While searching for a book last night, I came across something more interesting: one of my favourite books on creativity, entitled Creative Thinking in the Decision and Management Sciences, by James R. Evans. Most of the book focuses on the role of creativity in quality management, it’s also an excellent ‘textbook’ on creative thinking.
For example, here’s his list of characteristics of the creative individual.
1. Awareness and sensitivity to problems. Notices things others do not. Knows that nothing is perfect and that everything can be improved upon. Recognises that a problem exists or can cut through details and misleading facts to find the real problem.
2. Memory. Has good memories, and displays remarkable powers of recall. Good retention and retrieval of information. The individual has a memory bank of life’s experiences to be able to recall them for creative’s sake.
3. Fluency. Can generate a large number of ideas easily. Can judge an excellent idea by seeing it in context with mediocre ideas.
4. Flexibility. Has ability to generate many kinds of ideas. Implies a certain fluidity of information or lack of fixedness or rigidity. Tries a variety of approaches to solve a problem.
5. Originality. The ability to produce unusual ideas, solve problems in unusual ways, or use things or situations in an unusual manner.
6. Self-discipline and persistence. Not only develops novel ideas, but works persistently to follow them up.
7. Adaptability. Open to new ideas or experiences. Wide interests and often jumps from one to another rather easily.
8. Intellectual playfulness. They like to explore ideas for their own sake.
9. Humor. The ability to react spontaneously to discordance in meaning or implication. Humor is often the result of a “twist” in meaning of a conventional concept.
10. Nonconformity. Less conventional, has a compulsion to be different. The willingness to be different allows him or her to take risks even if there is a chance of failure. Mistakes are often viewed as opportunities for developing better ideas.
11. Tolerance for ambiguity. Actively seeks uncertainty, complexity and disorder.
12. Self-confidence. An inner confidence in the worth of their work and a sense of mission or destiny. Can work independently and without close supervision.
13. Skepticism. Is considered of accepted ideas and often plays devil’s advocate, questioning facts and assumptions.
14. Intelligence. Has an above-average intelligence but are not necessarily near the top of the scale. Has good analysis and synthesis skills, can make complex problems simple.
Here’s the link to purchase the book on Amazon.
Any other characteristics of the creative person you’d add?