Do you know people who seem to have an incredible ability to surround themselves with creative idea people? Not only are these individuals creative idea people themselves, they cultivate creativity in those around them with amazing ease. I call them “idea magnets.”
Recently recalling the “idea magnets” I have known and worked with throughout my career, you cannot help but marvel at how they bring out incredible creative thinking and, more importantly, incredible creative implementation, in others. All that plus they are fun to be around!
11 Vital Creative Characteristics of Idea Magnets
How do you spot an idea magnet? Based on my experiences, you are typically going to find these creative idea people:
- Absorbing diverse, creativity-instigating reference points all the time.
- Asking rich questions of others.
- Listening before they talk.
- Generalizing opportunities and challenges to find analogous situations from which to expand creative possibilities.
- Connecting people, resources, and ideas that are both obvious and not at all obvious creatively.
- Easily moving between foreground and background in group settings.
- Embracing a deliberate “and” orientation that characterizes creative thinking.
- Being very supportive when a creative idea (and an idea generator) is new and needs lots of support.
- Enthusiastically cheering for others to be successful creatively.
- Displaying boldness for both stretching what is possible and for envisioning the impossible.
- Making challenging decisions when an idea has outlived (or is about to outlive) its usefulness.
What about the Idea Magnets in your life?
What creativity-instigating characteristics would you add to this list? What have the idea magnets you have experienced done to bring out great creative thinking in others?
Maybe you are an idea magnet yourself. What do you do to cultivate creative thinking and ensure that you are surrounded by other idea people?
Let’s grow this list of creative characteristics and work on being better at doing what an idea magnet does well! - Mike Brown
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