Are you one of those people who says, ‘oh, I’m not a creative type’? Creativity is typically a pretty valued skill in business, and research shows that not only are creative people happier, but they also make more money. If you’re one of those people who always draws inside the lines, I have good news. There are some simple steps you can take to up your creative game.
1) Step out of your industry
You can often get the best ideas by looking to new sources. Whether it’s through reading, going to events, or connecting with different contacts, don’t rule out things that seem totally unrelated to what you do.
For example, you might get an idea around how to improve your company’s recruitment process by speaking to someone who works in manufacturing. Or you might have an ‘aha’ moment around how you can segment customers like airlines do.
2) Step away from your work
Sometimes, getting away from your desk can help you refresh. Go for a walk around the block, make a move or Words with Friends, and if you’re lucky enough to work at one of those companies with ping pong tables, pick up a paddle! Yep, these places exist.
In university, I worked at a place where skateboards were allowed in the office, suits were not, and every Friday was celebrated with kegs of beer and cake on the rooftop. Guesses, anyone? Back to my point, even a few minutes of a different activity can get your brain working in different ways.
3) Reframe what ‘creativity’ is
You don’t need to have a huge new idea, so don’t expect to invent the next iPhone! Your own kind of creativity will probably draw on your strengths, so it might be a tweak to the company’s procurement process to make purchasing more efficient, or a new template for your agendas to make the team meetings more productive.
4) Stop the negative self-talk
We often don’t put creative ideas out there because we’re worried about being shot down. But brainstorming with a colleague and talking ideas through (even ones that aren’t great) can often lead to a major new concept/approach.
Ask yourself ‘what else?’ three times. You’ll be amazed how much you can come up with if you start pushing yourself. It might take 10 bad ideas before you get to a good one, so it’s all part of the process.
Ready to develop and flex that creative muscle now? Let me know what step you’re going to take in the comments below. Bonus points if you can correctly guess the company I mentioned! ;)