Creative skills

2007

The specific and formal skills of lateral thinking can be very powerful. There are also the basic skills of creativity. Once these basic skills are in place, the deliberate tools of lateral thinking become much more powerful and effective.

These skills do not come naturally. You have to develop them and practise them, then in time they become natural habits of the mind.

My latest book is called How to have Creative Ideas: 62 Exercises to Develop the Mind. Within the book are 62 exercises designed to develop the basic skills and habits of creative thinking. There are no correct answers. You might surprise yourself at how many new and better answers you think of beyond the first ones.

Creativity is about opening up possibilities. Creativity is about playing with possibilities. Creativity is about designing possible ideas. You can't have creativity without possibility.

Possibility is an essential part of doing the exercises in the book. You might find a particular answer, but what other 'possible' answers are there?

With creativity, you cannot be satisfied with just 'good' – it's not good enough. It is always possible to develop the thinking skills involved even further. As you practise these skills, confidence increases as well as ability. Confidence is key; it will allow you to be more creative.

However, you must distinguish between confidence and arrogance. Confidence represents openness and a willingness to go further, while arrogance represents closure and defensiveness. Truly creative people are not arrogant.

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About The Author

Edward de Bono
Edward de Bono

Edward de Bono is a leading authority in the field of creative thinking. Over 35 years after the publication of his first book, "The Mechanism of Mind", the basic principles he outlined are now mainstream thinking in the mathematics of self-organising systems and in the design of neuro-computers. His many subsequent books have been translated into 26 languages.