Creative Wanderings

Wednesday, 09 May 2012   |   Creative Thinking

DiceSo for this weeks article I decided to take the first 4 words that I got from our Idea Generator and write a piece on how these relate to creativity.  Often, doing this as an activity is a really good way to spur some original thinking.  If you're going to do it though,  force yourself to work with the first set of words you get.  If you don't then you're getting the words to fit your current thinking rather than using the words to force new creative thinking.

The words I got were:

  • bulb
  • capital
  • cocktail
  • sponge

So a sponge is able to soak up liquids, and as it does, it becomes softer and more pliable.  Contrasting this is a light bulb.  A light bulb can be sort of like a sponge as it is a coiled wire (if we're talking incandescent) and it absorbs electrons.  A cocktail is a mixture of ingredients that comes together to create a pleasant tasting beverage.  Finally, capital can be considered in several ways but let's take it in a business sense.  Capital then is stuff that you purchase and use so as to be able to create other stuff.

The common thread here is that things are mixed and a transformation occurs.  Let's now create four different types of tranformation, one for each item, and show how it is important in creative thinking.


The bulb is an intended transformation.  It represents direct creativity.  That is,  we have a need and we go and seek out a solution.  As they say, 'Necessity is the mother of all invention'. 


Capital us used to create something we desire.  It represents directed creativity.  That is,  we are not filling a need but rather a goal.  This is creativity for the sake of improving, for making our lives better.


A cocktail is something surprising.  We don't need it and it is not so much a creation but a mixture.  This represents explorative creativity or discovery.  We are seeking out new things purely for the sake of knowing.  This new knowledge is interesting but not necessarily useful to us directly.  We may use these ideas in other ways later on though to do something useful.


The tranformation that the sponge undertakes is ancillary.  We observe it but that's about it.  The characteristics we observe serve no real purpose but they may spark a thought for something completely unrelated.  This represents accidental creativity.  The ideas that just seem to come from nowhere but often tend to be really funky.

And there you have it.  Four random words lead to thoughts about 4 different types of creative thinking.

What would you have written about if you had gotten these words?


You're on your way to becoming a Highly Creative Person.


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