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Lessons in how to become more creative, from INSEAD and SUNY faculty members

Creative geniuses aren't always born that way. An INSEAD associate professor and a SUNY department chair say creativity can be learnt. The key is to respect practical as well as unusual ideas.

May 27, 2021 / 06:11 PM IST

Most people easily slot their colleagues into two categories – left- and right-brained. The numbers and analytics folks are left-brained, while the creative ones are said to be right-brained. And while the right-brained can learn some left-brain traits, it isn’t easy to do vice-versa.

But two professors with credentials have recently said that creativity can be taught. One is Gerard Puccio, who chairs the department for creativity and change leadership at SUNY Buffalo State College, US. The other is Ella Miron-Spektor, an associate professor of organisational behaviour at the INSEAD business school in Fontainebleau, France.

“Many people simply don’t know that creativity is a trainable skill,” Puccio told the BBC.

Puccio has a creativity-training program called Thinking Skills Model. It stresses on the need to juggle two types of thinking: convergent and divergent. Divergent thinking is free ideation, even if some of the ideas that emerge seem crazy. Convergent thinking is the opposite. It relates to realistic ideas.