Our organization, the RX Medical family of businesses, is a company always eager to explore new ways to maintain our competitive edge. We understand that growth (and often survival) hinges on how well our teams drive innovation. Some people believe creativity is something you are born with, we believe creativity increases with practice. When our employees choose to be mindful by taking notice of opportunities missed by most, breakthroughs often occur. If leveraging innovation in the workplace can help position you – and your company – for continued success, what skills are worth mastering?

Authors Jeff and Staney DeGraff introduce six key creative-thinking skills in their publication, The Creative Mindset. They believe leveraging the acronym CREATE can help professionals remember six skills to remain competitive in business today. The acronym CREATE includes Clarify, Replicate, Elaborate, Associate, Translate and Evaluate. By nurturing the right mind-set and skills, the DeGraff’s believe you can contribute at higher levels both personally and professionally.

Exploring the CREATE Acronym

Clarify:       The ability to identify a problem or challenge worth tackling.

Replicate:   The ability to place existing things in a new context.

Elaborate:  The ability to link seemingly disparate things to create something novel.

Associate:  The ability to use analogous thinking to problem-solve.

Translate:  The ability to convey your vision to others.

Evaluate:   The ability to choose the best idea.

Creativity: You Don’t Have to be Born with It

In my experience leading successful organizations in the medical field, I’ve observed that creative people often question the status quo and dedicate themselves to developing alternative solutions. They also do not always accept legacy rules as law. Our teams know we’ve fostered a culture within RX Medical that encourages them to speak up often resulting in the discovery of new possibilities within our organization. I invite all leaders to encourage engagement from your #1 asset – your employees. While not all ideas will be implemented, open communication often leads to workplaces that foster aha moments.

Think you have to be born with creative traits to be successful? Nope, these skills can be learned too. Start with self-examination. Make a habit of writing down ideas as soon as you think of them. Pay attention to which people and situations energize you, and maintain an open mind about how to achieve goals.

Ready for More AHA Moments?

According to the DeGraff’s, when you bring all six elements of their CREATE analogy together, you increase the probability of developing more “aha moments” (moments of sudden insight or discovery). Interestingly, some people believe they make the best decisions when working out, cooking, or participating in activities when the mind is quiet, and consciousness is at rest. There’s no right or wrong way to collectively integrate the DeGraff’s six creative skills into the process of resolution.

For example, at different times you may employ the skills in a different order, or rely on one skill more than another based on each project. You may not have complete control of when creativity will strike, but you can increase your chances of having more aha moments when you commit to bringing a spirit of openness to the table. Learn to look forward to collaboration and encourage others to follow their creative streaks as well.

LEADERSHIP CHALLENGE: If creativity starts with adopting the right mind-set, what steps will you take to explore integrating the DeGraff CREATE analogy into your workplace?

Brandon Rouse leads a diverse and growing team of professionals well-versed in the challenges facing healthcare today. Headquartered in Oklahoma City, OK, Brandon’s experienced team represents various technological and innovative medical solutions. ZB RX Medical and RX Medical are direct distributors of Zimmer Biomet.