Access your creative genius with Amantha Imber - Happy + Well : Happy + Well

Access your creative genius with Amantha Imber

Written by on October 26, 2015 in Happiness, Learning, Work with 0 Comments

Dr-Amantha-ImberAmantha tells us about a book she illustrated as an 8-year-old girl: a book her mother wrote about helping children overcome phobias. “It’s all about who you know.”

“I’m a massive science geek,” she says. “But today I want to focus on creativity, and how we as individuals can improve our creativity.”

One of the biggest creativity killers, she says, are our assumptions. “Assumptions fence in our thinking.” How can we crush those assumptions? A good place to start is to ask, ‘What if the opposite was true?’

Amantha gives us examples of companies that crushed assumptions about commonly used products. Apple crushed Nokia’s assumption that a mobile phone needed many buttons by inventing a phone with just one button. Volvo crushed the assumption that air bags only went on the inside of cars by inventing air bags that expanded outwards to protect pedestrians in vehicle accidents. Some theatres encouraged people to use their phones during performances by creating Tweet seats – letting people in for free so long as they tweeted throughout the performance.

Another great creativity tool is to think like another company, or put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Commonwealth Bank just invented Albert, a new type of EFTPOS tablet that looks just like an Apple product. Marriott Hotels invented a video game as part of their recruitment process in order to attract more Gen Y candidates. Who would have thought that a hotel would be trying to ‘Think like a Gamer?’ By putting themselves in someone else’s shoes, they could get more creative to achieve their aims.

“When do you make most of your important work decisions: morning, afternoon/evening or at random times of the day?” Amantha asks. When we wake up, she says, we have plenty of energy to make decisions. But the more decisions you make throughout the day, the worse your decisions get. “Decision fatigue leads us to taking the easy way out,” Amantha says. A good example of this is a study that showed that judges who were responsible for paroling prisoners tended to parole more people in the morning than in the afternoon. President Barrack Obama only buys two types of suits, grey or navy blue, so he doesn’t have to expend precious decision-making energy.

So, Amantha says, never make big decisions after lunch!


Dr Amantha Imber is a creativity and innovation psychologist, best-selling author and founder of the award-winning creativity and innovation company Inventium

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