Creativity is an enigmatic quality. It can be described as “the ability to link unrelated concepts together to form a new idea.”
In business, creativity is typically manifested by sensing a need, defining it, and coming up with a novel solution. Creativity is essential to business success, but notoriously elusive.
Are you looking to add more imagination, innovation, and inspiration to your life? Here’s how to be creative in three steps:
1. Understand that creativity is a skill
Consider the most creative minds in history. People like Leonardo DaVinci, Georgia O’Keefe, or Steve Jobs. It’s easy to assume that they were each naturally gifted with a substantial degree of creativity, destined to be artists and innovators.
What if we told you that creativity isn’t an innate gift? We aren’t born as either rigid thinkers or imaginative artists. Even the old left brain/right brain theory has been discredited. Creativity is a skill you can develop, train, and nurture! This mindset is the foundation upon which your creativity grows.
Just like learning a new language, training for a 5k, or mastering an instrument, you can work to hone your creativity.
2. Spend time each day on a creativity-boosting activity
Like a muscle, your creativity needs to be exercised frequently to grow. What kinds of activities work your creativity muscles? Anything that gets your brain to make connections. Knitting, drawing, reading, listening to music, playing chess, painting, strumming a ukulele, playing with your kids’ Legos, doing a crossword, or having a deep conversation about something you love all foster creativity.
With such a wide range of activities contributing to creativity, it may feel like you’re guaranteed to do SOMETHING that enhances your ingenuity each day without really trying. Unfortunately, that’s not necessarily true. From blurred lines between work and personal time (raise your hand if you check your email all weekend) to endless social scrolling, we’re not spending much time offline and engaged in creativity-boosting activities.
Be intentional about your creative time.
3. Give yourself permission to fail
If creativity is a skill (not a gift), and it can be easily developed, why do we struggle so much with creativity? The answer is psychological. We really don’t want to fail. While fear of failure is helpful in making logical and safe decisions, you won’t learn how to be creative if you’re afraid to suck sometimes.
Here’s an example:
You’re in a group, brainstorming marketing ideas for your next product launch campaign. Sitting around you are people you really respect. Do allow yourself to generate some off-the-wall propositions? Or do you naturally limit yourself to safer, less “zany” suggestions?
Fear of failure limits your abilities for creative expansion. No successful entrepreneur, brilliant marketer, or inspiring leader flourished by allowing fear to inhibit their creativity. In fact, the most successful people in the world have failed mightily...and continue to do so on occasion. Join them by allowing yourself to flounder, flop, and flunk. It’s all part of the process!
Creativity is risky. Take the risk.
Could you use some extra ingenuity in your business? Call upon the experts at Tobe. We’ve got enough creativity to go around.