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2014-01-09    来源:财富网    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

作者: Jeff DeGraff  


Is everyone creative? Sure they are, but in very different ways and to varying degrees. There is a big difference between the folksong you wrote for your college sweetheart and a Beethoven symphony.


Our democratic longing to make everyone and everything equal has lead us to make creative greatness indistinguishable from an act of personal expression. What is lacking is meaningful appreciation of the different levels of creativity and how we can use them as steps for increasing our own potential.


Here are five levels and types of creativity, from the easiest to the most difficult to master.


Mimetic Creativity


Mimesis is a term passed d own to us from the Ancient Greeks meaning to imitate or mimic. This is the most rudimentary form of creativity. Animals from Caledonian crows to orangutans have the ability to create tools simply by observing other creatures. Watch a mother and child together and it becomes clear that we do the same. It is the foundation of the learning process.


An often-overlooked form of creativity is simply taking an idea from one area or discipline and applying it to another. For example, a physician at the Mayo Clinic who wants to improve the patient experience may pay a visit to a Ritz-Carlton, which is known for its customer service.

有种创新的形式常被大家忽视,那就是从一个领域或者学科学到一种见解,然后将它用到另一个领域。比如全美第二大医院梅奥医院(Mayo Clinic)的一名外科医生希望改善病人的就诊体验,他可以向丽思-卡尔顿(Ritz-Carlton)酒店取经,因为这家酒店一向以优质的客户服务闻名。

The late Apple (AAPL) co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs saw this a bility to move across boundaries to adapt ideas as the key to useful creativity: "Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn't really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That's because they were able to connect experiences they've had and synthesize new things."


Bisociative Creativity


"Bisociative" is a term coined by the novelist Arthur Koestler in his celebrated book The Act of Creation to describe how our conscious mind can connect rational with intuitive thoughts to produce so-called Eureka moments. In the Zen tradition, this act of communion is called Satori, meaning sudden enlightenment. Bisociative creativity occurs when a familiar idea is connected to an unfamiliar one to produce a novel hybrid.

双联想(Bisociative)这个词由小说家阿瑟•库斯勒首创。库斯勒在自己的传世名著《创造的艺术》(The Act of Creation)里用双联想一词来描述人类有意识的思想怎样运转,将直觉的想法与理性思维联系在一起,产生了灵光闪现的所谓“尤里卡”(Eureka)时刻。禅宗将这种沟通行为称为“顿悟”(Satori),意思是突然之间觉悟。当人们将自己熟悉的创意与不熟悉的创意结合时会形成一种新奇的综合体,如此便出现了双联想创新。

Though connecting ideas is often done through more contemplative means, it can be stimulated by bombarding the mind with a barrage of random thoughts to see what catches. The general description for this type of activity is called brainstorming. For example, in 1994, while coming out of a near bankruptcy experience and working on Toy Story, four of the original Pixar directors had lunch at a diner and brainstormed ideas about movies they wanted make. Building on each other's concepts, from this one informal meeting came A Bug's Life, Monsters Inc, Finding Nemo,and WALL-E. Hollywood outsiders changed the motion picture industry in an afternoon of throwing ideas together.

联系创意通常会采取一些更偏于冥想的方式,但也可以用另一类方式刺激创意,那就是用许多随性的想法密集轰炸大脑,以此搜寻捕捉灵感。人们通常将这类活动称为头脑风暴(brainstorming)。比如1994年,鉴于拍摄《玩具总动员》(Toy Story)几乎濒临破产的经历,四位原属皮克斯动画工作室(Pixar)的导演组织了一次晚宴聚会,就自己希望制作怎样的电影发起了头脑风暴。导演们交换了彼此的理念,在此基础之上,这次非正式会议之后诞生了《虫虫特工队》(A Bug's Life)、《怪兽电力公司》(Monsters Inc)、《海底总动员》(Finding Nemo)和《机器人总动员》(WALL-E)。一群好莱坞的局外人在一个下午共同交流了创意,改变了整个动画产业的面貌。

Bisociative creativity builds on the electrifying dynamics of the three F's:


• Fluency – It is more productive to have lots of unpolished ideas than a few "good" ones because the greater the diversity of ideas, the wider the range of possible solutions

• 流畅性:拥有许多未经雕琢的创意比仅有少数“好”创意更有生产力,因为前者的创意类型更多样,解决方法的选择范围更广。

• Flexibility – Often we have the "right" idea but we've put it in the "wrong" place so we have to move them around to see where they best fit to meet our challenges

