I think that one of the big secrets to creativity is knowledge. True someone can be very knowledgeable and not creative. However, a lot of creativity is associated with coming up with new solutions to problems. In order to do that one has to
Knowledge is crucially important because most ideas have problems associated with them and one has to know what those problems are. Otherwise one can spend a large amount of times on solutions that ultimately won't work.
In order to be creative I think one has to search out as much as possible the problems with one's ideas in advance. Then when one has identified the problems one shouldn't immediately abandon ship but rather try and come up with solutions to overcome those problems. Writing out how one will carry out one's plan in step by step fashion often brings problems to light that one may not have considered.
Another important element of creativity is being in an environment that encourages creativity. I used to work for a water testing lab that discouraged creativity. There were outdated approved ways of doing things, and even though technology existed to improve the accuracy of the results no one wanted to risk getting into trouble by trying the new technology.
I have worked in jobs that wanted creative results but that made so many other demands that there was no time to produce these results. In order to be creative one has to be given the time and the resources to see a project through.
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