Creativity and Innovation Management - Personality Testing

Whilst tests measuring the creative or innovative personality exist, there are a number of inherent flaws. Some are noted below:

a) Whether a creative or innovative type exists at all is highly contentious. Creativity can be defined as problem identification and idea generation - universal abilities. Creativity can be defined as producing a number of ideas, a number of diverse ideas and a number of novel ideas - universal abilities. Traits are not stable or transferable across situations. Motivation is a critical factor.


b) Due to the numerous relevant definitions of creativity and innovation, it is clear that a number of differing and distinct competencies are involved. It is unlikely (or rare) that all competencies are present in single individual.

Creativity and Innovation Management - Personality Testing

c) Creativity is a cognitive process and case dependent. Not all people produce equal quantities of ideas across tasks and, importantly, the same people do not produce equal quantities of ideas across tasks.

d) Too many assumptions are made. Some have been indicated : the assumption that creativity and innovation are stable and transferable across situations ; motivation and competencies are not accounted for etc etc etc.

e) Collaboration, networking and such are ignored. Intellectual cross pollination results in a higher degree of creative output than is produced by individuals alone.

f) The generalisability, variability and reliability of the test paramters can be disputed.

These topics are covered in depth in the MBA dissertation on Managing Creativity & Innovation, which can be purchased (along with a Creativity and Innovation DIY Audit, Good Idea Generator Software and Power Point Presentation) from

You can also receive a regular, free newsletter by entering your email address at this site.

You are free to reproduce this article as long as no changes are made and the author's name and site URL are retained.

Creativity and Innovation Management - Personality Testing

Kal Bishop MBA, is a management consultant based in London, UK. He has consulted in the visual media and software industries and for clients such as Toshiba and Transport for London. He has led Improv, creativity and innovation workshops, exhibited artwork in San Francisco, Los Angeles and London and written a number of screenplays. He is a passionate traveller. He can be reached on

The Psychology of Creativity

On studying the creative process and the creative individual to understand creativity

Creativity is the process of generating novel ideas and is the basic force for all inventions. The process of creation involves seeing new relations between concepts and things and determining unique solutions to problems. The creative process is about seeing new associations between objects and concepts and the creative person is marked by traits of originality, nonconformity and high levels of knowledge. When you come out with an appropriate yet unique and different solution to a problem that has not been thought before, you are being creative.


Psychologists have tried to explain creativity with many theories. Among these are cognitive theories of creativity (creativity as a cognitive process using mental constructs and structures), behaviorist theories (the environmental and associative nature of creative ideas), psychoanalytic theories (creativity as neuroticism), social theories (creativity as a social process and role of schools and family in the development of gifted children) and personality theories (emphasizing on personal creative traits).

The Psychology of Creativity

In the psychology of creativity we have to understand two things -firstly the creative process and secondly the creative individual. So the psychology of creativity is about:

1. The Creative Process - this includes the definitions of creativity and the mental processes involved in creativity.

2. The Creative Individual - this is about the personality traits of the creative individual, the attributes of genius and the peculiarities of the creative personality

Psychological theories have tried to explain both the creative process and the creative individual.

The Process of Creativity - So what is creativity and what is the mechanism through which people actually create new ideas, solutions or concepts? According to many theorists, creativity is about chance or serendipity or making discoveries by 'accident'. So the creative process, according to this explanation is an 'accident'. This means that while you're trying out several methods, a best method or a solution to your problem arises out of nowhere and by chance you discover something totally unique. Some people would suggest that the creative process is more of trying to find out new relations between older known concepts so this is less about originality and more about 'experience'. The more experienced you are in a particular subject area, the more likely you are to consider creative solutions. Creativity has also been described as a moment of 'insight'. It is almost like enlightenment and divine intervention and a flash and the trick is to prolong this moment and creative individuals are people who can develop their sudden insights. So the creative process can be about a sudden chance, novel use of the knowledge/ experience or a sudden insight. The creative process thus involves using several possibilities/methods and past experiences to arrive at sudden solutions through insights or accidents.

