You just need a little nudge to start thinking outside the box.
Many of us wrongly assume that being creative means being artistic – but the two are certainly not mutually exclusive.
Being creative means using your imagination. It involves problem solving, thinking laterally, generating and brainstorming new ideas, and coming up with different ways to present those ideas.
Creativity is so highly valued that in the 2016 World Economic Forum report, The Future of Jobs, chief human resources and strategy officers from leading global organisations revealed that it’s a necessary asset for anyone in 2020.
It’s said that as we begin to rely more on machines to make decisions and automate tasks, then humans will need to find innovative answers to complex business problems and supply what machines cannot: creativity.
Kick-start your creativity
We are all individuals and we all have individual ideas, which is why it’s important to tap into your creativity. It’s what will make you stand out. All you need is a bit of inspiration to begin.
The best place to kick-start your inner creative is by looking around for ideas from books, magazines, websites and anything else, both indoors and out.
Breakthrough thinking comes from everyday situations in the kitchen, at work or when you’re walking the dog.
Start recording these everyday events. Take Instagram photos or jot down thoughts and brainwaves.
Taking regular breaks at work and from sitting is key. Working in blocks of time will help give your brain a break and ultimately boost your productivity and problem-solving ability.
A problem shared
Creativity at work is not dependent on a large workspace, foosball tables or beanbags. Rather, it relies on you sharing and discussing creative ideas with your teammates.
Some of the activities I find useful to boost creativity:
- presentations to teammates about our personal passions
- popcorn sessions where we watch videos, animation; Ted talks or debates
- creative food days – where different recipes or new cuisines are shared
- life drawing and watercolour classes in locations throughout the city
- sharing life experiences and listening to each other’s stories as a way of connecting and exploring.
When you facilitate this kind of creative collaboration, even if it’s not 100% work-related, then each of us becomes more innovative and the office becomes more fun overall.
4 Quick Tips
Follow these four steps the next time you want to create something that stands out.
- Brainstorm. Write down all your thoughts and explore multiple ideas. This is about quantity not quality – a brain dump. Silence your inner voice and set your mind free.
- Think visual. Sketch your ideas onto paper. Draw diagrams and mind maps to connect the dots and your thinking. Remember, this is not about ‘being artistic’; it is about exploring.
- Sense make. Turn chaos into calm. This is your ‘aha’ moment where you start to make sense of everything you have brainstormed or sketched out.
- Act. Pull out one clear message, sentence, or a visual that represents your idea or vision. Now you are ready to pitch or present it!
Emma Bannister is the founder and CEO of Presentation Studio.