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Creativity and information

A hallmark of successful creative thinkers is sidered to be an extreme

form of isolation.
conformity in thinking is
their hallmark. They keep
serendipity by welcoming
chance intrusions and by
the ease with which they can make strange things Even other characteris- on struggling for freedom holding a broad area of in-
tics and habits of success- from fixed ideas. In this terest always alive in the
familiar and the familiar strange. ful creative thinkers, di- process, they go beyond mind.
rectly or indirectly, indi- the boundaries of the The creative process is
ing, synectics, bionics, cate that they are different problem as well as the area not a comfortable thing as
morphological analysis, in their ways of handling of specialisation by ex- it involves urge and pres-
etc. generate enormous in- information. For example, panding their span of at- sure, i.e., some kind of
formation and it is a cre- it is very difficult for an or- tention and relevance. stress application on the
ative person who can cope dinary person to resist This is the tendency to- person. Creative persons
with the problem of infor- passing judgement and/ or wards what are called tend to have a unique set of
mation overload. criticism on any idea or ‘cross fertilisation’ of values, which may at
One of the habits of suc- thing if his information ideas and ‘hanging loose’. times, be at loggerheads
cessful creative thinkers is and knowledge demands A noble laureate says that with immediate goals of
that they are at ease in so. ‘any normally brilliant fel- employed organisation.
making strange things fa- On the other hand, cre- low who allowed himself They are also charac-
miliar and the familiar ative persons tend not to to be sensitive to creative terised by broad interest in
strange. In other words, criticise any idea prema- ideas could, by being in the intellectual activities, rea-
the accumulated informa- turely but suspend their right lab at the right time, soning, intelligence, com-
tion and knowledge is, at judgment. It is creative luck into some awesomely mon sense, analytical abil-
choice, disowned and they persons who can tolerate simple insight and it was ity, curiosity, sensitivity to
can easily slip selectively ambiguity in information just a matter of hanging encouragement, divergent
into a ‘no knowledge’ zone. and material gathered. loose’. thinking, initiative, enthu-
In fact, the cardinal They not only siasm, excitement
principle of synectics is travel and listen and preparedness
‘trust things that are alien, to ideas with an to undergo hard-
and alienate things that open mind but ship. Despite exten-
are trusted’. One of the use reading as a sive knowledge
three basic principles of stimulus for cre- through formal ed-
even directed creativity is ative thinking. ucation and train-
‘escape’ (the other are ‘at- They like the ing, creative per-
tention’ and ‘movement’). challenges pre- sons most endure
In other words, they are in- sented by contra- their self-acquired
volved in pitting them- dictions, excep- information,
selves against the un- tions and appar- knowledge and edu-
known. Among the four ent disorder. cation. They are
surrounding ideas which Normally, the quite open to the ‘ir-
yield solution to a creative human memory rational’ in them-
problem (propounded by stores new infor- selves. They are
Brace Wands in his book mation by associ- also great optimists
Digital Creativity) ‘Immer- ation. Ordinary with a high degree

reativity is an elu- sons as input to their cre- sion’ and ‘Isolation’ (the persons reject of self-confidence,
sive state of mind. ative process. A few ge- other two being ‘Inspira- contradictory which at times may
As some one put it niuses may be exceptions. tion’ and ‘Iteration’) also and ambiguous informa- In their information- reach the point of objec-
‘we can’t tell you what it is, An important characteris- indirectly talk of having tion, which fail to fit into gathering pattern, cre- tionable arrogance.
but we know it when we see tic of creative persons is information and at times neatly developed cate- ative persons don’t wait We cannot think of a
it’. Even though it can be that they tend to accumu- distancing from it. gories already in the mem- for inspiration, but keep creative person without in-
argued that everyone is late an over abundance of If ‘immersion’ requires ory. working with constant up- formation and knowledge.
creative and it exists in data and information with adequate research and On the other hand, cre- dating of their knowledge. That is why the creative
varying degrees, the rela- willingness to ultimately gathering information and ative persons not only hold This process often leads to Wilbur Wright, the inven-
tionship between creativi- discard. It is this willing- material, ‘isolation’ refers ambiguous and contradic- what are called ‘accidental tor of the airplane, once
ty and information-seek- ness to discard the to the opposite of informa- tory information, but look or chance acquisition’ of said that ‘it is possible to
ing behaviour of creative amassed information that tion to clear the mind of at it as a source for their relevant and useful infor- fly without motors, but not
persons help us to under- distinguishes them from everything and allow ideas creativity. Yet another mation. Such ‘lucky acci- without knowledge and
stand it better. ordinary persons. Many to enter. It is like meditat- characteristic of creative dents’ have great serendip- skill’.
A lot of information is creativity techniques like ing and working in an ‘al- persons is to challenge the ity value and creative per-
consumed by creative per- brainstorming, brainwrit- pha state’. Sleeping is con- assumptions. Rejection of sons try to practice M S SRIDHAR