These days, one of the key traits that businesses look for in their leaders is creativity. When the pace of change has continued to accelerate, and there is more data to assimilate, when companies need to negotiate global markets, innovation and creativity have taken on a new prominence.
According to a recent IBM survey, creativity has become the most important trait that companies look for.
But creativity, unlike other desirable traits and skills, is still in many ways shrouded in mystery. How one develops creativity is still a question open to debate. To some, it is an intrinsic quality one is born with, and if you don’t have it naturally, it is difficult to develop. But others see it as a skill that you can improve through training.
Psychologists side with the latter group, arguing that we all have the ability to be creative, an ability that manifests itself in different ways among different people. And, they say, we can all develop our creativity through practice.
One human resources firm looked at several thousand people, one group consisting of people whose work is mainly creative, and another group whose work is not. The firm then sifted through data relating to the personalities of the two groups, and arrived at traits that are common among creative types and traits more common among non-creatives.
Here is what they found. People who are creative tend to be more intellectually curious, more sensitive to artistic creations, more emotional, more adventurous, more spiritual and more energetic.
The non-creatives were more organized and more compliant than the creative people, according to the data. And while the data showed that creative people are generally more rebellious and impulsive, it also showed paradoxically that they were more cautious. But the caution, it turns out, applies more to being conscientious about their work.
So, how can you increase your creativity? One way might be through cultivating those traits shared by creative people. For example, indulge your intellectual curiosity by learning about things outside your job and areas of interest. Explore new areas and ideas. Try meditating to get in touch with your spiritual side. Get more involved in the arts, either by trying your hand at them yourself or viewing the artistic creations of others. Try to get more in touch with your emotions by being more aware of them.