When we hear the words creative thinkers, our brains automatically associate this word with painters, dancers, actors and directors. Most of us think that creativity can go hand in hand with arts only. This is why most us believe that writing a novel, sketching, or even composing music is done only by creative thinkers, which is true.
However, creativity is not only limited to arts. Creative thinkers are needed everywhere, even at places where people think they are least needed such as in the world of business and science. Being creative simply means that having the ability to think about new solutions and to create new things. This ability will not only enrich your personal life but also will give an advantage in whatever field you enter. The history is filled with the examples of creative thinkers and how they revamped their fields including Isaac Newton, Thomas Edison, Steve Jobs, Leonardo Di Vinci and many more.
In today’s dynamic world, employers highly prefer creative thinker so their employers can come up with solutions that are newer than the contemporary ones. Creativity is one of the key skills that is looked for in employees nowadays.
Why employers want creative thinkers?
Creative thinking is not only limited to having an eye for art. It is also the ability to look at things in a new way. The ability to “think outside the box.” Often, it is perceived that creativity in this sense allows people to have what is called lateral thinking, which is also the ability to perceive patterns that are not obvious.
However, it is not limited to identifying patterns only. Creative thinkers can see through the problems and come up with various solutions. The perfect example is the invention of lean production system by the Japanese. During the time when Ford was producing goods in mass/bulk, Japanese automobile industry could not compete with the advantages that mass production gave to Ford. The Japanese then thought of a creative way to lower the cost without having the mass production. That is known as lean production and is the complete opposite of mass production by using JIT (Just in time) method of inventory management. It was to order inventory only when it was needed and it was against the norms back in time as the common industry practice was to store inventories in bulk. This method of production did not only make Japanese automobile the leaders in the world but also revolutionized the way cars are produced today. This proves how creative thinkers using their ability can devise new ways to carry out tasks, solve problems, and meet challenges.
The invention of lean production shows how creative thinkers can bring a fresh, and sometimes unorthodox, solutions to their work. This way of thinking can help departments and organizations move in more productive directions. Hence, their value to the company would increase drastically.
Creative Thinking and employability
While creating the job description, many employers state that creative thinking is a specification for the position.
If you are applying for similar positions, the best idea is to go into the interview prepared with examples of how you can demonstrate the creativity, just as you would with other skills. You can also showcase your creativity by real life experiences by providing examples or using such words as “fresh and innovative” to describe your work.
Moreover, to showcase your creativity, past results are also important. There are various forums today that reward creative thinkers for developing solutions in various competitions. Participating in such competitions could be a good proof of your creative thinking.
The need for creative thinking at the workplace
Most people assume that office work is all about following protocols and there is less space for creative thinkers. Also, if there is some space then that is only for an artistic position. In reality, however, creative thinkers are also needed for technical positions too.
Many people perceive science and engineering as fields where creative thinkers are not needed. In fact, the opposite is true. STEM (i.e., science, technology, engineering, and math) is a highly creative field.
The modern solutions that we have in the form of assembly line robots, new mobile applications, computer programs or developing a testable hypothesis are all present due to creative thinkers and their solutions. In fact, the history of science and technology is filled with projects that did not work, not because of errors in technique or methodology, but because people remained stuck in assumptions and old habits. The STEM needs radical creativity in order to flourish and grow.
Creative problem-solving stands out as innovative. A creative problem solver will find new solutions rather than simply identifying and implementing the norm. You might brainstorm new ways to cut energy use, find new ways to cut costs during a budget crisis or develop a litigation strategy to defend a client but these all are entailed to creative thinking on your part.