AhaI love to be creative and even though the third paper in the CIPD series, is entitled “Insight and Intuition”, it does a lot to help explain what creativity is about. It looks at how insight leads to ideation and in turn innovation, whilst considering how both skills can boost creativity and problem solving. It also considers what can block creativity and which tools can help. All in all a helpful paper so lets get stuck into the meaty bits…..

So some definitions….. “Insight is about how we come to understand things and intuition is, in essence, about how we think, reflect and act.”

Key points:

  • Apparently bad moods can impede both thinking and insight.
  • There seems to be a correlation between a good mood and creativity (Teresa Amble of Harvard Business School)
  • Before you can “join the dots” to get that “aha” moment, there is a certain amount of expertise you need to have, so you have some dots to join in the first place
  • There are specific ways that you can create the correct conditions for ideation through insight: take mental time out from the problem, be in the right mood, challenge conventional wisdom, do some non-conscious processing of information (thinking-without-thinking), gain a little bit of expertise in the area
  • There may be as many as 4 different types of intuition; expert, social, moral and creative
  • There are no substantial differences between men and women in using intuition, other than in the area of social intuition (where women score better)

Some real nuggets here …. but I always have to think about “so what does this mean?” So the things I will take away from this are:

  • People can learn to use their intuition to fuel their creativity, given the right conditions, which include a positive environment, so when trying to encourage creativity, leaders REALLY need to know this! They need to foster positive environments.
  • Not everyone is intuitive in the same way, so make use of the different ways to be intuitive.
  • Sometimes people need time to not think in order to begin the process of ideation – again in our busy world, leaders need to set some time when we are not so busy so that we get into the right state to be creative.

What do you think about insight, intuition and creativity?

From “Fresh Thinking in L&D Part 3 Insight & Intuition CIPD Feb 2014

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