What is applied creativity?

I’m starting a new writing project on applied creativity. Many organizations and individuals contact us at Minkowski for help in mapping their possibilities in the future. It is not that we tell them what those possibilities are for them. Neither are we able to predict the future, no one can. But what we are able to do, is to help them think in possibilities (rather than in what doesn’t work; or in contrast to a mindset of impossibility). Thinking in possibilities is, I believe, one of the cornerstones of applied creativity. But I’m curious to hear what you think when you hear the phrase ‘applied creativity’? What do you think it means?

Thinking in possibilities

Just a few things we do, to help groups of people think in possibilities:

  • start thinking from the future: when you take the future as a starting point for your conversation, you will start to think from what can be in the future (the dream, the imagination, the vision you have) as opposed to thinking from the way things have always been done.
  • appreciative way of working: when you take the things that work and strive to make those work better, you start with a mindset of ‘yes’ instead of a mindset that says: don’t do this, don’t do that.
  • inquisitive thinking: questions have the great ability that they activate your thinking. Good questions automatically drive your mind to search for answers. When you train yourself to respond with the words ‘yes, and…’ you will even push yourself to find more than 1 solution.
  • co-create and do: by experimenting and doing it together with others you will explore and learn more. Never seeing one experiment as the only one and appreciating the struggle that co-creation brings will lead you to see, feel and think in possibilities.

But all these things are of course useless if you don’t know how to apply the result to your personal or professional life. That is where the application of creativity comes in. Because creativity shouldn’t be something that happens outside of office doors only during creative brainstorming sessions. Creativity, as natural is it is for human beings, should be something that you can apply daily.

So what does applied creativity mean to you?