Now that the Second Edition of the Breakthrough Creativity Profile Participant and Facilitator Guides have been published, it’s time to talk about applying the Eight Creative Talents to the challenges that leaders face.

Before getting into application, I thought it would be good to review the principles upon which the Breakthrough Creativity framework is based:

  1. We are all creative
  2. There is no one best way to be creative
  3. Any definition of creativity must, therefore, recognize the many different ways we can be creative.

Unfortunately, most popular definitions of creativity such as “brainstorming,” “generating big ideas,” or as being a “genius” or an “artist,” miss the incremental, but equally significant, contributions made by building on what others have done. They also don’t recognize that creativity is not just about coming up with ideas; it’s also about doing something with those ideas!

The most appropriate definition, therefore, is that creativity is “the ability to consciously produce different and valuable results.”  Results can differ of course, from disruptive products and services, to incremental improvements, to creating an environment where creativity can flourish, and to finding inventive solutions to long-standing problems.  In the Breakthrough Creativity Framework, “creativity” is an ability that individuals possess and can further develop.  “Innovation,” on the other hand, is an organization’s ability to capitalize on the creativity of its employees to produce different and useful value to stakeholders.

In order to help individuals be their creative best, I developed the Breakthrough Creativity Profile. The Profile identifies an individual’s preferences among Eight Creative Talents, each of which produces different and valuable results.  The Eight Creative Talents impact how leaders are creative, but just as importantly, how leaders think, plan, manage change, and lead.

So how do this framework and knowledge about these Eight Creative Talents help leaders?  Here are my top five reasons:

  1. The Eight Creative Talents promote more self-awareness.  Leaders must be aware of their strengths and challenges in order to be truly effective.  (See for more on this topic.)  The Eight Creative Talents are based on the personality theory of Swiss Psychologist Carl Jung.  Since research has established that personality impacts a leader’s style and their effectiveness as a leader, the Breakthrough Creativity Profile provides double benefits to leaders: greater self-awareness and better appreciation of their creative talents.
  2. Understanding their preferences for certain creative talents can help leaders define gaps and possible blinders in their strategic thinking and decision making.  While the talents help leaders make more creative contributions and more creatively solve problems, they can also create blindspots around the data they see and don’t see and the criteria they use to make decisions.
  3. Knowledge of an individual’s creative strengths boosts self-confidence, self-esteem, flexibility, and resilience.  Stronger creative confidence brings an openness to new ideas, balanced risk taking, and the ability to re-invent a leadership style to engage with a new generation of employees and new types of partners and customers.  (See for more on “Creative Confidence.”)
  4. Since the Breakthrough Creativity framework recognizes individual differences in creative endeavors, it helps leaders appreciate the different contributions from members of their team.
  5. Using the Eight Creative Talents and the newly developed Breakthrough Creativity Team Profile brings a new tool for a leader’s teambuilding effortsThe Breakthrough Creativity Team Profile enhances a team’s creative performance through improved understanding of both the individual talents of team members and how the combination of talents impacts the team’s interactions and creative results.

There are many more benefits as well, and I will be providing more detail to them in the near future.  But in the meantime, have you experienced any of these benefits?  What other ones have you discovered?

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