When where you born?
You were given a fantastic gift that day. One that you use every day, to solve anything from the mundane to the seemingly impossible.
We are born creative. Babies look, observe, copy, learn. Always using creativity to pull themselves up, reach for something, Toddlers are masters at this. They create play, make up words and worlds. That’s easy to observe, expected. As we grow older, though...
...we add an extra element: The Voice (call it ego, critic, adulting). We push our ideas aside, we tell them to be quiet, we tell them we’ll “deal” with them later.
...we have so many creative ideas we get struck by overwhelm. What first, too many projects unfinished.
...“I am not the creative type.”
The reality is Creativity is just connecting dots.
Looking at something from a different perspective.
Revisiting something in a different mood, with more knowledge, with less judgement, with the eyes of an amateur, with the spirit of a child, with the curiosity of a newcomer, with an invitation to our egos to keep to the sidelines.
“As obvious as it may sound, creativity and innovation need to be business priorities. Even more important, a company needs to execute on those priorities in its daily practices. This can be difficult, given the relentless pressures on business leaders to hit quarterly financial targets”.
(In article Creativity’s bottom line: How winning companies turn creativity into business value and growth from McKinsey Insights Marc Brodherson, Jason Heller, Jesko Perrey and David Remley).
I think we make it difficult. Creativity is natural. But we can decide to be creative with intention. This is what we need in our businesses, large or small.
There are three practices that come to mind that always help me, maybe you too:
1| Take a break, walk away, go for a walk, let a night’s sleep bring some insights. The space always helps clarify, connect, or simply understand the problem to be solved better.
2| Talk to someone. Explaining requires clarity. Someone’s fresh eyes and attentive listening may just guide your mind to that creative solution.
3| Change the tools: Write it out long hand. Draw it. Color it. Sometimes using different instruments than our usual ones awakens different pathways in our thinking processes.
What other intentional practices of the Creative “muscle” you like to use?
P.S. The background artwork in the quote above was co-created with my 18 month old daughter.