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Last Updated on August 15, 2018

Creative Brain Test: 10 Best Ways To Test Your Creative Intelligence

Creative Brain Test: 10 Best Ways To Test Your Creative Intelligence

Did you know you can boost your levels of creativity by simply moving your eyes from side to side? While there is no firmly established formula for creativity, there are ways to increase it; ways just as crazy as eye movement!

Yet, how do we know how creative we are? Luckily for us, there are ways we can test our creativity. Let’s look at 10 of the best ways and see how creative we really are.

Video Summary

1. WKOPAY

What Kind of Person Are You (WKOPAY) is a measure of inquisitiveness, self-confidence, and imagination. This creativity test is a self-assessment for creative intelligence. [1]

Test it: Take a self-assessment and determine what type of personality trait you possess at BuzzFeed.

2. Reverse Thinking

Instead of adopting the typical logical way of looking at a problem, try the reverse approach. Turn around the challenge and look for the opposite ideas.

Example: A good example of reverse thinking is as follows. [2]

  • Typical Approach: How can I double my fan base?
  • Reverse Thinking: How do I make sure I have no fans at all?

Looks like this:

    Test it: Think of a problem you would like to solve. Now think of the reverse of that idea and write it down. Do you see anything interesting?

    3. Anagram

    An anagram is switching of words or word play. It is where we rearrange letters of a word or phrase to produce a new word.

    How it works: Simply rearrange the letters of a word or phrase. For example, change Life hack to hack file.

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    Example: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland author Lewis Carroll famously used anagrams. Carroll’s real name was actually Charles Lutwidge Dodgson. In developing the pseudonym Lewis Carroll, Dodgson began by translating Charles Lutwidge into Latin – Carolus Ludovicus. He then reversed the order of the Latin translation and translated the back into English arriving at Lewis Carroll. [3]

    Looks like this:

      Test it: Test your anagram creating skills at www.wordplays.com.

      4. Storyboarding

      A storyboard is simply a sequence of illustrations demonstrating how a story will unfold.

      How it works: Here is a great step-by-step guide on how to create a storyboard with a group of people. [4]

      • Step 1: Choose the problem.
      • Step 2: Take notes.
      • Step 3: Mind map.
      • Step 4: Crazy eights.
      • Step 5: Storyboard.
      • Step 6: Silent critique.
      • Step 7: 3-minute critiques.
      • Step 8: Super vote.

      Looks like this:

        Test it: Choose a problem, grab a piece of blank paper, fold the blank sheet of paper in half four times, then unfold it. Take five minutes to draw eight sketches (one in each panel) and crank out your ideas. [5]

        5. Riddles

        Riddles are an extremely creative way to wrap your mind around a puzzle shrouded in mystery. Riddles challenge your mind and make you think beyond the simple words. [6]

        How it works: Answering a riddle is difficult enough, but creating one is extremely difficult. Use the following guideline and create your own riddle. [7]

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        • Step 1: Choose an answer.
        • Step 2: Brainstorm your answer.
        • Step 3: Use a thesaurus.
        • Step 4: Think like the object.
        • Step 5: Use figurative language.

        Example:

        • Riddle: Imagine you are in a dark room. How do you get out?
        • Answer: Stop imagining it.

        Test it: Riddles.com is a great place to visit to test your ability to solve riddles. Take their 10 Best Riddles Quiz and see just how inquisitive you are.

        6. Analogy

        An analogy is the comparison or similarity between two things in order to explain something.

        How it works: The following is a great step-by-step outline for creating your own analogy. [8]

        • Step 1: Choose your analogs (two things you are comparing). You should be familiar with analog #1.
        • Step 2: List the characteristics of analog #2.
        • Step 3: Start relating.
        • Step 4: Figure out which points you want to write about.
        • Step 5: Merge and clean up your list.
        • Step 6: Expound on each point.
        • Step 7: Finalize your analogy.

        Example:

        Analogy: Be involved in things but don’t commit. It’s like eggs and bacon. The chicken was involved, the pig was committed.

        Looks like this:

          Test it: Visit Museumofhorror.com and see how creative you are with analogies.

          7. Incomplete Figure

          Incomplete figure is a test developed in the 1960’s by psychologist Ellis Torrance as one of the elements of the Torrance Test of Creative Thinking (TTCT). [9]

          How it works: With this test, you are provided a shape and asked to complete the image.