In 1926, Graham Wallas described stages of creativity in which a creative idea is first prepared, then internalized through incubation, after which the creative individual uses the illumination or insight to finally go through the verification process of applying the idea. Psychologist JP Guilford explained creativity with his concept of convergent and divergent thinking and convergent thinking is about trying to find the single correct solution to a problem and divergent thinking is the generation of multiple creative solutions to a problem. Creativity is thus characterized by divergent thinking and generation of multiple possibilities. According to the Geneplore model developed by Finke, Ward and Smith (1992), creativity involves two phases - the generative phase in which the individual generates constructs from pre-inventive structures or known processes/ideas and the exploratory phase in which pre-inventive structures are interpreted to come up with new creative ideas. Most of these psychological theories seem to be emphasizing on preexisting mental structures through knowledge and experience and using these structures for novel or unique solutions. The creative process is thus all about insight, 'a sudden flash', almost like a moment of realization and it has been described as serendipity or divine intervention by scientists and artists alike who have tried to described their moment of discovery, although the role of previous knowledge and experience is an equally important background factor. The scientists and artists are able to realize the potential of these 'flashes' and are able to recognize, capture and prolong their moments of insight for better realization of their creative goals.

The Personality in Creativity - This brings us to the question about the traits or personality factors that make a person creative. Is there a well-defined creative personality? Of course, there is. Highly creative individuals and geniuses have marked similar traits and although every human being is creative in one way or the other, some individuals actually develop their creativity too well and so they are recognized as creative geniuses. Psychologists believe that all highly creative individuals have certain common personality traits.

1. Complexity - The creative individuals love complex situations and problems as this provides a challenge to their own mental abilities and help them to think of several possible solutions

2. Flexibility - Highly creative individuals are extremely open-minded and receptive to new ideas and possibilities which help them to move beyond traditional modes of thinking

3. Confidence - Boldness and confidence mark the creative genius as in order to be a pioneer, one has to have leadership qualities, extreme self-confidence and creative geniuses are leaders as they show a new path and open new possibilities

4. Non-conformity - The creative process itself is an act of non-conformity so creative individuals are non-conformists and unconventional.

5. Intuition - Highly creative people are extremely intuitive and they can scare you with their ability to read minds and people's thoughts. That is how they can create as they have to know the order of things and are able to predict people's responses.

6. Sensitivity - Creative individuals have well developed sensitivity as without extreme sensitivity, it is not possible to feel and portray the emotions through creative work. A novelist has to know 'how it feels' to be character in his novel otherwise he cannot create a good novel.

7. Curiosity - An insatiable child-like curiosity for almost everything around them is what characterizes the creative genius. The creative individual wants to know and learn new things and is persistently asking questions and this is the fuel for creative growth.

8. Knowledge - Closely associated with curiosity, creative individuals have very good general knowledge as they have to use this knowledge in their creative pursuits. That is why creative people are usually interested in several subject areas.

9. Independence - One trait that definitely characterizes very high creative geniuses is their independence of thought. This is again related to leadership and nonconformity as in order to think independently, one has to move beyond norms.

10. Imagination - The creative person lives in his own world of imagination and has a very highly developed and enriched mental life and even if grounded, sometimes thrives on fantasies.

11. Impulsiveness - Since the creative process is a sudden realization, the creative individual has a love for suddenness and loves to work on impulse. Creating something new is an adventure so impulsiveness which could be recklessness or adventurousness makes the creative individual a compulsive risk-taker.

12. Criticism - Highly creative people are also extremely critical both of themselves and of others. They criticize others and that is how they take new paths and they are also prone to extreme self-criticism.

