I was an accounting major in college and spent the first 9 years of my career as a practicing CPA in a public accounting firm. Little to no talent in the areas of art, design, or music (outside of just playing by reading music) led me to think of myself as not being creative. As you can imagine, it was not exactly a good thing to be known as a creative accountant. Very soon after I moved into the Firm’s human resources role, a partner whom I had worked with for over 9 years suddenly complimented my creativity because of my organization of a Firm activity. The conversation still sticks in my mind and it literally changed my world. No one in 30 years of my life had ever described me as “creative.”
Soon after that experience I was asked to participate in a week-long training program, SIMPLEX, a creative problem-solving experience. With my newly trained skills on the subject, I felt a new confidence within myself, and it didn’t hurt that I also felt I had truly found my home in the world of human resources! I was bursting with excitement.
This new process taught me 3 key things that I still practice 25 years later.
Dr. Min Basadur, the founder of the SIMPLEX method and author of the book Flight to Creativity, suggests that adults use less than 10% of their creativity on any given day. Why is this? Or why aren’t we more creative?
There’s good news and bad news about creative problem solving. The good news is that, of course, we can learn to be more creative by using a defined process; the bad news is that by problem solving we, in effect, create new problems. I like to think of them as new opportunities!!