At Catalyst Ranch we celebrate and encourage creativity. From the overall aesthetics of bright colors and retro décor, we set out to create an environment that supports thinking differently.

We’ve shared some of the background on our approach in previous blogs looking at the concepts of freshness and playfulness as cited in the book, Sticky Wisdom. We are practitioners of human-centered design and focus on how environment, tools and exercises can help individuals and teams think differently.

Our focus this week is on the importance of approaching creativity with intention. People may sometimes wrongly assume that creativity is a talent that one is born with. Research shows that creativity is a skill that can be learned and developed with focused work.

Clients at Catalyst Ranch using a physical exercise to affect mindset with intention.

The importance of intention comes in to play when we understand that our brains naturally work to look for known patterns in information and that we often approach challenges with the same mindset and solutions that have successfully worked for us in the past.

Edward de Bono referred to this as the concept of “Rivers of Thinking” where our thought patterns mimic the trails of water rolling down a mountain and cutting through the rock over time, creating gullies. Once the gully is cut into the rock, it takes a lot of extra work and energy to make the water follow another path.

Knowing that we all have learned thought patterns, we can understand the need to be intentional when we want to think differently. Having your next ideation session at Catalyst Ranch is one way to set your team up for creative success.

Questions to ask:

  • How often, and in what ways, do you shake up your routines in your daily personal life?
  • What are the rivers of thinking that are part of your established creative work process?
  • How can you change those routines with intention—and alter the flow of the river of thinking—to spur creativity?

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