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Creativity, Problem Solving, and Einstein
Posted 2014-02-05 by Blake Wrigley in Improving The Work Environment

In many businesses today, the focus on efficient problem solving and meeting the deadlines overshadows another essential aspect of the workplace: creativity. Creative thinking is what gives successful companies that extra spark. It keeps things fresh and allows us to see things in new ways, which most definitely helps when we have a challenging project and are feeling overwhelmed. In fact, creative thought may be the most important ingredient when solving problems.

Albert Einstein said “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them”. At first glance, this quote seems quite obvious, a no-brainer. But, look deeper into what he is saying here. Einstein is pointing out that the how is what matters in regards to our thought processes. It can be easy to approach a reoccurring problem the same way we always do, even if it is not the best way or doesn’t always work out the way we would like. The familiar is what we know and is what requires less energy. Einstein is calling for completely new approaches to solving problems and new approaches are birthed from creativity.

Creative thought, and the space it requires to be cultivated, may at first seem unproductive and inefficient for the workplace. Our ideas will not always bear fruit and we will make mistakes, but this is how new ideas come to be, through trial and error. Einstein has also been quoted in saying “A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new”. Remember, this is coming from the man who dealt with such deeply complex subjects such as space and time. You can be sure he did not come up with the Theory of Relativity after just a few tries.

Approaching problems in new ways and with creative eyes is what truly makes the difference, whether it is in the office, at home, or anywhere else. So start small, or go big, but be sure to let your creativity flow. Here are some simple ideas on how to start the process in your workplace. We’ll leave you with one more quote from the inspiring scientist with the crazy hair:

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”