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          Looks like this:

            Test it: Visit 99u.com and try it yourself. Print out the figures from the site and see what you can turn them into within 5 minutes.

            8. Nine Dots

            The 9-Dot puzzle is a lateral thinking puzzle that some believe as the origin to the expression thinking outside the box.

            How it works: You have nine dots arranged in a set of three rows. You must draw four continuous straight lines going through the middle of all the nine dots without removing your pencil off the paper. [10]

            Looks like this:

              Alternative Solution: There are alternative solutions to this puzzle. One solution is the Tridimensional solution.

                Test it: Try this puzzle out for yourself online at Brainstorming.co.uk.

                9. Morphological Analysis

                The morphological matrix is a tool that helps us generate ideas based on possible variation of a problem. It provides us a systematic approach in generating a large amount of possibilities.

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                How it works: Use the following steps for this tool. [11]

                • Step 1: State the task clearly and identify the parameters.
                • Step 2: Select the first parameter and enter it as the heading.
                • Step 3: Generate many attributes (including unusual ones) for that parameter. List them in the rows under the column heading.
                • Step 4: Repeat steps 2 and 3 for each parameter. List the attributes for each.
                • Step 5: Randomly select combinations.
                • Step 6: Write each combination and dive into each.
                • Step 7: Explore several potential combinations.
                • Step 8: Choose one of the potential combinations to apply.

                Looks like this:

                  Test it: Identify a problem and follow the tips and suggestions at Creativethinktank.

                  10. SCAMPER

                  SCAMPER is a mnemonic device that stands for: Substitute, Combine, Adapt, Modify, Put to another use, Eliminate, and Reverse. You or your team my find it difficult to identify new ideas. SCAMPER can assist with this. [12]

                  How it works:

                  • Step 1: Find an existing product you want to improve.
                  • Step 2: Ask questions using the mnemonic device SCAMPER to guide you.

                  Example:

                  Example questions for each element of the mnemonic device.

                  • Substitute: What rules could you substitute?
                  • Combine: What could you combine to maximize the uses of this product?
                  • Adapt: What else is like your product?
                  • Modify: What element of this product could you strengthen to create something new?
                  • Put to another use: How would this product behave differently in another setting?
                  • Eliminate: What features, parts, or rules could you eliminate?
                  • Reverse: What if you try to do the exact opposite of what you’re trying to do now?

                  Test it: Identify a product or service you would like to improve. Now, use the mnemonic device SCAMPER to get in the right frame of mind in order to ask the right questions.

                  So, did any of these creativity tests give you a boost in your creative abilities? If not, try them again! Boosting your creativity will help you in every area of life. Use these tools and techniques in order to find your creativity sweet spot and tap into your creative genius!

                  Reference

                  [1] World of Digits: 6 useful creativity tests to know if you are creative
                  [2] Cleverism: 18 best idea generation techniques
                  [3] David Day: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Decoded
                  [4] Co.Design: The 8 steps to creating a great storyboard
                  [5] Co.Design: The 8 steps to creating a great storyboard
                  [6] Riddles: Riddles and answers
                  [7] Read Write Think: Write your own riddle
                  [8] Osmosio: How to create killer analogies by relating anything to anything else
                  [9] 99U: Test your creativity: 5 classic creativity challenges
                  [10] Archimedes’ Laboratory: Most wanted puzzle solutions
                  [11] Center for Creative Learning: Morphological matrix
                  [12] Mind Tools: SCAMPER

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                  Dr. Jamie Schwandt

                  Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt & Red Team Critical Thinker

                  How to Upgrade Your Critical Thinking Skills and Make Smart Choices How to Reprogram Your Brain Like a Computer And Hack Your Habits 5 Proven Memorization Techniques to Make the Most of Your Memory 10 Hacks to Increase Your Brain IQ, Focus and Creativity 9 Game Changing Tips on How to Write Goals (and Reach Them!)

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                  Last Updated on April 23, 2019

                  How to Set Stretch Goals and Keep Your Team Motivated

                  How to Set Stretch Goals and Keep Your Team Motivated

                  Stretch goals are a lot like physical fitness. When you adopt a physical sport such as running, continual practice leads to increased stamina, growth and progress.

                  While commitment to the sport improves performance, true growth happens when you are stretched beyond your comfort zone. I know this from personal experience.

