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Creative Thinking, Essay Example

Pages: 1

Words: 375

Essay

It seems most people automatically think of the arts when “creative thinking” is the subject. I do that as well. Recently, however, I like to explore how completely open this concept is, because I am coming to realize that creative thinking can apply to virtually any single thing we engage in.

For example, I was struck by a strong example of creative thinking at the supermarket. It was not something exactly new, but I had never viewed it as the result of some seriously creative energy. It is a service we all have become familiar with; the scanning devices that allow you to ring up and pay for your own purchases without waiting in a checkout line.

On the face of it, I would guess that this is most often viewed as simply a business innovation, maybe a clever one, but nothing especially creative. I disagree. I think, in fact, that there must be many instances when truly creative thinking does not get credit as such because we quickly become used to what was not there before, and because, if it is not of an artistic nature, it cannot be really creative.

To me, what makes this ordinary service exceptional is that someone broke through paradigms of how supermarkets had always operated. It seems that having enough cashiers available must have always been an ongoing problem; how can any store know when, ten minutes after a lull, five loaded carts will be impatient at once? I think it is safe to say that, for decades, this problem was addressed through the expected channels, with managers continually urged to be as ready as possible. Nonetheless, the same limits were in place, because it is impossible to schedule enough workers when even predictable peak shopping hours contain spurts of unexpected business.

What makes me certain that creative thinking stepped in here is because, at some point, someone just said, “Why not let the customer check himself out? All we need are the same machines the cashiers use.” This may not have been brilliant thinking, but it was certainly radical and unexpected. It was creative openness of mind applied to a dull and ordinary problem, and it reveals how creative thinking is limited to nothing. Directed at anything, it can change anything.

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