Think­ing out­side the box can pay off big

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - CAREER ONE - Janita Singh

CRE­ATIV­ITY is some­thing many peo­ple don’t as­so­ciate with the daily 9-5 of­fice grind.

But that mind­set needs to change if we’re go­ing to em­brace new op­por­tu­ni­ties, au­thor and speaker Matt Jack­son says.

Jack­son, who founded a busi­ness fo­cused on im­prov­ing work­place cul­ture and wrote The Age of Af­fect, says think­ing out­side the box can pay div­i­dends.

“Cre­ativ­ity is con­sid­ered one of the most valu­able fu­ture job skills,” Jack­son says.

So what is cre­ativ­ity and how do we hone this skill?

“Cre­ativ­ity means dis­cov­er­ing/find­ing new ways ... it’s about cre­at­ing value for your client,’’ he says.

While there is no such thing as “the way” and no sin­gle method is guar­an­teed to work all the time, Jack­son says there are some ac­tions we can take to make a dif­fer­ence.

“Idea gen­er­a­tion is the first step. The sec­ond step is crit­i­cal think­ing,” he says.

“Crit­i­cal think­ing is com­monly mis­un­der­stood (to be the op­po­nent of creative think­ing).”

But Jack­son says crit­i­cal think­ing helps em­power you to be able to choose which idea you are go­ing to put into prac­tice.

He says em­ploy­ees of­ten get stuck in their com­fort zones and stop be­ing creative.

“Creative think­ing re­quires break­ing think­ing pat­terns which changes your sense of re­al­ity and that is un­com­fort­able,” he says.

“Learn to think inside the box, then think the op­po­site or ex­ist com­pletely out­side of the box ... then con­trib­ute ideas from your per­spec­tive to those who ex­ist inside the box.

“Be­ing ag­ile in­creases the prob­a­bil­ity that you will notice and seize op­por­tu­ni­ties as they arise.”

Jack­son says his per­sonal re­la­tion­ship with cre­ativ­ity is “like any lov­ing re­la­tion­ship in my life”.

“It is nei­ther al­ways pos­i­tive or neg­a­tive,” he says.

“Some­times it feels like a nat­u­ral flow and some­times it re­quires real ef­fort.” De­tails: Go to mjh­jack­

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