Interview

“Creativity is not the preserve of a select few”

Speaker, thinker and creativity guru Fredrik Härén on breaking the shackles of constrained thinking in business and life

Imagine you are a student sitting in a class and the teacher asks “1, 2, 3, and?” Our answers might drown in a chorus response because let’s face it, there’s no denying 4 is the ‘right’ answer. It’s what strikes you first. However, have you considered 5 as a possible answer? For instance, 1, 2, and 3 have no other factors other than 1 and themselves. That means, 5 can also be the answer to the question “1, 2, 3, and?” Not to forget, there could be a dozen more answers if you're creative enough.

We as a society are obsessed to pick the most obvious answer to every question, almost trained for it. We build this habit during childhood and carry it into adolescence, adulthood, personal and professional life like blinkers. It’s high time that we buck the trend. At Outlook Business #LeadingEdge2019, we got candid with the thinker, author and global keynote speaker Fredrik Härén to crack the creativity code. Here’s an excerpt from the interview:  

Do you believe there’s a direct link between creativity and common sense? (Especially given the prevalent notion is that the latter is uncommon in today’s day and age.)

FH: I think that the difference between creativity and common sense is that to be creative, you need to have common sense because you need to understand what most people think around the world. But, you also have to have the ability to go beyond common sense. Creativity is not uncommon to sense, but it is unusual where when you see something that makes complete sense while most people cannot. But, you also need to have common sense so that you can see how most people look at it, else you cannot explain your idea to them. 

What is the biggest obstacle to creativity? Importantly, how to enhance creativity?

FH: I think that the biggest obstacle for people to be as creative as they could be is fear, tradition, bureaucracy and also lack of training. They haven’t been taught to think differently. There are many factors that hinder creativity, but I feel that we should focus more on what spurs creativity, like curiosity, watching others create beaut

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