Thursday, November 14, 2013

5 tips to enhance creativity within your association

In a special USA Today piece headlined Brain a 'creativity machine,' if you use it rightKaren Weintraub shared news of new brain research that can help association executives.
  • For years, neuroscientists looked for a "creativity spot" in the brain. But now they know it's in lots of places, and certain practices can help make you think more creatively.
  • "The brain is a creativity machine. You just need to know how to manipulate your software to make it work for you," says Shelley Carson, a researcher and lecturer in psychology at Harvard University and author of Your Creative Brain.
  • The trick to keeping creativity going, she says, is helping kids see that rules and imagination are not at odds.
  • The more we understand about the neuroscience of creativity, the better we will be able to teach people to be more creative, Damasio says. "I think people are getting more and more aware that creativity can be strengthened, fostered and encouraged."

Weintraub shared these five tips: 

  1. To enhance your creativity, exercise your imagination. One way to do that is to engage in "what-if" games, imagining some difference in the world — like grass turning red or walls learning to talk — and the consequence of that difference.
  2. Give yourself time every day to think, daydream and turn off the critical, self-censoring parts of your brain — especially by turning off electronic devices. This allows the brain time to digest and synthesize what you've seen and experienced and to process your internal thoughts.
  3. Cultivate your ability to be in a dreamlike state. To write a piece of music, for instance, you need to think in the music, composer Bruce Adolphe says, rather than thinking about it.
  4. Practice turning down the critic in your brain — the judgmental side of you that is likely to knock down a new idea the second you have it.
  5. Get enough sleep. Studies show that creativity declines with lack of sleep.
For association management, creativity among both staff and volunteers helps keep ahead of the rapid changes impacting association members.

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