Where Does Creativity Come From?

Posted by Wasyl Terlecky on Mar 22, 2016

Microphone_-_ThinkstockPhotos-92026251.jpgFor most people, creative thinking is a process, and one that is best manifested when it isn’t forced. If you’ve ever been in a brainstorming session, you know how hard it is to come up with new ideas on the spot, but given the rapid introduction of new products, services, and apps today, companies must constantly be looking for ways to push the envelope and improve—or risk getting surpassed by their competitors. More and more companies are trying to develop and hone their creative processes and environments in order to facilitate creative thinking, which begs the question: where exactly does creativity come from?

According to a study on freestyle rappers—a group who’s forced to think of creative lyrics on the spot—researchers found that these artists were able to “deactivate” some of the most active parts of their brain, to allow for better function in other areas where improvisation and creativity skills are located. The average person’s mind is often too busy dealing with distractions and the “executive functions” of the body to be creative, but when relaxed and free from distractions, the brain is more available to make those connections.

“There is no such thing as a new idea. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope.”

While Mark Twain originated the above quote, it’s a thought that’s been echoed by many creativity experts over the years. The basic belief behind this train of thought implies that all the ideas we have stem from our previous personal experiences and subconscious connections where our minds combine several thoughts and ideas together. As Steve Jobs once said, “Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it; they just saw something and it seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things.”

Although it sometimes feels this way, ideas don’t just come to you out of nowhere; they’re influenced by knowledge you already possess and your personal experiences. Regardless of how much you know or how much you’ve done, however, you can’t just force your brain to make those connections and come up with new ideas whenever you want. Having time to get into that relaxed and creative state of mind is crucial for being able to think of new ideas, because the less distracted we are, the more available our minds are to make different associations.

Nurturing Creativity

At SpencerHall, our 20 years of experience has proven that the best ideas never happen on the spot, and that’s why our patent-pending Transforum® innovation tool springboards beyond conventional thinking by combining the expertise of your team with our Brain Trust of outside creative experts in a dynamic online forum. Our Brain Trust features highly-experienced and knowledgeable thought leaders from a wide variety of industry backgrounds who will work with you over a 3-day session to create, probe, and build ideas with you, creating fresh connections that are truly breakthrough. Everyone is able to feed off each other’s energy, and users can log on at any time to share their ideas, so they aren’t forced to think when they aren’t ready. By the end of the session, hundreds of new ideas, build outs, and visuals will be generated. We’ll determine the most promising and turn those ideas into a portfolio of concepts ready for development.

To find out more about how our Transforum® online brainstorming sessions can help your company create the right environment for new and creative ideas, download our free case studies below or contact us today at 888-883-IDEA.

Transforum Case Studies

Topics: Transforum, Creativity