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If you work in a company and that you aren’t in the “creative team” or if you don’t have a position suited for creativity, this article is definitely for you!
Most of the participants in my workshops for companies tell me they “aren’t creative” or that they might not see the point in being creative within their workplace.
Think of it this way: if you aren’t being innovative for your company, do it for you because it always creates massive value for the person initiating it. Not necessarily regarding money in the short term (sorry!), but as of purpose and fulfillment in the long term.
When you have the (super) power to create a change around you, it gives a stronger meaning to what you do, it is as simple and powerful as that. Especially at work. And this creates enormous value as others will recognize and appreciate this skill you now have!
Here we go!
Most people hear the word “innovation” and freak out: “it isn’t for me”. But it is not because you have not created the iPhone or aren’t an artist that cannot be a part of the “Creative team”. Being innovative in business is done at all levels and especially through minor ideas that can trigger important changes. This mindset shift is very important!
It can be as simple as:
• Redecorating your desk to be more inspired in your work environment.
• Finding an innovative way to better communicate with your manager or a client.
• Imagining a tiny new feature for a specific product or service.
• Finding a faster way to achieve a task, thus making time for yourself or something else.
These are original solutions that only you might have seen, because of your unique skill set, experience, and personality and that can unlock whole situations.
The more you go about making these small changes, the easier it will be to create bigger ones later. I don’t know any artist who started with a masterpiece! I certainly had a hard time with creativity when I started creating illusions. So, I didn’t. I started to personalize them, one word here, one sleight-of-hand there. It is with time and practice that we get better at it and undertake bigger changes.
Start small and build your creative confidence as you go! And maybe -who knows ?! – in 2 years you’ll be the one who sets up a revolutionary service for your company.
In the meantime, like the former Apple CEO and director of Pepsi -John Sculley says, ask yourself the following question: “Why is it done this way?”.
If you worry about the time creativity can take, be reassured: this habit will not take you more than 3 seconds each time and can change how you feel about being creative.
But wait, aren’t we all creative anyway? Yes, we are, but most of us don’t feel creative. We give up before we have even started. This is why you need to “show yourself” you are creative, gaining confidence over time.
When you write down an idea, you will then say to your brain: “look I have an idea, I’m a little bit creative”. This will amuse you and unconsciously you will open your eyes a little more to your environment. And boom, a second idea. This is what happens when we look for things…we see them.
If you write down ALL the ideas, and “all” is the key here, you are going to come up with at least two, three, four little ideas each day. This means you need to consider stupid, absurd, out of reach, seemingly impossible leads as well, because a dumb idea can lead you to a good one!
At this rhythm, you will have 15 ideas written down by the end of a week and potentially between 60 and 100 by the end of the month. This will push you to think “wow, I DO have a lot of ideas” and will trigger what I call a creative virtuous circle:
We write down our ideas -> we gain self-confidence -> we open our minds -> we create new connections -> we have more ideas -> we write them down … and so on.
It will also train your creative muscle and your ideas will be more and more evolved and precise with time.
Each idea encourages an open mind and a curious attitude that leads to other ideas. And all you can (and in my opinion should) do, is just write down what comes to mind!
How do we develop an idea? That is not an easy one, right? I strongly believe that having the proper mindset is 90% of the work. Here are 2 things you can try:
VISUALIZE YOUR NEW IDEAS LIKE SEEDS.
We often give up our ideas too soon because they are still young and might not look great at first. We might think it isn’t worth our time and energy, especially when we wrote them down. “Ok I wrote it, but this is stupid”, we might think.
I’d like you to try this: think of those ideas as seeds you’ve just found, having no idea how they will develop. Maybe it will be a bad plant or not survive in your environment, maybe it will be amazing, you don’t know. If you throw it away assuming it is useless, you’ll miss out on lots of incredible possibilities.
Moreover, a stupid idea might contain ONE element you can combine or reuse in another idea or project!
So, give a chance to each little seed or sprout!
Imagine a gardener watering a plant for an hour and saying: “it doesn’t grow, let’s give it up”. Ridiculous, right? Yet most people treat their ideas the same: they work on them in a meeting or by themselves and if they don’t find the solution instantly or the same day, they assume it is going nowhere.
Let me tell you why ideas aren’t very different from plants in this regard: because our brain has a “default mode” when it disconnects from active thinking. In these clear moments, often when we are half asleep, waking up, under the shower, running, driving, let’s dare to say “thinking of nothing”, our brain is actually sorting out information and classifying them somehow.
What does that mean? It means that, yes, you do need to work on your ideas hard, but then you need to give your brain a break for it to create connections when he is sorting out all that new information. In other -more poetic – words: give your ideas time to grow.
It is better to work intensively on the idea for 5 minutes and let it sit for 1 day than to work for 1 day on it and let it sit for 5 minutes. You will drown her (yep, it is her).
Once you understand that, you can let your unconsciousness do the job and go about your business … to come back to it consciously!
1. Look around to create small changes.
2. Write down all your ideas, especially those that are silly and absurd.
3. Take care of these seeds and buds and give them time to grow. Stay creative my friend! 🖖