by: Idris Mootee

This is a warm day and it feels like spring here in Washington DC,
unfortunately I've spent most of the day in a hotel (I'd love this Park Hyatt
that I am staying because they have has a amazing selection of teas).

I was pondering over a cup of darjeeling our
plan for new hires in the next 12 months and how creativity is such an
important hiring criteria. There are a lot of common myths and questions about
the creative minds. Wonder what makes one a person creative ? Are there certain
personality traits? Are there different types of creative people? Can creative
people be analytical at the same time? Can creativity be separated from art?
Can creative people be detailed oriented? I am not giving you answers to all of
these questions, at least not today.

Becoming creative is not necessarily about
becoming another DaVincci or Steve Jobs. Ordinary people can find their
creative side. If you lock into your own creative juices, you can become a
better leader. Creativity can be as simple as new ways for old situations. So
start the New Year by re-building your creative mind. Let me try to highlight
some of most obvious qualities of a creative mind:

They perceive
the world differently -
Creative people thrive on multi-dimensional of perceiving: sensing,
seeing, hearing, touching things. These different perspectives open up their
minds to unlimited possibilities. Many people who don't think that they are
creative are those who are fearful of change and prefer to work within limits
with limited possibilities (within a box). Creative people enjoy to see many,
even infinite possibilities in most situations or challenges. This could be a
problem, 80% of creative people have this weakness.

There are
sensitive to even tiny little things
- Being
sensitive helps creativeness in many ways. It helps with awareness of problems
in the first place, known & unknown, articulated or unarticulated.
Sensitivity usually comes with observant. Creative people constantly are using
their senses: consciously, sub-consciously and unconsciously, even
non-consciously. Now this one you cannot learn, either you have it or not.

They can handle
plenty of ambiguity
- Creative people needs
ambiguity, not simply tolerant of ambiguity. It allows them to flourish, just
like a creative person was given with boxes and boxes amount of Lego bricks in
all shapes of colors and even material so they can be even molded into other
non brick shapes. And there are no instructions booklet so you don't know what
you are building. They actually love to be ambiguous to challenge other people
and ideas.

They can
synthesize different data intuitively
- They have the ability to see the
whole picture, seeing emerging patterns, grasp solutions with only just a few
pieces. You can be a creative spreasheet reader and that's the quality of a
good invesment  banking analyst. Creative know and are good at trusting
their intuition, even if they are right 51% of the time.

They never put money
as no. 1 motivator
- Money is never the first consideration. As important as money is in
today's world of luxuries and status, it is never a driving force for a
creative person. Some say the most creative people generally have an intuitive
sense of the amount of money they basically need and once that need is
fulfilled then money stops affecting or driving them. This is true most of the
time. 95% of creative people are like that. There are the 5% exceptions ( I
have one in our company).

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