How I taught myself to be more creative

How do you do to be creative?  Why are some people viewed as more creative than others? These are some of the questions that have been boggling my mind this afternoon.

I believe that creativity is the is the result of having an inquisitive and open mindset, rather than something we’re born with.

All the people that I’ve met that I consider to be creative all have a few things in common. Most of them are pretty street smart from the beginning, but that apart they all seem to tick these boxes:

  • They believe that everything can be formulated as a problem, and all problems have solutions
  • By constantly changing their perspective on how they view the problem, they can break the problem into a chain of related problems

This might sound absurd, but think about it for a while. Can you find one single example of when you wish you needed some creativity, and it wasn’t about solving a problem?

The artist painting a picture, the person trying to find his/her way home or the Entrepreneur trying to grow his business. What do they have in common? They all have problems to solve. How to be creative starts from there.

Have you ever found yourself thinking:

 hmm, that was a very smart and creative solution, how on earth did he/she figure that out?.

If you can’t define your problem, then it’s going to be rather difficult to find a solution. If you don’t know that you’re lost, you won’t figure out how to get home.


The solution is going to be what people will judge as being creative or not, and the solution depends on how you formulated the problem.

A few examples:

Is the painters problem to not selling more paintings that:

  • His paintings are not good enough
  • ..or that no one actually knows that he’s painting in the first place?

Is the the lost guy’s problem that:

  • He doesn’t know the way home?
  • ..or that he can’t find anyone around him to ask for directions?

Is the Entrepreneur’s problem to less business that:

  • He needs to find new customers?
  • ..or stop losing existing ones?

As you can see from these simplified examples above your solution will depend on how you identify the problem. An ill defined problem won’t have a very creative solution.

Question: What methods do you have for enhancing your creativity?

How I taught myself to be creative

About Joakim Nilsson

I've this thing that I'm obsessed with helping brands and organisations to make better use of their social media data... so in 2013 I launched the SCRM Cloud, now a Paris based Social CRM agency providing some of the biggest names and brands with technology and professional services for social media monitoring, analytics and engagement. My +10 years experience in various online marketing & communications roles have provided me with a solid grounding in both operations and strategy, most notably as Head of social for one of Europe's largest iGaming groups. Having an entrepreneurial mindset and genuine passion for Internet applications spending part of my time as a small seed investor with various Internet start-ups such as; Curious Hat (500startups), Casumo, Casino Saga, FundedByMe, Nordic Design Collective, Kyoogi, AvalanShare, Unified Inbox, Åre Water, Virtuous Vodka and NOA Potions.