13. Fluency - The creative person has an extremely fluent thought process and has a prolific range of ideas

14. Charm - The genius is usually characterized by a humorous nature, extreme charm and personal attractiveness and a 'presence' that makes them popular and attractive to all sorts of people.

15. Egoism - Highly creative individuals usually have a 'me first' attitude and are almost always narcissists or marked by extreme egoism, although they may be very generous and may not reveal their egoism for social reasons and many even transcend the self boundary and work for greater causes.

16. Originality - Creative individuals have a love for the novel and the unique and try moving beyond established ideas to find something radically different

17. Disorder - A love for disorder is common among all creative people as they are apparently bored with order or any predictable course of events

18. Ambiguity - Uncertainty is very attractive for creative individuals and they love the ambiguous or when there are two or more ways of explaining a problem, especially because this gives them freedom of thought and expression.

19. Loneliness - The creative individual is usually a loner and according to psychoanalysis, also a neurotic. The genius is perennially isolated from society and being very uncomfortable with social norms, they tend to avoid social interaction. Political and social leaders are however more socially active than the creative artist and writer, although some tend to lead reclusive lives.

20. Motivation - The creative individuals are extremely motivated, almost driven by a sense of higher purpose in life. They are in a way self aware and enlightened and many of them seem to believe in an unexplained (divine) purpose of existence.

There are of course other traits as creative people are characterized by hyperactivity and obsession with their work, high yet sublimated sexual drives, and according to psychologist Sternberg, wisdom rather than simply intelligence.

The creative process and creative individual naturally leads the discussion to anomalies in creativity. So now finally, some words about the connection between madness and creativity. Creativity has been closely associated with mental illness and the highly creative individuals are considered prone to mental disorders. In fact all creative geniuses may be vulnerable to bipolar disorder or schizophrenia and creativity itself is a sort of neuroticism. Yet I would suggest that even though creative geniuses have propensity towards mental illness, their creative outlet is a very strong tool that helps them to maintain sanity. So considering the inbuilt defense mechanisms that creative individuals have, it is highly unlikely that such people would actually become completely insane. Although there are many exceptions as the creative genius may develop extreme sense of inadequacy and loneliness and may actually show severe mental problems. However in most cases, creative geniuses are not afraid to stretch their minds, thoughts and behavior too far as to almost reach the limits of sanity, so they are branded as 'weird' or 'eccentric'. But these people are extremely strong because they are self-aware and are blessed with the ability of controlling their mind and sanity. So when the whole world is afraid of their perceived madness, they are not. The difference between a madman and a genius is that the genius controls his own madness and can choose to become sane or insane at his own free will.

In fact, the process of creativity is also an exercise in madness, as the creative individual has to continually stretch mental limits to maintain all creative pursuits. The success of the creative genius is another issue and I will discuss it in a separate article.

The Psychology of Creativity

Reflections in Psychology - Part I - by Saberi Roy (2009)

Online Bedroom Design: A Creativity Exercise

Are you planning on having a house built? Are you planning a renovation on the current place you are living in? Are you planning on getting a vacation home somewhere in your favorite vacation spot? If yes is the answer to any of these questions, you might want to explore the idea of designing a bedroom of your house in advance.

You might want to do it so that it reflects your personality, or perhaps to just find out how creative you can be. You can do it even if you are not an architect or an interior designer; you don't even need to hire one to do it for you. You can do this yourself, and all you need is a computer, Internet, and an imaginative mind. Yes, you can design a bedroom online.


There are websites out there that specifically deal with online bedroom design. They usually have previews for you to take a look at so you would have an idea on how to go about it. Or, if you are really prepared and would want to do it yourself, that is a legitimate option too. There are three important steps on how to design a bedroom online.

Online Bedroom Design: A Creativity Exercise

First, you need to see the color combinations you will use. Maybe you would like your room to be painted in blue. What shade of blue? There are hundreds of color combinations of shades of blue. Online bedroom design websites usually offer this option so you can mix and match which paint colors to use. You can also check to see the color combination of the walls with the flooring, ceiling, furniture, so you can have a "color preview" of what your bedroom will look like.

