A word of warning, there’s an explicit use of the “C” word in this blog.
I hate to see it appear in any form, but certainly before the start of December after which I’m a fan of using it as much as possible.
It’s also starting to be that time of year when lists are being made, reviews and plans are being formulated and the phrase “oh I don’t know surprise me” suddenly becomes an acceptable response.
Across homes, bars, streets, shopping centres, boardrooms and “away-day retreats” we’re being encouraged to activate our creative thinking…sadly in the Christmas scenario (there I said it, sorry!) the man/ woman who has everything usually then ends up with socks/ slippers/ chocolates/ flowers/ ties/ bottle of something (delete as appropriate) such is the level of our ingenuity.
Yet in our businesses it’s often the same scenario. I’m fortunate to work in a business where I’m surrounded by creative people, some defined by their career as creative and others who are just creative thinkers to the core. Most businesses don’t have the first set of people and therefore often miss the fact they have the second kind.
As plans are being made for next year, now is the time to get to grips and utilise the creativity that is everywhere in your business.
Creativity is, at its heart, problem solving. OK, so the problem may sometimes be more ethereal than fixing a plug, but that’s the essence of creativity/creative thinkers.
We all have an in-built creativity, every single one of us…even you shaking your head at that statement. From the moment we are born we are solving problems…how does that block go in there? How do I get through this thing, oops I can’t I’ll try this handle thing.
We are built to be creative, and you can be getting more out of the creative thinkers that surround you every day. I created a Slideshare several years ago called “Generating Big Profits with Creative Thinking” which sets out a more detailed approach to the benefits of creative thinking.
In the meantime, I’ll share a quick lesson on the 4p’s that are essential to improving the creativity in your business:
Everyone is creative. Creating teams or giving teams the freedom to be creative is essential. It’s also vitally important that these teams come from all areas of the business. Our “Happy Storms” involve the whole team from the Managing Director, to the creative designers, the office manager and even the work experience person. Everyone has different experiences and views and these blends allow ideas to thrive. If you’ve not got a team then your friends and family can provide the same boost, just be sure to keep things focused on the area you are looking for creativity to help with.
Laughing, energy and fun boost creativity. Therefore, it’s important you find a way of laughing and creating a high energy environment. Laughing together is fantastic, and sometimes starting by asking people to come up with craziest ideas will spark some group “banter” that will play a huge part in generating ideas throughout the session. Got a company clown? Now’s their chance to shine!
Creativity thrives most when serotonin levels are at their peak, so it’s time to break out play time. It may not be a part of your business, but even the act of small creative challenges (with rewards) or just a good old fashioned party game at the start or interspersed throughout your creative sessions gets everyone happy. Making the creative process fun will give you great rewards.
This all comes down to process. The more you can define a process you will use to help bring out the creativity of people within your business, the better the overall results. Your creative process/session should flow through three main sections:
- Opening Up – Exercises/sessions that open up the general creative box and get the creativity firing
- Closing Down – Focus in on the specific area/goal/outcome you need to address
- Fresh Perspective – Reverse some questions, ask more “what else?” questions
It’s a great time of year to start putting in place processes to release the creativity from within your business. So next time you think the best way to get creative thoughts from your team is a dull meeting room and stale biscuits ask yourself…what else could I do?
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