Creative quotient

creative quotient | Velites: implementation, interaction & leadership

Creative quotient

You might have done an IQ or EQ-test before, to measure your human or emotional intelligence. But, did you ever hear of the CQ-test? Next to the cultural quotient, this abbreviation is also used to measure your creativity, expressiveness and applied innovation: your creative quotient.

What is creativity?

Professor Romey describes creativity as: “the ability to combine ideas, things, techniques, or approaches in a new way.” It is about a new combination of existing concepts. The idea itself doesn’t have to be revolutionary, but they should be new for the thinker, according to Marwaha. Creativity is all about pulling existing knowledge into a new situation, where the creator quickly sorts through potential outcomes. 

In his essay ‘What is your creative quotient’ Romey explains the four main stages of the creative process:

  1. The creative process starts with a period of mental labor and deep involvement in a problem;
  2. The next stage is the incubation period. During this period  we drop the idea for a while to see if anything will hatch;
  3. The third stage is the period of illumination, also called the ‘Ah-ha!’ period;
  4. The last stage is a period of elaboration and refinement of an idea.

Why is creativity important?

When you learn new things by using your creativity studies show that you retain conceptual and factual information longer. It also helps you to acquire certain behavioral patterns and skills that will help you to solve problems. You might link creativity to ‘out-of-the-box thinking’. Here you can find new solutions for a problem by combining existing concepts as well.  Creative thinking helps you to generate answers to problems.

Creativity and leadership

We often associate creativity with people in artistic professions. Think about writers, dancers, painters or musicians. However, in today’s world it is increasingly important for organizations to rely on creative thinking. This in order to be able to distinguish themselves from competition, for example.

IBM interviewed in 2010 more than 1500 CEO’s from 60 countries for a global CEO study. One of the questions in the survey was: what’s the most important quality for leadership? The answer was: creativity. Creativity is key as creative leaders invite disruptive innovation, invent new business models, and are able to change the status quo. Even though the research was done in 2010, global CEO-studies keep on repeating the importance of creativity for leaders.

How do you measure creativity?

Creativity is measured via a CQ-test (creative quotient). There are different tests. All of them do exists out of questions where you have to think about what you can see in a picture, how words are related to each other and so on. Based on your outcome you’ll fall into one of the categories from very creative to not creative at all. Personally, I did the CQ-test via www.testmycreativity.com. I like this test as it not only gives you a score, but also the foundation of your score. This is based on 8 different metrics: abstraction, connection, perspective, curiosity, boldness, paradox, complexity, and persistence. Compared to a test where you are only being put in a box, this outcome gives you a lot more information.

How to improve your creative quotient?

Creativity is something that you can learn and develop through effort and experience. Creativity is a process. It is not about who we are, but about something we do, and there is a huge range of tools and techniques that you can use to develop your skills, according to Dr. Stewart, head of leadership and organization performance at Kaplan University.

To develop your creative problem-solving skills you can focus on three major areas of expertise: multidisciplinary collaboration, human-centered design, and a culture of experimentation. With multidisciplinary collaboration you’ll get new perspectives due to the unique background, knowledge and skills of each individuals. With human-centered design you put the end-user first when designing products, services or policies. It helps to understand your customer and get rid of assumptions, blocking us in our creativity. When you create a culture of experimentation you will give the floor to your creative mindset. Rapid prototyping, brainstorming and so on are part of this culture. It helps you as well to get creative confidence. And it is required to invite disruptive innovations, invent new business models, and alter the status quo.

Five ways to train your right-brain

left vs. right brain

5 ways to train your right-brain

Daniel Pink wrote in his book A Whole New Mind about the rise of the right-brainers. Originally the left-brainers were needed in companies. People who could easily understand spreadsheets, think in words and are good in mathematics and so on. Many MBA’s and leadership programs are based on left-brain skills. However, these left-brain skills become more and more redundant as they can easily be automated or outsourced in today’s world. Instead, people with imagination, intuition, visualization and empathy are becoming more crucial players within companies. So, time to start to reactivate your right brain. Here are five tips.

1. Daydream

You most probably daydream some now and then, but feel immediately guilty, unproductive and irresponsible. However, if you aim for positive constructive daydreaming you give your focused attention a break and allow yourself to realize things about the future. Next to that, daydreaming has the potential to improve your creativity: a right-brain activity. It is not a total downtime. If you do something low-key, on your automatic pilot, you will be able to start wandering.

2. Draw

Don’t let you stop by your limiting beliefs. Everybody can draw. We attend to say that we cannot draw because we are too much led by our left brain. If I draw something it has to look in a way I can put a label on it, it should be something ‘real’. Betty Edwards developed in the late 60s a method called drawing on the right side of the brain. One of the exercises which help you to draw from your right brain starts with crunching up a piece of paper. When done, you start to look at the crunched-up paper and starts to follow the lines of it and draw it, without looking at your pencil. You will only focus on the lines of the crunched paper, follow those and draw it. The outcome most probably won’t look like the crunched-up paper, but this is all about the process of using your right brain.

