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How To Think Creatively In Business

20th November 2017
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In a prior article “Mistakes Businesses Keep Making” we cited “key decision makers work hard but they don’t think hard” as one of the biggest mistakes.  In this article we look at how to best go about setting up creative thinking …. and how not to go about it.

It is necessary to understand how the human brain works, through its subconscious and conscious components.  The subconscious receives thoughts from the conscious and accepts them automatically as valid.   These thoughts can be instructions, questions, ideas, impressions, reflections, etc.  Once a thought is sent to the subconscious by the conscious it is then part of your reality because of the absence of evaluation by the subconscious.  Evaluation of thoughts only occurs in the conscious brain (which is why it is so important to only send thoughts through to the subconscious that will help your happiness and success in future).  The subconscious is the creator of ideas, solutions and answers, and programs our behaviours.  

To reduce all of this down to what is vitally important in setting up creative thinking for our businesses, it is that the subconscious has to be ‘told’ to come up with new ideas, innovations, changes and new ways by our conscious brains and it has to be told often.  Only then will it perform to its maximum capacity in doing all of that.

People in business who are constantly thinking (consciously) about operational issues and  day to day problems are not asking their subconscious brains to do much other than to make a busy world a bit more organised, easier and smoother.  Hardly creative.  If the same people then set aside time in their calendars, monthly or whatever, it’s almost the first time they have ‘asked’ their subconscious brains to come up with new and creative ideas, a subconscious brain that is already clogged with day to day ‘stuff’.  The person doing that is likely to come up with little or nothing.  It’s like going 100 kmh in a car in one direction then stopping suddenly and trying to go back in the opposite direction … it takes time to get going, to reprogram.  The subconscious has to start almost from scratch with what it’s being asked to do.  It may work but it is unlikely.  The same applies to businesses that try to plan creatively during a once yearly strategic planning conference.

The most effective, the most powerful way to think creatively, is to consistently instruct your subconscious to come up with new ideas.  Consistently meaning every day, so the subconscious is asked time and time again .. what is better, what is new, what can we try, what haven’t we thought of, where can we take this, etc.  The very busy, here and now, business person is actually not doing that; they are laboring fixing today’s problems and are unlikely to receive anything back from their subconscious other than ‘fix’ ideas rather than creative ones.  

This clearly has a strong implication for what key people in business do with their time on a daily basis … it simply can not all be taken up with doing the job, with working hard.  Days have to be more relaxed than that so the subconscious brain is being consistently instructed with creative questions.  More relaxed meaning the performance of tasks as well as relaxed mentally, so the conscious brain is adequately free to engage creative curiosity and send questions to the subconscious.  Creativity is not likely to eventuate from putting time in the calendar to be creative … it’s a contradiction of concepts and a contradiction of approaches.

Many key people in business will have one strong objection to this article … ‘too busy’ to take this approach.  If that is today’s reality it will be tomorrow’s as well.  So, we all have a choice … free up mental and physical time, often, to pose creative questions to subconscious brains or not.  If you would like to do that but can not consciously think of how to set it up … ask your subconscious brain how to … that’s your first and most important creative question .. and that is meant sincerely.