• 灵活性:我们常常是将“对”的创意用“错”了地方,为了迎接我们的挑战,我们必须四处尝试这些创意,看它们用在何处最适合。

• Flow – We aren't creative on demand. We need to be both simulated and relaxed to draw out the energy required to create. Ideas pour out smoothly when we get into a groove

• 流动性:我们在需求方面没有创造性。我们需要刺激,这样能产生创新所需的能量,还需要自由汲取这样的能量。一旦我们习惯适应之后,创意就能顺畅地喷薄而出。

Analogical Creativity


Great innovators, from Archimedes in his bathtub to Einstein riding his elevator of relativity, have used analogies to solve complex problems. We use analogies to transfer information that we believe we understand in one domain (the source) to help resolve a challenge in an unfamiliar area (the target). For example, vacuum cleaner design was largely unchanged for nearly a century when inventor James Dyson used a different analogue -- cyclones -- to separate particles through the spinning force of a centrifuge.


Analogies can be used to disrupt habitual thinking to make way for new ideas. In the same way that an analogy helps us make sense of our experiences by assimilating what we don't know into what we do know, the process also works in reverse. That is, we can take something we believe we know and use an analogy to make it unknown. Artists call this defamilarization. Albert Camus frequently narrated his stories from the point of view of a housefly. Consider what your strategy development process would look like if it were done from the point of view of your children instead of your shareholders or customers.


Narrative Creativity


Have you ever heard a child try to get a story straight? Or maybe you have a dear friend who always blows the punch line of a good joke. Both are examples of how hard it is to tell a coherent, meaningful and compelling tale.


Stories are a complex mash up of characters, actions, plots, description, and grammar. Most importantly, they have a narrative voice -- our voice -- authentic or personified. How we tell the tale can either energize the most mundane anecdote or dampen even the most rousing spellbinder.


Narrative is a story communicated in sequence. It is how the tale is told. Stories can be readily deconstructed and reconstructed to make different versions or new concoctions. For example, many American's first drank Dos Equis beer in the 1970s during their college years while on winter break in California or Mexico. It wasn't exactly a premium brand. Then the Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma Brewery, which had been in business since 1900, changed the story of the product with an advertising campaign about "The Most Interesting Man in the World." This character was a combination of James Bond and Ernest Hemmingway and the commercials chronicled his manly feats of derring-do. By changing the narrative, Dos Equis experienced explosive growth in a shrinking market.

记叙文是按顺序组织的一个故事,这种文体其实就是讲述故事的方式。为了形成不同的版本,或是创造新的综合体,可以把故事解构,然后重新组织合成。比如Dos Equis牌啤酒。上世纪70年代,许多美国人要等到上大学才能第一次品尝到这个牌子的啤酒。在美国加州或者墨西哥州,每逢寒假,大家聚会时都会一起喝这种酒。但它算不上什么高端的品牌。后来,从1900年起经营啤酒生意的酒厂Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma Brewery推出了一则“全球最有趣男士”的广告,改变了这个品牌的故事。广告的主人公是007特工詹姆斯•邦德和美国文学家欧内斯特•海明威的合体,广告以时间顺序回放了主人公英勇无畏的举动,显示了他堪称男子汉的种种成就。通过改变叙事体,Dos Equis牌啤酒虽然身处日渐萎缩的市场,却迎来了爆炸式的增长。

Intuitive Creativity


This is where creativity becomes bigger and possibly beyond us. Intuition is about receiving ideas as much as generating them. There are several methods for freeing and emptying the mind -- meditation, yoga, and chanting to name a few. The basic idea is to distract and relax the mind to create a flow state of consciousness where ideas come easily. Disciples are typically apprenticed by acknowledged gurus and often take years to master these techniques.


Rabindranath Tagore, the first Asian Nobel Laureate, developed some meditative practices specifically to enhance personal creativity, as did Rudolf Steiner, the founder of the Waldorf education system. The approaches to intuitive creativity are too numerous to chronicle here. They range from autonomic writing to taking mind altering drugs (not recommended).


You may not be a Shakespeare, Rembrandt, or Leonardo, but you can always work to increase your own creative capacity. All of these approaches are within your power -- you just have to keep trying new things. Remember, a creative life means you make it up as you go along.


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