• Nicki

Creativity at work

When was the last time you were give free reign to be creative at work?

Maybe you were told to think outside the box in a recent marketing campaign....

Or you were on the Christmas Party committee and put your creative and innovative hat on to plan and pull off an epic party that everyone would remember......

Some careers are more intrinsically linked to creativity and 'go nuts' thinking.... Graphic design, creative industries, fashion, marketing...... Some careers seem to promote the quashing of creativity in favour of conformity and bureaucracy. Think accounting, logistics, compliance.....

The truth of the matter is though, that creativity is essential in the pursuit of innovation. And innovation is essential in the pursuit of a sustainable business model. When I asked you to think about creativity at the beginning of this blog, did your first thoughts go to things like painting, drawing and writing? These are absolutely 100% creative pursuits for sure, but creativity can mean so much more. In your business and role it could mean thinking creatively about a problem with a process, or taking a risk to try a new method of marketing your campaigns.

Sounds simple enough doesn't it? Then why can it be so. darn. hard. to be creative and think creatively? Firstly, science tells us that we become less creative as we age. Awesome, grey hair AND impaired creativity. Also, if we've spent a lot of time working and living in an environment that stifles our innate sense of creativity, our thought processes begin to narrow and become more reliant on our lived experiences. Use it or lose it, if you will.

That doesn't mean it has to stay that way forever though, and there are plenty of great ways to encourage our own individual creativity, and also promote creativity in our workplaces. Below are some easy ideas that can get those juices flowing again, no matter where you work or what role you perform:

  1. Channel your inner 2-year-old and ask 'why'. Somewhere along the way we stop asking about things we are curious about. Curiosity breeds creativity, so if a fleeting thought passes through your mind, don't put it aside and tell yourself you'll google it later (we know you won't).... Ask about it now. Try not to worry about 'looking stupid', you aren't and you won't. Just ask the questions and watch your mind expand with the knowledge and excitement that new curiosities bring.

  2. Get comfortable with the concept of failure. Being creative means trying things in ways we haven't tried before. Some of those new ways will be huge successes, and some, dismal failures. Take the good with the bad, and remember that failure is essential for growth.

  3. Get positive. You know that gratitude diary you started on January 1, and completed for the first week before pushing it to the back of the cupboard? Time to dust it off again. Positivity is another hardwired link to creativity. Feelings and emotions such as positivity, gratitude, compassion, empathy, happiness and all those other warm fuzzies actually prime your brain to think outside it's usual thought patterns and try new things. Maybe you could do a random act of kindness, (re)start a gratitude journal or volunteer with a worth cause? Increasing those positive vibes in your life will increase your creative flow, naturally.

If you aren't inspired yet to go and get your creativity on, that's ok. You have to be in the right headspace to tackle a workplace problem like lack of creativity. Just know that when the time is right, some simple changes and easy to implement activities and programs can be the beginning of something wonderful.....

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