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Creativity–Need a Boost?


This month, I’m personally inspired by all the hype about “back to school”. I have fond memories of shopping for school supplies to start a brand new school year. My favorite memory about “back to school” was purchasing that 64-­‐count, built-­‐in-­‐sharpener Crayola crayons box. Just the thought of it makes me want to create something brand new.

How would you rate your own level of creativity in your current role . . . or even in life, overall? It’s easy to fall victim to the old “that’s not the way we do things around here” syndrome.

Test yourself on the following creativity quizzes:

  1. Plant 10 trees in 5 rows with 4 trees per row. (Answer on next page)
    1. Use a dot to represent one tree
    2. The rows must be straight
  1. Brainstorm for one minute:
    1. Make a list of as many uses for a brick as you can think of.

STOP:  Do the exercise before looking at answers below!


Answer to quiz #1:

A 5-­‐pointed star with dots at every point and every intersection.

Answer to quiz #2:

  1. How many did you get?
  2. Now go back and see if you had not only a large quantity of ideas but also a lot of different uses for the brick such as:
  3. Building a wall
  4. Art decoration
  5. A weapon
  6. Place in the tank of toilet to conserve water
  7. Weight-­‐lifting
  8. Paper weight
  9. Door stop
  10. Crushed, use it for art supplies
  11. Etc., etc.

You’re close to a genius (slight hyperbole) if you listed a large number of ideas PLUS a variety of different uses (not all building, for example).

In the next week, challenge yourself to see things differently.  A great book to learn more about thinking creatively is Thinkertoys: A Handbook of Creative-­Thinking Techniques. Have fun with it!

For information on creativity workshops or coaching:



{ 1 comment… add one }

  • leadership consulting November 14, 2013, 9:35 pm

    Okay, I’m gonna try this. I won’t cheat. Honestly, I didn’t read the latter part of this test. :)
    I am also curious about my creativity level. So, I will give it a try.

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