This article, which was suggested to me by Karen Dietz (she has a very interesting topic: Just Story It) shows the importance of imagination, which is a skill that encourages creativity.
The article focuses on the act of storytelling and how the skills of imagining can be of use, but I think these skills are transferable to any act of creation.
Here are some extracts from the article:
The Skills of Imagining
At the moment of telling a story, the storyteller imagines the story and then describes it to listeners. The first ability of storytelling, therefore, is the storyteller’s ability to imagine – to “re-member” or re-embody the scenes of a story.
Skill 1: Imagine Vividly
Imagination draws from sights, sounds, gut and muscle feelings, emotions, and more. Imagine in every sensory mode. Imagine all the emotions felt by each character. The more vividly you imagine, the more vividly your listeners will imagine.
Skill 2: Let Your Imagination Act on You
Imagine without holding back! Allow yourself to be changed by what you imagine. Imagine in such a way that you are yourself energized, moved, and even transformed by what you imagine … without trying to tame the images or to separate yourself from them.
Skill 3: Thinking in Images
Thinking in images includes allowing unexpected images to appear. It also includes the ability to notice images that come to mind in response to complex challenges (such as deciding on an audience’s needs or responses). If skill #1 is about vividness and skill #2 is about a relationship to images, this skill is about flexibility and openness. It involves not just seeing, hearing, smelling, or feeling what you remember or imagine, but also being in touch with what those images could become.
This part becomes quite interesting if you think of innovation. In fact, the author of the article says he “has learned to welcome such unexpected images and to regard them as helpful responses to the complex input he receives unconsciously from the listeners. When he trusts the images and tell the story whose images came to him unbidden, he usually learns later that it was even more appropriate for the group than what he had planned to tell.” And we know that innovation is also the art of improving, transforming, renewing…