Do You Have Creative Intelligence?
“If you have a body, you are an athlete.” Bill Bowerman, Nike
Nike’s mission statement encourages and inspires everyone to be active; redefining the perception of an ‘athlete.’ At Sense Worldwide we believe in a similar message of inclusiveness, but for human creativity.
“If you have a brain, you are creative.”
Why is creative intelligence important?
In the age of machine learning and artificial intelligence, you need to ensure your skill set remains competitive. There is nothing more unique, and more enjoyable to develop, than your creative intelligence.
Whatever your discipline, thinking differently and figuring out smarter, better ways of doing things will always be rewarding whether you are a lone wolf consultant or member of a larger business team.
A definition of creative intelligence
Creative intelligence is a mindset, not a methodology. It is more accessible than Design Thinking. It is a fundamental shift in the way that people approach the world around them; something subconsciously pulled on in daily life to tackle problems in new ways.
The Oxford Dictionary definition of intelligence is “the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills.” Creative intelligence is about looking beyond what you know and having the openness, willingness and curiosity to constantly push boundaries and challenge the status quo. It’s a uniquely human skill; the ability to understand, interpret and act with imagination.
We have made a home for creative people from all over the world; The Sense Network. From conventionally defined creatives like artists, musicians and start-up founders, to the unheralded creativity of neuroscientists, teachers and dominatrixes. The members of the Sense Network collaborate to use their creative intelligence to inspire, innovate and feedback on ideas; to make things better and to make better things.
The five traits of creative intelligence
Over the last 20 years, we have helped people in The Sense Network to develop their creative intelligence. We connect them with like-minded people unlike themselves. We collaborate with them on brand innovation projects. We share stories of life experiences and global culture. We facilitate feedback on their own ideas and projects from a global community of peers.
We recognise certain traits that signal someone is embracing their creative intelligence and letting it guide the way they approach life. And we actively recruit for these traits in our own business; it helps to build a culture of collaboration and creativity.
These are the five traits of creative intelligence
#1 Look outside of the mainstream
New ideas are rarely found in the mainstream. In fact, the mainstream often rejects radical new ideas. We use diversity as a strategic advantage. We build exceptional teams with high cognitive diversity; and find unlikely allies with divergent opinions to challenge the status quo.
When you look outside of the mainstream, you will see the value of how diverse and divergent views and opinions will stretch and challenge traditional conventions to create something new.
#2 Beware of the Curse of Knowledge
When you’ve worked in an industry for a long time, it can be easy to think you know the answer and get stuck in the way things have always been done. Be curious; curiosity is the desire to learn. It is an eagerness to explore, discover and figure things out.
See old problems in new ways. Look at things like a child would; by viewing the world with beginners’ eyes, you will be able to identify and defuse cognitive biases and assumptions that can often prevent fresh thinking. Be open and receptive to a wider range of possibilities.
#3 Embrace ambiguity
Ambiguity can be an uncomfortable thing for many people; but this anxiety is also a creative opportunity. Be bold and embrace the uncertainty. Reframe your unease with the unknown as fuel for creative, strategic change.
Mastering this will teach you to act instinctively under pressure, to trust your intuition when forecasting the future and to think strategically about a topic when not all the information is known.
#4 Develop an experimental mindset
Mitigate the risk of a new idea by adopting a ‘test & learn’ approach to help make key decisions. Learn to trust your intuition and then validate it. Flip it on its head — question it, pressure-test it, stretch it, search for cognitive and emotional bias.
Adopting an iterative, test & learn approach allows you to be more nimble and de-risk the decision making process to increase the chance of a more successful outcome.
#5 Mix it up
Boost motivation in your work by mixing up your focus, your routine, your environment. Time spent with the unfamiliar helps people to think differently by forcing you to categorise new information. Sometimes you need to take a step back, make a change and let your mind wander to create your best work.
When you mix it up, you will discover the benefits of reframing challenges when tackling complex problems and how articulating counter-intuitive solutions can help prompt new thinking.
I want to develop and apply my creative intelligence. What do I do next?
If you want to gain recognition for your unique knowledge. Collaborate on brand innovation projects. Get paid for your skills, reflections and expertise. Develop your creative intelligence. Meet like minded people, unlike you; locally over a supper or globally on our platform. Hear stories about creativity, life experiences and global city culture. Or simply request trusted feedback on your ideas and projects from a global community of peers… then join The Sense Network here.
Brands & Agencies
If you’re a brand or agency and need to apply or develop global creative intelligence for your team or challenge, drop us an email here and let’s have a conversation about how we can help.