Can a mathematician be creative?

6 April 2016
6 April 2016, Comments: 0

Creativity abounds. Mathematicians can be creative.

My first degree is a Bachelor’s degree in mathematics. So needless to say, I’m trained to be logical and trust data. Can someone with that background be creative?

I say, yes!

My creativity is not the same as that of my friends who paint, dance or write poetry. However, I am expanding my creativity muscles. I have recently taken up photography (one of my photos is featured on this blog) which forces me to push my boundaries and try new things. I give myself permission not to be perfect when I take photos. Perfection is the death of creativity!

I also have been adding more creative processes when facilitating and coaching. Recently, I made a group solve problems using inspiration from magazine advertisements that were unrelated to their business.

One of my coaching clients is more self-aware than most people I know. With her I experiment with techniques that I have not tried previously.

Now that I am self-employed I have more freedom to learn or apply something that isn’t “mainstream.” To pump myself full of caffeine and classic rock for inspiration.

While there can be creativity in large organizations, they have to work harder to support it.

According to Psychology Today the workplace must undergo changes to support creativity. These recommended changes are:

  1. Small is better. Work in small teams for creativity to flourish. Large groups tend to inhibit creativity and innovation. Large groups are good for economies of scale, but not for thinking of new and creative ways to approach problems.
  2. Build effective teams. Teams that work well together draw upon the strengths of the members better than teams that are not as harmonious. Leaders should work on getting the team members to trust each other, communicate effectively, understand shared goals, and encourage other members.
  3. Be positive. Attitudes enhance or squash creativity. Judgment and criticism are sure creativity killers. An atmosphere where team members feel supported, respected and listened to are most likely to encourage creative, break-through solutions.
  4. Value intuition. That difficult to measure sixth sense allows unique connections and pleasant unexpected results.

 

So my creativity may not run to choreographing a pas de deux or painting a stunning landscape, but I am applying creativity in my life and work. And I’m excited about that!

Are you technically trained, like I am? Want some assistance in being more creative? Valerie.MacLeod@HainesCentre.com

Read the full article at The Art of Creativity

 

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