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What do you have in common with the most creative thinkers in history?

and learn the seven key strengths that they shared

· Organisational,Book Review

I recently returned to an excellent reference by Drs Mandell and Jordan from their research published in Becoming a Life Change Artist, specifically identifying the skills and behaviours of successful creative types and how we might build these for our everyday use.

I was thinking about which of the areas they identified had been particularly relevant to me over the Covid lockdown period.

Their research had identified a number of creative skills and behaviours that were consistently represented by the great masters of art, many I’m sure you’re familiar with from Claude Monet, Leonardo da Vinci, Frida Kahlo to Georgia O’Keeffe.

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They demonstrated the ‘seven creative skills’ that were central to the creative success of the artist’s studied. They then broadened their study to see if these were applicable to modern day professionals, cutting across a wide range of disciplines from neurosurgeon, pipe fitter, executive, to carpenter. They were seeking to better understand the role creativity played and their conclusion was these were the same as those required by modern day professionals and business leaders responsible for creating innovations in the products and services of their operations.

I’ve found the seven creative skills, reflected in our behaviours, provide a highly applicable framework for anyone wishing to successfully create change in their lives, to assist them to discover how creative they really are and how much more creative they could become.

Briefly the Seven Creative Skills are

  • Preparation- Deliberately engaging in activities that help break us from our usual patterns of thought and feeling and prepare us for creative insight.
  • Seeing- Having the ability to discern new connections, gain fresh perspective, and stay alive to new possibilities.
  • Using Context- Understanding how the varied environments which we work and live influence our thoughts and behaviours and using that knowledge to make changes in our lives.
  • Embracing Uncertainty -Acting on the opportunities, sometimes hidden, presented by change and uncertainty.
  • Risk Taking- Acting without certainty of outcome.
  • Collaboration- Engaging with others to help one make desired changes.
  • Discipline- Acting consistently whether or not one feels motivated.

Creative skills may vary depending on personality characteristics, but the skills overwhelming point to those who are curious, open to experience and take a new perspective on problem solving.

Think about which of these you have and whether you would benefit from a focused assessment to build your capacity further in these skills.

The reference ‘Becoming a Life Change Artist: Seven creative skills to reinvent yourself at any stage of your life’ by Fred Mandell & Kathleen Jordan is still available.