Six Characteristics of Creative People

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We often look at business icons like Steve Jobs and wonder, what made him so different? Where did he get his ideas? Creativity isn’t a science, but these six personality traits of innovative people can help to shed light on their thought process:

  • Imagination: As children, we all have vivid imaginations. But the older we get, it seems the less creative we are. The reason for this may be that in school, there’s usually one right answer. While this is great for learning, it discourages out of the box thinking. Creative people look at things through a wider lens, finding innovative solutions by reframing problems.
  • Knowledge: In order to carry out an idea, a creative person must know how the end goal can be achieved. While school and education are important to learning, one of the most powerful ways to gain knowledge is to pay attention. By noticing what’s missing or what’s needed within the community, creative people are able to solve problems by making solutions.
  • Attitude: If you’re not driven and motivated to solve your problems, you won’t. True innovators are able to take the things at their disposable and figure out how to utilize them for successful results. Even unconventional items, such as garbage, can be valuable when used in an innovative way. Your attitude acts as the spark that ignites creative work.
  • Habitat: Often times, innovative people are trapped in environments that don’t facilitate their creativity. Rows of desks or cubicles, for example, don’t encourage inventive ideas. Groundbreaking companies like Google and Pixar tend to have relaxed offices with a fun atmosphere, including couches and even slides in their buildings.
  • Resources: Regardless of a situation, money seems to be something everyone thinks about. Creative people tend to look at resources beyond the financials, including nature, community, processes, skills, and people.
  • Culture: Culture is what fuses an organization. A large aspect of this is how failure is dealt with. Innovative firms don’t think of work in terms of “success” or “failures.” Even things that didn’t turn out as planned, it can be important as a learning process. Much like the music in a movie, culture often tells people (usually employees) how they should feel, thereby affecting the way they act.

Creativity is an elusive trait that we all want to improve and encourage either in our personal lives or in our businesses. When these six factors are woven together, each functions properly and effectively.

(Feature image by Stephanie Watson/flickr.com [CC BY 2.0])

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