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Making creativity and innovation happen
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3.2 Will ‘creativity training’ make you more creative?

Training is a common solution to many perceived skill gaps. But can specific training interventions help make you – or anyone for that matter – more creative?

Figure 7 Can training make you more creative?

In a study looking at creativity training, Perry and Karpova (2017) initially found that the training can actually make some people less creative. However, when looking a little closer they eventually concluded that – while creativity is difficult to measure – if tailored to a person’s specific needs creativity training can in fact be beneficial. Such creativity training might include an introduction to useful creativity techniques such as brainstorming or De Bono’s 6 Thinking Hats (a technique which involves putting on metaphorical ‘thinking hats’ in order to see problems from different perspectives). Alternatively it might be more experiential through the use and application to real-world problems of detailed processes such as Design Thinking (a comprehensive creative problem solving process which involved working through a challenge starting with the perspective of the end-user or customer).

In essence, training to enhance creativity can and does work, however it must be the right type of training delivered in the right manner, supported by a work environment which facilitates the use of new methods, techniques and ideas. If this is the case, then creativity training can be a valuable investment.

In the next section you will look at how, perhaps paradoxically, both failure and constraints can be critical for creativity.