Have been attending a 2-day course on management of project teams for the past two days.

As part of this course, a short video about the nature of creativity was shown. The presenter was a National Geographic photo-journalist. Using the example of changing lenses to achieve different effects as an analogy of how and why we need a change in how we view the world, he then went on to describe how he, as a professional, can BECOME and REMAIN creative on a daily basis.

What I found most interesting was actually the fact here was someone advocating that the process of creativity can be cultivated through some ‘good habits’ – something which I always believed but have not been able to articulate so eloquently. There is no black magic.

The main points of the video were:

  1. Shooting good photos requires patience and perseverance – as with all things. However, don’t be afraid to make mistakes;
  2. Reframe a problem into an opportunity;
  3. Turn a win-lose situation into a win-learn situation – in other words, an optimist and opportunist combined;
  4. Don’t stop at the first answer – there may be more goodies;
  5. Break the pattern so that even the familiar things come into question, e.g. when things are seemingly well, with possibility of discovering a new critical focus.

However, while such advice is very useful, we must not lose sight of the fundamentals. After all, we still need to know our tools, and act appropriately with the necessary skills. It is when we are thus ready that when we maneuver into a position of maximum potential, we can be ready when an opportunity arises.

Lastly, a 3M (of post-it fame) motto:

“Be sure to generate a reasonable number of mistakes.”