                  For years, I was an avid runner. I ran with a variety of running groups in the Washington, D.C., area and in Columbus, Ohio, where I lived prior to moving to the nation’s capital in 2011.

                  While I was initially fearful about slacking off on my exercise habit when I moved to D.C., running enthusiasts in the area provided continual motivation, inspiring me to lace up my shoes day after day. Much to my surprise, many of the area’s running stores (including Pacers and Potomac River Running) boasted running groups that met in the mornings and evenings. So, it was relatively easy for a newcomer like me to connect with like-minded peers.

                  I was never a particularly fast runner, but I enjoyed the afterglow of the sport: being completely drained but feeling a sense of accomplishment; setting and reaching goals; buying and wearing out new tennis shoes. The sound of throngs of feet pounding the pavement in semi-unison is still enough to bring tears to my eyes. Yes, I sometimes tear up at the start of races.

                  Of all the groups I ran with, the Pacers Store group that met on Monday nights in Logan Circle boasted the fastest runners. I met up with the group week after week only to be the slowest runner. It was difficult to muster the courage to get up every week and meet the group knowing what was waiting for me: sweating and watching the backs of fellow runners.

                  Each time I joined the group, I was stretching myself without even realizing it. Instead of feeling like I was transitioning into a better running, for a long time I felt I was torturing myself.

                  Then something remarkable happened. I went for a run with a different set of runners and noticed my time had improved. I was running at a faster pace and doing so with ease. What was once uncomfortable for me I now handled with ease.

                  The reason I was becoming a better runner was because I was taking myself out of my comfort zone and challenging myself physically and mentally. This example illustrates the process of growth.

                  Fortunately, we can create situations that stretch us in our personal and professional lives.

                  What Is a Stretch Goal?

                  A stretch goal – as authors Sim B. Sitkin, C. Chet Miller and Kelly E. See detail an article “The Stretch Goal Paradox” in Harvard Business Review[1] – is something that is extremely difficult and novel. It is something that not everyone does, and it’s sometimes considered impossible.

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                  In general, you establish stretch goals by doing things that are difficult or temporarily challenging.

                  For instance, when I was first promoted to a senior communications management role, I knew I needed to beef up my relationships with media personalities. I set a goal to once a month book a day of media interviews in New York City – which is home to many media outlets, including SiriusXM radio, CNN, NBC News, HuffPost, VIBE.

                  This was a huge goal because it meant not only identifying the right people to meet with but convincing them to meet with me and my team. While I didn’t end up meeting the goal of doing a full day of media interviews in New York City, I met more people than I would have met had I not established the goal and instead stayed in the comfort of my D.C. office.

                  It is important to note that just because you establish a stretch goal doesn’t mean you’ll achieve the goal each time. However, the process of trying is guaranteed to provide some level of growth.

                  The Importance of Creating Stretch Goals

                  The beginning of the year is a perfect time to assess where you are excelling and where there is room for you to grow. I typically start the year by creating a yearlong strategic plan for myself.

                  I think about the things that are necessary to do and things that would be cool to do. I assess the people I should know and think through how to meet them. Then I ask myself if the goals are realistic and what would need to happen for me to achieve them.

                  Over time, I have learned that there are five things I can do to set stretch goals:

                  1. Get Outside of Your Head

                  If I exist within the confines of my imagination, I imperil my own growth and creativity.

                  If I examine my accomplishments and celebrate them in isolation of others’ accomplishments, my vantage point is limited.

                  I want to be comfortable with what I accomplish, but I also want to be motivated by watching others. In some respects, stretching is about expanding your network of friends, associates and mentors. These are the people who will propel or slow your growth and development.

                  Since two are better than one, I always value being able to share my progress with others, seek feedback and then map a plan for success.

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                  2. Focus on a Couple Areas at a Time

                  When setting goals, it is important to focus on a couple of areas at a time. Most of us are only able to focus on a few things at a time, and if you feel you are unable to tackle all that is before you, you may simply disengage.

                  I see this in so many areas of life:

                  When people get in debt, if they believe the debt is insurmountable, they refuse to look at incoming bills for fear of facing down the debt. Unfortunately, many businesses go awry when setting stretch goals.

                  In “The Stretch Goal Paradox,” Sitkin, Miller and See note:

                  “Our research suggests that though the use of stretch goals is quite common, successful use is not. And many executives set far too many stretch goals. In the past five years, for example, Tesla failed to meet more than 20 of founder Elon Musk’s ambitious projections and missed half of them by nearly a year, according to the Wall Street Journal.”

