Creativity is considered the most important trait by many CEOs. The question is, how do you become creative? If you are a professional, a leader, or entrepreneur, embracing your creative side is more important than you think.
According to Adobe’s blog by Paul van Keeken, companies that foster creativity are 3.5 times more likely to outperform others in revenue growth. They also have a larger market share and may outperform their competitors by a factor of 1.5. Plus, creative companies are generally fun to work for, and they retain top talent longer.
Many people consider creativity a natural ability that some of us are born with. That isn’t always true. Like any skill, is it a craft to be learned. While creativity seems to come naturally to some, there are things we all can do to boost our creative side.
1. Find something creative that you like, and expand your knowledge of it.
Do you like to write? Or paint? Have you always wanted to play a musical instrument? Find an artistic hobby to pursue. Doing what you like, even if you aren’t good at it at first, is a way to get your creative juices moving. The new connections made in the brain as you learn will benefit your thinking process in many ways.
2. Collaborate with others and brainstorm ideas in a creative way.
Creativity is difficult to achieve as a solo project. If you need fresh ideas for your company, pull together a group of your employees for a brainstorming session. To stimulate the group, break out of the ordinary. Take them for a walk and enjoy the beauty of the local garden park. Bring yoga mats into the meeting and let people move as they brainstorm. You could even provide everyone with finger paints and let them design a communal mural.
3. Doodle in a journal of ideas.
Get a notepad or journal for doodling. When you need to solve a problem, try drawing or outlining it visually. Coming at a dilemma with a different approach can help flesh it out. Putting pen to paper will solidify an idea, and this method can work better than keeping track of recorded notes or writing to-do lists.
4. Enjoy new creative adventures.
How long has it been since you’ve gone to the symphony? How about a play? A museum art exhibit? A botanical garden? This weekend, find a local event or show to attend. Looking or listening to art is a way to drive your own passion.
5. Take the creative mashup challenge.
If you really want to kick your creative energy into overdrive, take this creative mashup challenge: combine an artistic discipline with something unrelated from your office environment. For example, paint a picture of your company logo, write a poem about a financial report, sing your corporate mission statement out loud. Have fun by taking something commonplace in the office environment and make it extraordinary.
Ultimately, remember that the key to your company’s success is based on the creative ideas that drive it. Corporate cultures that foster creativity and reward out-of-the-box thinking are places where great things are bound to happen.