There is an old adage that says “there is nothing new under the sun”. It acknowledges how much we know about the world and makes the claim that every new idea derives from a precedent or echoes something in the past. Sure. However, despite that, we see the development of novel ideas to solve complex problems all the time. Who are these folks that stand on the line of creativity and innovation? I’m calling them original thinkers. These are people who drive creativity, innovation and are change makers. And they share many of the same characteristics.
Here are 5 characteristics of original thinkers
Original thinkers are individuals who explore and discover new ideas and solutions on their own. They think outside of the box and challenge existing beliefs and norms. Original thinkers are often driven by a passion for understanding and innovation, and they are not afraid to take risks or challenge the status quo. They are often characterized by their willingness to go against the grain, not being afraid to explore different angles of a problem, to challenge conventional wisdom, or to propose new solutions. Above all, they are independent thinkers who often rely on their own judgment when making decisions.
2. Problem solvers
Original thinkers are visionaries. Their pulse on the environment allows them to make connections between seemingly unrelated concepts and albeit bring new perspectives to existing problems. Furthermore, they are often able to identify patterns, trends, and correlations that others may miss. They are inquisitive in their questions and look to find solutions to big problems.
3. Self awareness
Original thinkers often have a high level of self-awareness. They understand their strengths and weaknesses and are aware of their own biases. This allows them to be open to new ideas, even those that contradict their own beliefs. Henceforth, a clear understanding of their abilities, allows them to build teams that complement their skill set.
Original thinkers are often highly creative and imaginative. They view the world through a unique lens and enjoy exploring different possibilities. They may be able to come up with creative solutions to complex problems that others may overlook. This type of creativity isn’t just about artistic creativity. It can be creativity in processes, workflow, culture, logistics, etc. It is the ability to seamlessly think out of the box.
5. Highly motivated
Finally, for original thinkers, the passion for new ideas and new solutions drive their motivation. This allows them to be highly steadfast in their effort and disciplined. They are often willing to put in the extra effort to get the job done. Some may also be highly organized and detail-oriented but this isn’t always the case.
In conclusion, eloquently said by organizational psychologist, Adam Grant, “Original (thinkers) are nonconformists. People who not only have new ideas but take action to champion them. They are people who stand out and speak up. Original drive creativity and change in the world. They are the people you want to bet on.”