Next is the layout design. How big will your bedroom be? Where exactly will you place the furniture and other items such as the television, study table, restroom, doors, windows, and more? How big of the total space will they consume? You can answer all of these by properly designing the layout of your bedroom. If the first step deals with the color combinations, this second step deals with space and measurements. You can check to see how many pieces of furniture you can place and how big they are and if they can fit or not (or if they are ideal or not).

Finally, the design plan itself. Calculate your total expenses by placing all the necessary information in a design plan. Included here are the sizes of the doors, windows, flooring, amount of paint to be used, etc. When you complete these necessities, you will have an idea of how much you will spend for the construction of your bedroom. The design plan is not only important for the calculation of expenses, but also for the exact data of your room - you will know every detail there is.

You might want to venture into designing your own bedroom online. It is a creative exercise and the satisfaction you will receive when the finished product is revealed while knowing that you were the one that designed it cannot be put into words. Whatever your motive is in designing your own bedroom, whether it is to reflect your personality or so you can test your creativity, it will be a fun thing to do. Remember, it is simple enough that all you need is a computer, Internet, and an imaginative mind.

Online Bedroom Design: A Creativity Exercise

Daniel is the father of two kids and enjoy sharing tips and home and bedroom design ideas [] at his website. From cool teenage bedroom design [] tips to home contemporary design.

Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Part of the romanticism of entrepreneurship is the thought that entrepreneurs are creative, innovative, go-getters, risk takers, driven. All of that implies a high self-esteem and determination. In reality, having a clear understanding of creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship allows managers of institutions and corporations, as well as individual, manage each area differently to get the best results.

People like creativity simply because it is fun. We reconnect with the pure pleasure of getting something that did not exist before. When we create we forget our problems, we are just being, the child comes out, we connect with ourselves and it simply feels good. Our energy pours from the inside to the outside and leaves our imprint, the object of our creation becomes an extended part of ourselves. Creativity also lives in a time and purpose vacuum. The worst enemy of creativity is a good idea.


People like innovation because it implies progress. When we innovate, we have a structure. Innovation becomes change. To change we need the reference, the constraints, the structure, the present, what is there. When we do things differently, we are also creating, but we create with a purpose, fun stops until we reach our goal. Thus, innovation has less power as a self-expression than creativity.

Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Then we come to the field of entrepreneurship, one of my favorite topics. Entrepreneurship is more about creating wealth than it is about creating a company. It is closely linked to creativity, entrepreneurs MUST have something NEW to offer. It is related to innovation, entrepreneurs MUST find new ways of getting in the market, making something new, doing things differently.

When we check most new businesses, they are me-too's, and most so-called entrepreneurs are people who have bought themselves a job. They don't create, innovate or add wealth. They shift what exists to a different person.

Entrepreneurship then is the process of exploring how to add value to others in a new or different way. Entrepreneurs capture that value in the form of wealth, and then that wealth with others: clients, users, employees, suppliers, community, governments, etc. To understand that being creative and being innovative is not enough and to be aware that there is a maximized value waiting to be discovered or created, is what entrepreneurs do best when they plan, then they take action, and finally, they evolve.

It is not a matter of luck as most people link entrepreneurship with creativity and innovation. If you don't have anything, you create. If you have an unwanted present, you innovate. If you want to create wealth, you give that creation or innovation, the best chance. You don't need money to create wealth, you need creativity and innovation.

It is by thinking and taking action, by consciously discovering where the creations or innovations have the highest perceived value that entrepreneurs build their wealth... and by doing so, create prosperity beyond themselves. It is not about becoming rich but building wealth.

Without the notion of creating wealth, creativity and innovation can't find a place in the market. To be able to distinguish where the highest value is, who is the ideal customer or client is to bring prosperity to our communities, and to act upon that thought, is what entrepreneurs thrive at.