 3. Laugh

There is a specific psychological study of laughter, called gelotology. Research in this area showed that during laughing both the left-side and the right-side of our brain are in action. Or left-side will help us to analyze the words and structure of the joke. Our right-brain carries out the intellectual analysis so you will be able to “get” the joke. In his book ‘The left brain speaks, the right brain laughs’ Stephens confirms this as well. You can laugh more by adding it to your daily routine. For example, buy a calendar with jokes, so you start your day with laughter. Another method is to smile more often. Even though smiling is not laughing, you can use it as a warming up for laughing. Reading a funny book, watching a funny TV-program or following funny people online will help you as well to laugh more often and train your right-brain.

4. Play

We’ve discussed already the importance of play in our article about playful learning. When we are young play if just common sense, but becomes less of importance as we’re getting older. If you don’t like games, you are still able to play. Think about playing at a piano or guitar. Or think about playful learning where gaming elements are used.

5. Start to look differently

Seeing the surrounding space instead of the item is an important way to train your right-brain. In the exercise ‘Connect the dots’ you have to identify something on the left side of your field of vision and something on the right side. Now start to move your eyes back and forth between the two. This will help you to integrate both sides of the brain.

Start now!

Now you have five tips on how to reactivate and train your right brain. These activities will help you to become ready for the conceptual age where there is more focus on our right-brain. Which activities are you already doing? Which not? How well is your right-brain established?

Right-brain leadership

Right brain leadership | Velites blog about implementation, interaction & leadership

Right-brain leadership

Traditional leadership is mainly focused on our left-brain. This part of our brain is responsible for our logic, rational thinking, analytical skills, and focuses on order, details and numbers. However, our left-brain activities our more and more taken over by computers and robots. So, in order to be ready for the future we need to re-activate our right-brain: the part of our brain that is responsible for emotions, music, rhythm, dimensions, fantasy and play. But, how?

A Whole New Mind

One of the big promoters of right-brainers is Daniel H. Pink, who wrote in his book ‘A whole new mind’ why right-brainers will rule the future. The 20th century was based on knowledge workers. It was the Information Age where the left-brain thinking was key. However, because of automation and outsourcing a lot of these left-brain activities become abundant, which indicates we’re moving into a new age. Pinks calls the 21st century the Conceptual Age, where creators and empathizers are the main characters in society.

Home Ludens

Pink introduces six essential right-brain senses that are required by our new era. One of the senses he describes is Play. As Pat Kane, author of The Play Ethic, says: “Play will be to the 21st century what work was to the last 300 years of industrial society – our dominant way of knowing, doing and creating value.” In his famous work about the importance of play in our society and culture, Huizinga suggests that play is required in order to be able to build a civilization and culture. He describes in his book characteristics of play like:

  • an expression of someone’s freedom;
  • something outside the ordinary life;
  • having a magic circle where you can experiment;
  • and, providing order by the rules of the game.

 Gamification and ludodidactics

You might have heard about gamification. Renger and Hoogendoorn describe this phenomenon in their book ‘Ludodidactiek’ as: adding parts of a game to something that does exist already, to make it more attractive. Think about high scores, badges and other awards that you can achieve. The game elements stand on their own. They don’t interact with any content, they are just being added to existing content. Think, in this case about a math test where instead of doing your own test and get your own result, your results are being shown on a leaderboard so you can ‘compete’ with others.

Ludodidactics – sometimes called serious gaming – goes further. In this case a program is developed around certain behavior you want to accomplish. By designing the program all elements of game design are considered, but, different than gamification, in ludodidactics:

  • the parts of a game are interacting with the content;
  • gaming tools don’t stand on their own;
  • extrinsic motivation shifts towards intrinsic motivation;
  • we increase the retention ratio of something you’ve learned during a program;
  • and, it is about game-based learning: the aim of the game needs to fit the things you want to teach the players.

David Shaffer is a pioneer in applying games in education. He is talking about serious games that are much more than a nicer version of a test. You can upgrade a test with things like badges, high-scores, etc. as much as you want, but at the end it is still a test. Shaffer compares this with “chocolate covered broccoli”, more related to gamification. To design towards the desired behavior in serious gaming, or ludodidactics, is therefore really important and prevents it from becoming “chocolate covered broccoli”.

Lean Forward

So, play helps to develop your right-brain and ludodidactics can actually change your behavior by using game design. Playing games is one of the things you can start with to re-activate your right-brain, but Pink mentioned as well that joining a laughter club helps. I think the most important thing is that it is based on a lean forward principle, meaning you are able to influence the progress of something. This can be a painting you’re working on, a book you’re writing or a serious game you’re playing. These are examples to re-activate your right-brain, necessary in our 21st century.