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This is part two in our series about the role of creativity and creative thinking in problem solving. Be sure to sign up for our mailing list to get more information about problem solving and other topics on how to advance or jumpstart your career.

Creative Problem Solving, Part 2

4 Blocks to creative problem solving

Hey, Michelangelo!

Ok, so you’re not an artist, at least, not in your day job. That doesn’t mean you’re not creative. Throw out what those aptitude tests told you in high school, because you’re creative every day, even if you need a little bit of help to unlock it. Let’s talk about breaking through the barriers to creative thinking.

Each person is creative in a unique way. However, there are common blocks that make it impossible for individuals to be creative in a meaningful way.  They include:

  1. The belief that you are not creative

If you believe you are not creative, this may become true at some point in your life. It is difficult to be creative if you have already convinced yourself that you are not creative in any way. The moment you make this assumption, and begin to believe in it, it becomes a reality that you cannot change.

  1. Making assumptions

Making assumptions is another block to your creativity. They become a block when someone starts thinking too much about the likely outcomes of any solution, even before the solution can get implemented. The trick is to focus on what you can do to apply the solution and make it work for you, instead of making assumptions on the likely outcome.

When you continually make assumptions, it becomes hard for you to try anything new, or better.  You end up believing that it will not work, even though you have not even tried it out.

  1. Sticking to the rules

Creative thinking is all about changing the existing status quo. It is the ability to do things in a different way, rather than customary ways. Rules are there to be broken. Following them too strictly may inhibit you by keeping you from thinking outside the box.

Creative thinking requires you to be prepared to twist and, at times, break a few rules to achieve your objective. If you feel that breaking the rules will allow you to achieve your goal, then go ahead and do it (ethically).

  1. Taking life too seriously

For a person to be creative, they need to be in an environment that is conducive to fun. Every once in a while, loosen up and play. It never hurts to be adventurous, even in the office. An adventurous person is one whose mind is inviting and creative. You will notice that the most creative people and the most innovative companies are very adventurous.  Innovative companies make sure they provide a fun environment where their employees can perform their work.

Being aware of, and avoiding, these common blocks to creativity can help you make sure your unique creativity continues to grow.