There are many tools and methods that capture how entrepreneurs create wealth. It is not an art, or a science. It is the conscious effort of making the best of a product or a service, to find those who value it best, and capture that value, what lies inside the entrepreneur.

Creating wealth escapes the obvious, and creates new valued propositions. Sometimes we use innovation to improve what is there, but most likely, the best results come from a free, playful, fun exercise of creating wealth. Whatever you do to create wealth will improve your skills and build up that wealthing muscle. Even if you compose a song in tribute to your wealth when you are showering!

Here is to your wealth and joy,

Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Alicia Castillo Holley is an international expert on entrepreneurship and innovation. She has started 9 companies and one not-for-profit, raised millions of dollars and trained thousands of people. She's a recognized author, speaker and seminar leader.

Business Meeting Creativity Ideas

Developing an innovative spirit in the workplace doesn't require extraordinary measures. As a manager, you can experiment with simple ideas that merely break routines, allowing your employees permission to drop the facade that we all don to some degree when we punch the clock. Here are a few ideas that will help you lighten things up for your staff and get their creative juices flowing, if you have the courage to take the leap.

1. Dart Board


Start every staff meeting by allowing everyone a shot at the dart board. Best shot gets to kick off the meeting, appoint the moderator, or tell what they did over the weekend. Starts things off on a playful note and gets your people out of their chairs. For safety purposes, stick with the magnetic or Velcro variety.

Business Meeting Creativity Ideas

2. Colored Markers for the Flip Chart

Sounds simple, but we are programmed from an early age to correlate the amalgamation of colors with the awakening of our imaginations. If you need further evidence of this phenomenon, observe a classroom full of first graders the next time a teacher instructs them to put away their math books and take out their crayons. And experts agree that the key to creativity lies in the ability to awaken the child inside each of us.

3. Music Creativity

Ask each team member to write a 4-line verse to a song that relates to their job duties, hobbies, business ideas, etc. Go around the room and ask them to sing, rap, or simply recite (military cadence perhaps) their verse. Print the
compilation in the next company newsletter to get a little PR for your department or office (others in the organization might want to transfer in when they realize that you've given your staff permission to have fun).

4. Music Creativity II

Ask your staff to bring in a CD with a song that describes their personality, work attitude, or how their weekend went. Play excerpts before the meeting for a laugh.

5. To Serve Mankind

Ask your staff to convey what they did over the weekend that was a service to another person, charitable organization, or noble cause. Vote to determine whose action was most heroic and award a gift certificate to the winner, let them leave work early on Friday, or take a longer than usual lunch break. This will encourage your staff to think of new ways to develop a sense of community. It will also help your people feel good about their co-workers, get to know them better, and give them a sense of pride in the organization.

6. Vocabulary Expansion

Ask your team to bring a rarely used or obscure word to the next meeting. Have them use it in a context that is applicable to your business.

7. Memory Exercise

Read a list of 10 or 15 things, preferably something related to your business, your industry, or to a customer and give an award to the person who can commit the most items to memory. This exercise can help your staff become more familiar with your organization and with your customers. Memory development is also a key to developing new customer relationships that will help your business prosper.

8. "If I Ran This Place..."

Ask your staff what they would consider the ideal job, the ideal workplace, and the ideal location. You can't transform your place into utopia, but you might gain some insight into feasible, marginal changes that will improve things. Now that you have them thinking without barriers, ask them what they would do first or different if they ran the company, office, or department. You'll be surprised by the answers.

9. Show and Tell

Have your staff bring something that they've created, that they are proud of, or from their childhood that the group would find interesting or funny. Demonstrate an interesting or unusual talent, perhaps. We loved this game when we were in kindergarten, and for some reason they made us stop playing as we got older.

