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We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.Albert Einstein

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Feed your creative spark

Feed your creative spark

Brilliant insights often spring to mind unexpectedly. These “Eureka moments” don’t happen by chance and aren’t the exclusive reserve of a few creative geniuses. How can we create the conditions for this creative spark to arise?

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In complex or unusual situations, we may need to come up with innovative responses. The imperative to find an original and suitable idea often puts us in a difficult spot. No matter how intensely we think, no matter how exuberant our brainstorming sessions, none of the leads generated are convincing. We have the sinking feeling that we are simply turning in circles and rehashing the same ideas.  What could be more frustrating? We redouble our efforts, but to no avail. We thus often end up settling for a less than satisfactory solution.

These creative blockages are explained by our difficulty in overcoming the spontaneous way we model our environment. Without even thinking about it, we turn our imaginative efforts towards improving what we know, within the constraints of which we are aware. In fact, it’s very difficult to lay aside our existing models, given the extent to which they shape our modes of reasoning. Rather than trying harder, the challenge is to let our brain work differently, to leave more room for creativity. Let’s say you want differentiate yourself in the market for fans. It’s a pretty good bet that you’d start by visualizing spinning blades to create a flow of air. You would then probably think about ways to improve blade aerodynamics, motor performance, or the design of the fan. On the contrary, it’s by thinking completely outside the box that Dyson invented its revolutionary and immensely successful bladeless fan.

Is this necessarily the work of genius? In reality, everyone has the capacity to generate original ideas in a given situation. But first, our brain must be trained to not always take the easy path of reproducing what it already knows and blocking our perception of that which doesn’t fit into our existing models. How can we create a context that fosters “creative sparks”, but also helps us spot them and tap their full potential by taking our thinking all the way to the end? The publications analyzed here explore these very questions.


In this synopsis:
- Identify and surmount creative blocks
- “Eureka!” or how to facilitate flashes of intuition
- Four steps to stimulate the creative spark

Synopsis n.247b


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