“I’m not creative.”
Have you ever said this? Have you ever heard someone say this? Like being creative is something that you either are or aren’t. Being creative is not a state of being, it is not something that you are born with or without. Also, being creative is not about painting masterpieces and writing award winning novels, those are forms of creative expression.
You are creative.
Simple as that. It’s true. You know how I know? There are a few things:
- Have you ever taken a recipe and made slight changes to it? This is called adaptation and is a form of creativity.
- Have you ever told a lie? Be honest with yourself, this is no time to start lying. It takes a bit of creativity to get through that web, granted some are better at it than others. This is not to say I promote or endorse the habit of lying, I’m just making a point.
- Have you ever doodled on a notebook, or created a report for work?
I could go on, but I think that you get the point. If you are creating, you are being creative. And that could be through adaption where you are changing something that already exists, or through origination where you are creating something brand new.
Some of us flex this muscle more than others, and therefore are considered creative. But what if you started to believe that you are creative too? Inspiration doesn’t appear out of the ether, it comes from effort. A songwriter does not sit down and start writing lyrics without working at it, erasing lines and crossing out stanzas.
So how do you exercise your creative muscle?
- break your patterns
- listen to music
- sit in silence
- apply this new found creativity to business problems
There’s actually no right answer here. Each person or business will find creativity in different places. What is important is that you seek it out – innovate.
So you’ve discovered you are creative (if you didn’t go back to the top of this post and read again), now what? It turns out the same steps can be used in business and personally:
- Discover – What is it you are trying to accomplish? What is the problem you are trying to solve?
- Define – what does success looks like? What information do you know, or can you find on your problem? What is the current state and what is the desired future state and who are the stakeholders involved. Get clear here.
- Ideate – brainstorm and then brainstorm some more. Be open and receptive to all ideas. This means no self-editing, write down every single idea you have and then come up with more. Push yourself, and your team if relevant, to explore beyond the initial concept. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our initial idea that we don’t take a moment to delve deeper and look for converging ideas.
- Experiment – take the time to get feedback from outside or impacted sources. Create a prototype.
- Evolve – take the feedback from the experiment stage and evolve your concept to create the best version.
- Implement – go forth and prosper, but don’t forget to continually experiment and evolve.
Innovation is a buzz word in business these days, and for good reason. Do you remember Blockbuster and Kodak? It doesn’t always mean that you need to be innovating products and services, sometimes, it’s about innovating the way you do things or the structure of your organization. Creativity and innovation are important both personally and in business – try having fun with it.
Mind Set Grow is a business consulting company specializing in leadership development, creative problem solving strategy and coaching. For more information go to our full website at http://www.mindsetgrow.ca