10. Top 10 Lists

Until David Letterman decides to pursue intellectual property infringement, go ahead and try this one. Give a topic at your staff meeting, and ask for the answers the following week. Remember to keep it clean and non-offensive. Have your staff rank the answers and use a point system to determine the winner.

We would never ask our employees for quality without offering the resources, direction, systems, and commitment to develop procedures that ensure improvement in that area. Yet we ask employees for creativity or to "think outside the box" all of the time without giving another thought as to how to initiate the creative process. Take the first step and give your staff permission to shake things up a bit at your office. You're likely to see some changes - for the better!

Copyright 2005, La Dolce Vita Enterprises, LLC

Business Meeting Creativity Ideas

Craig Cortello is the President and founder of La Dolce Vita Enterprises, a consulting and training firm that assists companies in creating productive and imaginative work environments that encourage innovative business solutions. He is also the National Sales Manager of Trinity Consultants, a nationwide environmental consulting firm and an accomplished musician. He credits much of his success in the business world to his creative spirit that was cultivated through exposure to music and the arts.

Craig is a proud resident and native of the New Orleans metropolitan area, and a Hurricane Katrina survivor!

For more info see

Organizational Structure, Creativity, Innovation

Organizational structure can inhibit or foster creativity and innovation. The problem with organizational structure though, is that it is resultant of many factors, including history, organic growth, strategy, operational design, product diversity, logistics, marketing, client base, supplier base and so forth. Therefore, what managers need, are not recipes for complete structural change, but insights into the properties of fostering structures that can be adapted into the existing structure.

To start, it is useful to analyse the preferred structures against the not so preferred. There are many definitions of types of organizational structure, but one example is:


a) Mechanistic structures (generally not preferred) - includes centralised control and authority, clearly defined tasks, vertical communication links, obedience to supervisors, rigidity and inflexibility.

Organizational Structure, Creativity, Innovation

b) Organic structures (generally preferred) - decentralisation of authority, tasks loosely defined, horizontal communications, greater individual authority, flexible, adaptable.

Experience shows that the above can be misleading. For example, flat organisations are generally preferred and hierarchical ones not preferred, however, even flat organisations are in reality hierarchical.

Importantly, if we have a mechanistic structure, what factors allow us to move in the right direction without wholesale change?

Some answers include:

a) Direct communication links to decision makers.

b) Communication and information flow between departments.

c) Tangible progression of ideas from problem to solution, product development to commercialisation.

d) Creative teams working outside but linked into the organization, whose culture, processes etc diffuse into the existing structure.

These and other topics are covered in depth in the MBA dissertation on Managing Creativity & Innovation, which can be purchased (along with a Creativity and Innovation DIY Audit, Good Idea Generator Software and Power Point Presentation) from

Kal Bishop, MBA


You are free to reproduce this article as long as no changes are made and the author's name and site URL are retained.

Please rate this article below.

Organizational Structure, Creativity, Innovation

Kal Bishop is a management consultant based in London, UK. He has consulted in the visual media and software industries and for clients such as Toshiba and Transport for London. He has led Improv, creativity and innovation workshops, exhibited artwork in San Francisco, Los Angeles and London and written a number of screenplays. He is a passionate traveller. He can be reached on

Exercises to Encourage Creativity


Before I list some very helpful and powerful exercises to encourage creativity, let's take a moment to consider what constitutes creativity, why we aspire to encourage creativity in the first place and what is required from the person who wishes to encourage creativity through exercises, be it her own creativity or that of others.


Definition of Creativity

Exercises to Encourage Creativity

If one wishes to encourage creativity, it is advised that she first has a clear definition of this term. However, Creativity is an illusive and complex term that seems to defy definition, so let me list some options and choose what fit you most. Creativity has to do with original and flexible thinking, the ability to pay attention to details, the ability to cope with uncertainty. Creative individuals possess a high motivation to overcome obstacles and solve problems, the willingness to take calculated risks, the desire to work hard in turn for recognition.

