“To have a great idea, have a lot of them.” – Thomas Edison
The importance of becoming an “everyday creative” can no longer be overlooked; the future of your business depends on it. If you’re not practicing everyday creativity in your workplace, try using some or all of our Top 10 creative thinking strategies, and confidentially tap into a future full of potential and permanence:
1. Be a futurist
2. Know the cause and effects of failure
3. Unearth your passions
4. Enjoy artistic expression
5. Build a culture of creativity
6. Draw parallel opportunities
7. Listen to your gut
8. Create new realities
9. Avoid what stifles creativity
10. Know that “me-too” offerings do not give forth.
1. Conscious Thinker - Creative ideas don’t usually just magically appear; they are built on what came before them. Essentially, most ideas are a re-engineering of some previous innovation, viewed in a new and unique way. So don’t worry about having to invent something; but do be a futurist. Start with something that is currently in your area of expertise (that you are already really good at); bust it open; modernize and liberate it; then custom deliver it. Look at the ordinary and see the extraordinary.
2. Reverse Thinker– Don’t think about how you will modernize; think about what will happen if you don’t modernize. Instead of thinking about how to make your creative idea work; think about what will cause it to fail. This reverse way of thinking can bring about fresh, creative opportunities and take you in new found directions. Once you know what you don’t want, you are better able to develop clearer action plans to successfully achieve what you do want.
3. Energetic Thinker – Instead of thinking in terms of how energetic you are; think about what energizes you, and then direct your creative energies towards those topics. Take the time to distinguish between your interests and your passions, because often what you are passionate about, you are also really good at.
4. Artsy Thinker– If you’re breathing; you’re creating. You don’t have to be artsy, but it helps. As a true lover of the arts, I learned early that artistic expression in any form helps you to gain new ideas and perspectives. Whether its museums, the samba, birding, or kite sailing, this use of our mind and body is what releases our creativity. So in other words, to run your spa creatively, you must be able to express yourself outside of work, so that you can bring those fresh, creative perspectives, back into work.
5. Talent Thinker- It’s hard for your staff talent to share unconventional ideas with you, if your culture doesn’t appreciate or encourage creativity. Employers: place higher expectations on your staff for creative output to help them develop their creative identity and performance. Make it a daily habit to challenge yourself and your team. Employees: Never settle for just sales, service and the paycheck. Find your voice and start offering up your creative ideas!
6. Isolated Thinker– Some might say creativity is a solitary endeavour, but I believe isolation stifles creativity. So, if you are going it alone and suffering from a serious creative block, you may need to find your outlet by interacting with individuals in either a related or unrelated field. Brainstorming with people in different industries can open up new thinking pathways and draw parallels for opportunity in your industry.
7. Visceral Thinker– Your creative instincts are very important. In order to be truly creative, you have to forget what you think you know and just go with your gut. Only then can you approach creativity with a fresh perspective. If your instincts are telling you to go for it, don’t let the pessimists block your creativity or cause you to worry about what others will think. More and more, people are responding to avant-garde offerings and ideas with panache.
8. Intelligent Thinker– Find the balance between your imagination and your fantasy thinking, but don’t be afraid to create a new reality. Use your expertise to examine what you know and improve upon it in a way that most others wouldn’t be able to. Start believing you can be something in addition to, or other than what you already are.
9. Time-wise Thinker– Try not to let your crowded list of tasks suppress your creative juices. At the same time, avoid putting yourself under pressure to come up with something creative within a short lead timeframe. Continually put your creative brain to the test, but remember that sometimes you’re on fire creatively, and other times you’re just not.
10. Yield Thinker- Creativity is an intangible asset that yields true value, but just remember that if you’re creating something new, there may be no tangible evidence to show it will actually work. But over-exposed products, “me-too” services and mature offerings aren’t working for you either! Stop doing what you’ve always done, and abandon the thought that you shouldn’t break what isn’t broken. To yield is to give forth, and if your company is not giving forth, you can’t blame it on the economy or your competition, if you haven’t been practicing everyday creatively.
Creativity is not an accidental occurrence or a gift that only a few of us possess. We all have creative minds that when exercised daily, can breathe new life into our businesses and our lives!