How to Boost your Creativity!

Since we are heading for the Innovation Summit, we’ll be posting some rad articles throughout August on Creativity and Innovation, just to prime the pumps. So how do you drive more creativity in for yourself and your organisation?

Find inspiration in your mission statement.

A mission statement should tell the world why you are in business, what’s your real purpose of doing business. An inspirational, motivated purpose will offer endless possibilities where creativity has no limits. For instance, Lego’s mission: “inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow”.

When you look at a problem, don’t look at it as a whole.

Take it apart in pieces and start building a solution with the pieces in a different way. As an example, the Indianapolis Zoo knew they were facing a major issue with the new orang-utan exhibit: an increase of 30% in attendance. Looking at the attendance and parking problem as a whole, they saw an immediate solution: expand the parking lot. This meant raising more funds to build a new parking lot, with the challenge of having an empty lot when the attendance is low. By taking the problem apart, they realized that they had to better manage the flow of visitors across the week, versus trying to fix a massive visitor influx on the weekend. They introduced a dynamic pricing, spreading attendance more evenly between busy and low periods, thus controlling the parking issue and providing a better experience to the visitors every single day.

Educate yourself.

Spend a lot of time reading blogs, business books, watching videos like TED talks. Enjoy learning about new things, challeng your thinking, and expand your horizons. Challenge the way you think.

Get away from familiar places.

We humans are creatures of habit, we like the comfort of the routine, of what we are familiar with. In order to change your mindset, flee your normal work setting and unlock yourself in a creative space.

Find a coach and a mentor.

Good coaches and mentors are not the ones who give answers to your questions, but rather challenge you to find your own answers.

Stand-up comedy or improv.

As scary as it sounds, stand-up comedy is a great way to boost your creativity. First, you’ve got to get out of your comfort zone. Making a business presentation in front of a group is one thing; making people laugh while you’re on stage is another. Secondly, the adrenaline boosts your energy and creativity. Third, mostly with improv, is that you learn to react quickly and think on your feet.

Disconnect.

It is important to clear your mind regularly, whether it is for a few hours or a few days. A walk in the park, time with your family, a vacation… It helps you relax, enjoy the moment. When you come back to work, your battery is refilled.

Encourage experimentation, lower the fear of failure.

Experimentation is key to creativity. Having an idea does not mean anything until you execute on this idea. Often times, people don’t take that step because of the fear of failing. If you see experimentation (and possible failure) was a way to learn, you will always find the positive in whatever you do.

 

Article edited and condensed for the DI, see original here by Stephan Vincent