                  Goal-setting is like a marathon, not a sprint. It doesn’t all need to happen at the same time, and pacing is extremely important if you want to get to the finish line. It is better to focus on a couple goals at a time, master them and then move on to the next thing.

                  3. Set Aside Time Each Year to Focus on Goal-Setting

                  When I was a managing director for communications for the Advancement Project, I spent the first part of every year facilitating a communications planning meeting.

                  The planning meeting began with the team members assessing the goals the team had established in the preceding year, and whether those goals were realistic or not. If we failed to meet certain goals, we broke down why that happened. From there, we brainstormed about possibilities for the current year.

                  For instance, one year we set a goal of pitching and getting 24 opinion essays published. This was audacious because no one on the eight-person team had the luxury of focusing exclusively on editing and pitching opinion essays to publications around the world. We would need to focus on pitching in between the rest of our work.

                  We hit this goal within the first eight months of the year. Remarkably, in total, we ended up getting 40 opinion essays published that year, which was an indication that our original goal was too low. We upped the goal to 41 the next year, and amazingly, we hit 42 published opinion essays or guest columns.

                  From this experience, we not only learned what was feasible, we also learned the power of focus.

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                  When we focused as a team on getting the commentary on our issues out in the public domain, we were successful. The key in all of this is that there was a ton of discussion around which goal we’d pursue and why.

                  Equally important, as a manager, I didn’t set the goals alone; the team members and I established the goals collaboratively. This ensured buy-in from each individual.

                  4. Use the S.M.A.R.T. Goal Model to Set Realistic Goals

                  S.M.A.R.T.

                  is a synonym for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound. For the sake of this article, the realistic portion of the acronym is most important.

                  While you want to set audacious goals, you want to ensure that they are realistic as well. No one is served by setting a goal that is impossible to accomplish.

                  Failing to meet goals can be demoralizing for teams, so it’s important to be sober-eyed about what is possible. Additionally, the purpose of setting goals is to advance and grow, not depress morale.

                  For instance, my team would have been discouraged had I begun the year asking it to pitch and place 40 opinion essays if we didn’t already have a track record of placing close to two dozen essays.

                  By using the S.M.A.R.T. formula, we were able to achieve all that we set out to do.

                  5. Break the Goal up into Small Digestible Parts

                  I am a recovering perfectionist. As a writer, being a perfectionist can be counterproductive because I can fail to start if I don’t see a clear pathway to victory.

                  The same is true with goal-setting. That’s why I join Lifehack’s fellow contributor Deb Knobelman, Ph.D., in noting that it is critically important to break goals into bite-sized chunks.

                  When I had a goal of doing daylong media meetings in New York City, I had to think through all the barriers to achieving that goal and all the steps required to meet the goal.

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                  One step was identifying which reporters, producers and hosts to engage. Another step was writing a pitch or meeting invitation that would capture their attention. Another step was thinking through the program areas I wanted to highlight and the new angles I could offer to different reporters.

                  Since reporters want to cover stories that no one else has written, I needed to come up with fresh angles for each of the reporters I was engaging. An additional step was thinking through who from my team I’d take with me to the various meetings.

                  I was clear that, as a talking head, as public relations reps are sometimes called, I needed the right spokesperson in order to land repeated meetings with different outlets.

                  A final step was thinking through what I needed to bring to each meeting and which reports, videos and testimonials would buttress our claims and be of interest to media figures.

                  As I walked through what was needed to bring my goal of doing daylong meetings to reality, I realized that not only was the idea within reach, but I was excited to tackle the challenge.

                  From that point until now, I have learned to break down goals into smaller parts and tackle the smaller parts on the path to knocking the goal out of the park.

                  The Bottom Line

                  These are my recommendations for setting stretch goals, and there are a ton of other resources to support you in the workplace and in your community.

                  For instance, LinkedIn’s Lynda.com platform has a wonderful suite of leadership development videos, including ones on establishing stretch goals. This is a paid resource but may be worth the investment if you lead a team or want to invest in tools for your own growth and development.

                  Featured photo credit: Avatar of user Isaac Smith Isaac Smith @isaacmsmith Isaac Smith via unsplash.com

                  Reference

                  [1] Harvard Business Review: The Stretch Goal Paradox

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