Tracking Creative Boundaries

Creativity is just about connecting things”- Steve Jobs,

These are the words of a great visionary, who created a big business empire by implementing just a small idea. “Tracking Creative Boundaries” by Ms. Eliza Hilton, from Flow India, was exactly aimed to implement this thought i.e. to bring out the creative side of people.

Ms. Eliza started by saying that, “creativity like any other skill can be learnt and is not a mystical gift.” She explained creativity by indulging the audience in various games and activities.

The session commenced with a small activity where the audience was made to roam around in the class randomly; and at a call, groups of 4 or 5 had to be formed. The aim of this activity was to make people go out of their comfort zones and form groups randomly. The same groups were carried out in the rest of the session. In the next activity the audience was made to stand in a semi circle, and first member would start the game by counting from number 1 onwards. Each member had to call out the subsequent numbers and the member calling out the 11th number was out. This game made use of the left brain, where a lot of mind calculations had to be done. It was actually in the audience’s hands as to which player they wanted to be out. Now that’s different that we realised this aspect quite late.

So what is Creativity? Creativity is marriage of two or more ideas. It’s all about creating something valuable, trying lots of different things with imagination and innovation, and above all taking a risk. Creativity is not about relaxation, creativity should not only be regarded as an “Art” or being “Right or Wrong” but about coming up with as many ideas as you can and analysing them.

Creative thinking is a four step process, jumping from the left brain to the right and back again:

Saturation: Once you know the creative task at hand, immerse yourself in similar work created by the masters and study it.

Incubation: Walk away from the task and let it sit in your head for awhile so the right hemisphere of the brain can process the thoughts creatively.

Illumination: Do something to break up your day. If you’re at your desk, step away and go somewhere else.

Verification: Test your inspiration and create.

These steps are designed to immerse you in creative work and keep you from sitting at your desk, waiting for an idea to surface.

Some of the innovation case studies from the workshop are:

Being creative is not restricted to just painters, artists but it has a wide use in the business world. All businesses have to be creative and innovative to meet the competitive environment. It can be seen, all it takes is a small idea to have a successful business. The above cases also feature the same thing. Be it an idea of a “stock photo library” or “healthcare facilities” for all.

The next activity was a very interesting one. It highlighted the observation power of the audience. They had to notice 10 unusual and different things around them in the room. The audience came up with very unique answers like “watch in the right hand”, or a “bathing mug being used as a pen stand” and even “the price tag on the sandal”. This activity showed that being creative is a process, it’s not that one morning you wake up and say, yes I’m creative. It’s about mulling and researching on an issue.

This was followed by another activity where the members of all the groups were assigned different roles like the timekeeper, leader, monitor and the presenter, and had to go to different places in the college like terrace, library, student lounge and the canteen. Now their task was to analyse these places and come up with innovative ideas as to what changes can be made to make the place better. After this the team on a whole had to select one place and change it with all the ideas available, and to present the same on a chart paper with the presenter presenting their idea to the audience. The aim of this activity was not just to create something different but also something that can be practically implemented.

Thinking creatively is like exercising your muscles. Some of the creative exercises that can be done in your everyday life are:

  1. Write 50 things about your journey to college.
  2. Record everything you purchase in one week.
  3. Conduct your own thought experiments like Einstein did.(www.brainpickings.org)

At the end Ms. Eliza concluded by saying “Creativity consists largely of rearranging what we know in order to find out what we do not know. Hence, to think creatively, we must be able to look afresh at what we normally take for granted.”

The workshop was very helpful as it helped the audience to move out of their comfort zone and the rational zone and explore the world in a different way- the creative way. The importance of creativity in everyday life was realised from the workshop whether be it making a college presentation, or even planning a cultural event. Creativity lies in anything and everything around us.

The audience thanked Ms. Eliza for her efforts by giving her a token of gratitude from the entire FIIB family.