit creativity. The seven main ones are:

1. Negativity
2. Fear of failure
3. Lack of quality thinking time
4. Over-conformance with rules and regulations
5. Making assumptions
6. Applying too much logic
7. Thinking you are not creative

© John Adair

This applies directly to the things we’ve been talking over in our troupe meetings lately — for instance that we feel like we want to expose ourself to new influences and open up our ideas. The one about conformance to rules and regulations is a bugbear of mine — a couple of troupe members insisted recently that we all write up lesson plans prior to our workshops. It resulted in a lot of stress for some people and then after a lot of people reluctantly complied, one of the people who was insisting on written plans didn’t even do one themself. It’s this kind of thing that really gets in the way of building up teams too I think. But it certainly dampened creativity in many ways.

“Tolerating ambiguity” is a really concise way of saying something I have been thinking about. It’s not important to find the right way to do everything. For a dance troupe as much as any other group endeavour, the process is often just as important, if not more important, than the product. Only accepting one way of doing things is tempting fate.

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