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  • Writer's pictureErika Clegg

What is 'creative intelligence'?

We talk about using creative intelligence to develop Ethos statements, bring them to life internally and outside an organisation, craft corporate narrative and plan ongoing development and communications. But what is it?

The term was coined in 1985 by Cognitive Psychologist Dr Robert J Sternberg (Yale and Stanford), as one of three forms of intelligence that make up his 'Triarchic Theory of Intelligence'. They are analytical, creative and practical intelligence.

Analytical intelligence is the one that tends to spring to mind first. It sits behind IQ tests and the traditional education system exam methods, and it's about pattern recognition, logical process and deductive reasoning.

Practical intelligence is, essentially, common sense. As we know, many people with highly advanced analytical intelligence lack its practical cousin: but equally, many who score low in traditional intelligence testing are chock-full of savvy. It's essential for navigating life.

And that brings us to the creative intelligence. This is all about novelty, mental flexibility, lack of constraint by established process. You might call it the art of looking sideways. The ability to unpack a problem and put it back together a different way to make an opportunity. Whilst process allows it to flourish, by its nature it breaks established patterns, forges new links and so manages to produce new thinking.

It's this mind set - with a hefty dose of analysis and common sense - that Larkenby brings to our work. It allows us to see every problem afresh, and absolutely guarantee that the solutions we develop are unique and fit for purpose.

Because it's all about people, and people do not move in straight lines, but in loops, curves, somersaults and zig zags. To understand and work with that rather than enforce conformity is what delivers results, and for that you need creative intelligence.


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