If you read our creative juice blogs on a regular basis, you know about how important creativity is to all of us at Catalyst Ranch. Our whole existence is focused on curating an environment for all to be creative and innovative.

The study of neuroscience tells us that our brains are constantly gathering and assessing data from all around us, categorizing that information to high level themes. We are wired to apply context and meaning to what we encounter every day, which helps us to move about the world and not become overwhelmed with information. This is called reductive thinking and it is an important process for all of us as human beings. Reductive thinking helps analyze large amounts of information and break it down into meaningful, consumable bites.

Reductive thinking is a useful tool in many cases, but it becomes a challenge when you want to do something new and unique. Reducing concepts down to the lowest common factor means that we often have to leave out the thought or idea that doesn’t fit in the category. In fact, when there is so much other data, that new idea may not even catch our attention. Design firms such as IDEO, Accenture and What If? know that the start of creativity is to have an expansive mindset.

The best example of an expansive mindset is to think of a child at play. A child’s imagination can have no limits or barriers. They can become a superhero simply by using a towel around their neck for a cape and thrusting their arms out in front of them as they “soar” through the sky. Children can look at a cardboard box and see a boat to sail away in, with each of their friends as part of the crew.

Unfortunately, as we grow up and take on responsibilities, our expansive thinking skills get used less and less. In a recent Creative Juice post, we mentioned the book Sticky Wisdom, whose authors are part of the innovation firm What If? We explored one of the book’s ideas: Freshness as an innovation behavior.  Playfulness is another of the behaviors that What If? suggests that creative individuals cultivate.

At Catalyst Ranch, we know how important an expansive mindset is to the creative process, and that is the science behind our eclectic décor. We have bright colors and comfy furniture and access to everything you need to feel at home. Our rooms are styled with a vintage aesthetic, so you are taken back to your childhood. We have toys, costumes and art supplies to facilitate all kinds of creative play. Finally, our team members are professional creatives and bring their expertise to meet our client needs.

We like to think we’re a safe spaces for your team to give yourselves over to the kind of boundless playfulness and creativity you haven’t lived in since childhood.

In your experience, what tricks or tools have you used to combat the times when reductive thinking becomes restrictive thinking? How do you strive for or maintain your expansive mindset? Share with us in the comments! We’d love to hear what works for you.

Click here to learn more about meetings at Catalyst Ranch.

If you liked this blog post, please join our mailing list and share it with others with the icons found below!