A Neuroscience Professor’s Guide to Insightful Thinking

February 24th, 2015

Creativity is a natural mental function. At its best, it’s the most valuable asset to any organization whose competitive success relies upon innovation. And though society tends to view insightfulness as a natural talent, it is a cognitive skill that can be increased with practice and atrophied by neglect. 

“Genius is defined by creativity.” writes Dr. William Klemm, Senior Professor of Neuroscience at Texas A&M University. But, because creative insight appears to occur instantaneously, many believe it to be a mystical power and not the product of a determined and disciplined mind.

The author of 18 books about mind, brain and behavior, Dr. Klemm has written an excellent guide to becoming a more effectively creative thinker. In Insightful Thinking: How to Do It, Klemm reviews the evidence for creative genius as a mental skill, identifying three critical traits common to scientific geniuses such as Albert Einstein and Linus Pauling: 1) thinking in images instead of words, 2) being unafraid to question convention and authority, and 3) working methodically and relentlessly on problems until the solution is discovered.

Dr. Klemm then explains a framework for effectively applying your mind to generate useful insights: a) Framing the problem correctly, b) Generating ideas, and c) Using a creative process to discover the best solution.  “There are systematic ways for everyone to become more creative. These ways of thinking can be taught and used by anyone.”

Check out Dr. Klemm’s full article, here, to learn how to boost your creative power and professional value.