7 ways to cultivate creativity in business
| October 02, 2013
I recently rediscovered one of my favorite quotes: "Creativity is intelligence having fun." — Albert Einstein.
And how true. PR firms and businesses alike are full of brilliant thinkers, so let's help them have more fun and exercise their creativity — which will ultimately affect the bottom line.
Here are seven tips to integrate into your business to have a bit more fun and a whole lot of ground-breaking ideas.
1. The Creativity Clock
Make creativity part of your schedule. While it seems counterintuitive to schedule creative time, the extra practice will drastically help your right brain get the exercise it needs. Just waiting for that strike of creative genius is a cop out.
Devote yourself fully to creativity, and try to once a day to do a creative exercise. Or set aside time to tackle a creative project once a week.
The best writers are those who write daily, and as you may have guessed, the most creative brains are the ones with the most use.
2. The Sin of the Singular Solution
Don't stop at one solution. Approach a problem from multiple angles, and with vigor. When you let one solution be enough, you brain doesn't push itself to the limits.
When you think of multiple solutions, you get to build your problem-solving and creative thinking skills. It's a win-win.
3. Make a Mind Map
A mind map is one of the best ways to see just how all of your ideas interlock — while looking for innovative answers to questions.
Create a mind map by writing down a central or uniting word. Then, link related terms or ideas around the central word. Let your ideas branch out from those subsequent terms, too.
While similar to brainstorming, this technique allows for branching ideas and offers a very visual, creative way to present your ideas.
4. Wear All the Hats
The “six hats” technique is the perfect solution to keep meetings on track — and to gain fresh perspective. Plus, it's a great way to make sure you don't leave any ideas unturned.
- Red Hat: Look at the situation emotionally. What do your feelings tell you?
- White Hat: Look at the situation objectively. What are the facts?
- Yellow Hat: Use a positive perspective. Which elements of the solution will work?
- Black Hat: Use a negative perspective. Which elements of the solution won’t work?
- Green Hat: Think creatively. What are some alternative ideas?
- Blue Hat: Think broadly. What is the best overall solution?
5. Pop a Plant
Honest. Pop a houseplant by your desk at work or in your creative space at home and watch your juices start to flow.
Creativity, productivity and awareness are all boosted by a houseplant. Those green machines look harmless, but boy are they powerful.
Adding a houseplant will make your mind work better in nearly every way. Not convinced? Just look at Costa Farm's "O2 for You — Plants with a Purpose" campaign.
6. Greatness Inspires
Your work area should be dripping with inspiration. On Pinterest, I have an inspiration board, but at my desk, I have a tangible one as well. My inspiration board is covered with paint chips that are far too bright, my favorite writers of all time , a few pressed flowers, quotes on tea bags and a couple of magazine articles I was enamored with.
It sounds silly, but having a work space doused in pieces that you love actually helps you to think and create better. You won’t deliver anything, but the best when that’s all you see.
7. Cynicism is the Death of Creativity
Kill your inner critic. According to Dr. Adam Anderson, "If you are doing something that requires you be creative or be in a think tank, you want to be in a place with good mood."
For seven days, every time negativity crosses your mind, grab the nearest piece of paper, jot down the thought and trash it.
For every piece of trash talk you generate, replace the negative energy with positive. Write on a sticky note a positive thought about yourself and your work. See how many times you talk yourself down and combat that with lifting yourself up.
Implement these seven easy tips in your business and watch the creative juices flow.
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