Benefits of Creativity

Encouraging creativity through exercises is a proven way to develop young minds. Weaving creativity exercises into children's education greatly improves their chances of becoming successful and constructive adults who are able to cope more aptly with a rapidly changing world. An environment that encourages creativity is also a solid foundation for mental health. Creativity exercises cultivate highly motivated students who are less prone to adverse psychological states such as stress and boredom.

Creativity Exercises - What Is Required of the Teacher

Creativity Exercise #1 - Image Streaming

This exercise is to be carried out in pairs or individually. The exercising student closes her eyes and asks herself a question. The exercising student then describes out loud her mental visual imagery either to another student or to a tape recorder. Describing of the mental images should be flowing and streaming. In the process of describing the images she sees in her mind, the student should concentrate on sensory details. For example, "I feel the softness of the fresh laundry", "my feet are pressed against the cold tiles", "I smell the rain-soaked air." The student should aim to make her live or potential listener vividly experience what she sees. In order to develop and maintain the flow of streaming imagery, the student should ask herself new questions as to the nature of objects she sees in her mind and explore them in detail. Relaying the mental images should be done in a hastened pace to avoid judgment and critical thinking. Image streaming is to be exercised for at least 10 minutes each time. Over time, this exercise improves creativity and intelligence.

Creativity Exercise #2 - Challenge Traditional Thinking

This exercise can be practiced in a group or individually. Routine thinking is good for every day tasks, since you perform the task without employing your mind and wasting energy on the thinking process. For example, if you take the same route to work every day, you soon drive on auto-pilot. If, however, you have a task that requires you take a different route, then you have to concentrate and be aware of the left and right turns you make. If your thoughts drift, you will find yourself going unintentionally in the regular route. If you wish to exercise creativity in solving problems, you have to stay clear of routine thinking. This can be achieved by forcing the mind to find new routes. Instructions: make a list of words and write each word on a card. For each word instruct the students to come up with 2 related words and write these down on separate cards as well. You now have groups of three words each. And now for the creative part: randomly pick two unassociated words and instruct your students to come up with an association between the two seemingly unrelated words. This will force their thinking process to form an unfamiliar route, a connection between two dots that were unconnected until now. Forcing our mind to find new trails that connect A and B is exactly what enhances creativity. Along the same lines, you can try these variation: make a basic outline map of the United States without state names. Instead of state names, write down names of world countries. For example, instead of Texas write Canada, instead of California write France. And so on. Now ask your students to find associations between the state and the country. Remember that we are not after any correct answer. We are exercising this in order to create new roads. So don't test your students' knowledge. Encourage them to come up with any association they can think of. It can relate to culture, economy, language, but it can also relate to the spelling of the names or to their pronunciation. Be open.

Creativity Exercise #3 - The Gods Must Be Crazy

An African Bushman, unaware of white culture, discovers an empty Coca Cola bottle in the Kalahari Desert. The bushman closely examines this mystical object (casually dropped by a passing pilot), wondering what it is good for. He then tries blowing into it, and is very pleased to learn that it makes a noise. In this creativity exercise you encourage your students to become Bushmen. I mean it. You need to collect 5 to 10 props. You display a prop to your students and ask them to find a new use for it. This exercise encourages creativity since it forces the thinking process to erase or ignore what is known and come up with fresh ways of looking at something familiar.

Creativity Exercise #4 - Music's Story

Play a piece of classical music, preferably one that your students don't know. Dim the lights, instruct your students to close their eyes and listen closely to the music. The music tells a story, it tells about the weather, about a poor or rich man, about mad love that is now dying. Ask each student to follow every plot twist, every change of atmosphere. Then stop the music and ask your students to write down their stories, with as much detail as possible.

Exercises to Encourage Creativity

Eran Sadeh is publisher of, a wonderful product that encourages both fun and creativity. To learn more about character slippers and browse through picture galleries and video galleries of character slippers, please visit