Creative Strategic Thinking
Here at Impact Factory we don’t ask ‘How Creative Are You?’ but rather ‘How Are You Creative?’
There’s no escaping it – we all are!
You probably didn’t wake up this morning thinking ‘I must log on and do the Impact Factory Creativity Quiz’.
But here you are. So somehow you created a path that got you here! We might even say that we’re all constantly creating. Because we’re all making choices all of the time. And when we make choices we’re creating decisions.
So in what ways are we creative? What makes a behaviour creative, how can we identify these behaviours and then how can we use them to bring creativity and innovation into our organisations?
This is a quick and fun quiz to help you start to identify those creative behaviours in yourself and others. It’s important to note that these are behaviours, not personality types. And that there’s absolutely NO RIGHT OR WRONG answers! We can all access all of these behaviours - we just might lean more towards certain behaviours at certain times.
So take our quiz and find out the different ways in which you are creative.
1) You arrive home only to find you’ve lost your door keys. Do you:
a) Assess the situation and work out any possible ways in?
b) Call a locksmith and use the time to catch up on some phone calls?
c) Start looking for useful objects to build a lock pick or ladder?
d) Retrace your steps and work out why this happened?
e) Realise you’ve got cash and a passport on you and go on holiday?
2) You’re at a networking event and finding it tough to connect with a few key people. Do you:
a) Find out who’s turned up and where they are in the room?
b) Talk to someone who interests you and see if they know them?
c) Draw something funny or intriguing on the back of your business card, slip it in their pocket and leave?
d) Ask yourself what you really need from this event and is there another way of achieving it?
e) Stand in the middle of the room and shout about how networking is a total waste of time?
3) A work project is suffering and you’ve been asked to take over. Do you:
a) Examine all the documents in detail and interview all the team members to find out exactly what’s going on?
b) Shuffle your cabinet and reassign aspects of the work?
c) Get everyone in a room and brainstorm whole new ways of approaching the idea?
d) Ask yourself and your team who and what this project is for?
e) Tear it up and start your own project?
4) It’s your partner’s birthday and you know really want to do the right thing – last year was a disaster. Do You:
a) Ask their friends and family if he/she has mentioned what they’d like to do.
b) Get her friends and family to organise something – you’ve learned not to do it yourself!
c) Book a cottage in Cornwall for eight of you. Neither of you have ever been there before.
d) Ask your partner why their birthday important to them and plan an event around their answer.
e) Write their obituary and have it framed for them?
5) You completely forgot you’d invited some friends for dinner. They text to say they’re on their way. Do you:
a) Call them up to find out how long they’re going to be and whether their kids are with them?
b) Call your local Italian and book a table?
c) Chuck anything you’ve got in a casserole dish – who knows Chicken a la Strawberry Jam might just be the next big thing.
d) Ask yourself why you so rarely see these old friends and what’s the relationship really about now?
e) Go to the cinema and turn your phone off.
6) You’ve become dissatisfied with your job and are wondering about changing career. Do you:
a) Write a list of how much you need to earn every month and how far you’re prepared to travel?
b) List all your skills and look at what other careers they could apply to.
c) Apply for random jobs and go to the interviews – who knows what’s possible?
d) Work out why you’re dissatisfied – what is it you really want to do with your life?
e) Spontaneously resign with no plans and go buy yourself a bottle of champagne.
7) Your home is looking a little shabby and could do with redecorating. Do you:
a) Buy a stack of DIY magazines and price up the whole task?
b) Rearrange furniture, pictures and old objects from the attic to create a whole new look?
c) Buy a selection of paints and try them out in different rooms – it’ll all come together in the end.
d) Ask yourself what impression you’re trying to create and for who?
e) Escalate the shabby look by cancelling your cleaner?
8) You never much enjoy appraisals and have got one coming up on Monday afternoon. Do you:
a) Find out exactly what will be discussed, then go over your last six months projects and feedback forms in order to collate a file.
b) Ask your boss if you can do it over coffee early on Monday morning. It’ll be more relaxing and won’t be hanging over you all day.
c) Turn up and see what happens – who knows you might even ask for a pay rise.
d) Tell yourself appraisals are an important and necessary part of the career progression you’re so passionate about.
e) Turn the tables and appraise your boss.
Mainly A’s: The Fact Finding/Pattern Seeking Position
The Fact Finding behaviour is driven by a need for mastery of concepts, knowledge, and competence. When we are in the Fact Finding and Pattern Seeking position we begin to understand the operating principles of persons, places and things. When in fact finding mode we draw on expertise, objectivity, logic, consistency and rationality. When you’re Fact Finding and Pattern Seeking you input into a creative process by objectively analyzing a situation for the purpose of considering previously un-thought-of possibilities. Research, analysis, searching for patterns, and reviewing current hypotheses are some of the key creative elements of Fact Finding.
Mainly B’s: The Organising Position
When we are operating from the Organising position we are driven by a need for cohesion, group membership and responsibility. Organising is a drive towards doing the responsible thing. The competencies we draw on and value are stability, security and a sense of community. We seek to understand and reinforce a hierarchy and acknowledge the incumbent authority. From this position we may be surprised when others go against the norms of social structure. In the process of Organising we refer to how things have always been done, so the contribution to the creative process is revealed in an ability to anticipate where things can go wrong and act accordingly. In this phase we attend to and consider rules, procedures, and protocol.
Mainly C’s: The Improvising Position
The process of Improvising is driven by a core need to have the freedom to think and act without hindrance. When we operate from the Improvising position we may value aesthetics and abstracts whether in nature or art. The energies of improvisation are mainly focused on spontaneity, novelty, variety, and stimulation. When we are operating from the Improvising position we seek to employ all available means to accomplish an end. The process contributes to creativity by the variety of solutions that can emerge in this phase. Developing the skill of improvisation can help us to use many tools to achieve a goal of innovation, whether the tool be language, theories, a paintbrush, or a computer.
Mainly D’s: The Meaning Making Position
The process of Making Meaning is driven by the core need for the meaning and significance that comes from having a sense of purpose and working toward some greater good. In the Meaning Maker position we seek to develop a sense of unique identity. This is particularly important when considering issues around branding. The competencies we draw on and value at this stage are unity, self-actualization, and authenticity. This process often leads to cooperative interactions with a focus on ethics and morality when working in groups. The contribution of Making Meaning to the creative process is found in the unifying principles that emerge between diverse subjects therefore helping to realise unseen potentials in people, places and things. Meaning may build bridges between people through empathy and clarification of deeper issues.
Mainly E’s: The Maverick Position
The Maverick position is conformity in reverse rather than non - conformity. When we are in the maverick phase we look at what the group does, and try to do the exact opposite to explore and experience an alternative. When all the sheep run to one side of the paddock, the maverick position takes us the other way. Though the maverick position seeks a polar alternative it still has a reference point on how to make decisions that is based on the current hierarchy and norms, so we are still very much part of the group. However we may come unstuck when operating from this position when conventional wisdom turns out to be right. The competencies we draw on and value in this phase of creativity is an ability to challenge the status quo by offering the potential for a credible yet radical alternative.
Because whether you’re a one man band, a small family business or part of a global conglomerate, Creativity within your company starts with the individual.
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