I have had the good fortune and proclivity to hang out with creative types throughout my life. And they aren’t all “artistes.” Creativity comes in all shapes and sizes.
That’s one of the reasons I like the Design Thinker’s Personality Profile sidebar in the Harvard Business Review article by Tim Brown, “Design Thinking.” (Thank you Dion Hinchliffe (@dhinchcliffe) for the tweet that turned me on to this).
Brown lists 5 characteristics of people who have a natural aptitude for design thinking:
Empathy – imagining the world from multiple perspectives
Integrative thinking – ability to see not only either/or but all of the salient, and sometimes contradictory aspects of a problem
Optimism – they assume that there is at least one potential solution that’s better than the alternatives
Experimentalism – they explore entirely new directions rather than just tweak
Collaboration – the lone genius doesn’t cut it anymore, and the best design thinkers have experience in multiple disciplines
I would like to think that I possess many of these characteristics, and want to develop those in which I’m weakest.