The Passion Project: Rules to Creativity| Omer Aziz

Omer Aziz is a professional engineer who crossed over to become a Human Resources (HR) Executive. His passion is in helping people achieve their peak potential. Omer believes there are rules to creativity. The first time he learned of this was through a book called “The Opposable Mind: How Successful Leaders Win Through Integrative Thinking” by Roger Martin. The book talks about integrative thinking – how one can creatively resolve the tension in opposing models. It is a way of thinking that can be learned.

As Omer studied further on the topic, he came upon a discipline called TRIZ, typically known as The Theory of Inventive Problem Solving. In a nut shell, TRIZ is a problem solving, analysis, and forecasting tool. “It started in the 50s,” says Omer, “If you do an analysis of all global patents that exist in the world, you will find there are patterns and approaches that launch you towards creativity.”

One of the best rules is to frame your problem as a contradiction and then look at similar contradictions that have been solved before as analogies. You will have a whole new set of ideas.

“When you are stuck with a contradictory problem and everything you try solves one part but not the other such that you want to give up, it is a dichotomy of thinking that allows you to come up with a solution which solves all elements of the problem.” In other words, creativity comes out of dichotomies.

Omer’s career is a great example of creative thinking. “I have a background in engineering and HR, both in experience and education. The most fundamental reason why I love my work and I love what I do is because of this very unusual combination of engineering and HR which allows me to approach things I think I wouldn’t be able to approach if I didn’t have that unusual combination.” The realization that HR and engineering was a powerful combination did not reveal itself until Omer started doing the HR role. “The realization was quite striking.”

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