Idris Mootee says:
Ordinary people can find their creative side. If you lock into your own creative juices, you can become a better leader. Creativity can be as simple as new ways for old situations.
Amen, brother! If you unlock yur creative juices, you can also become a better change agent. In his recent post, Idris outlines 5 qualities of creative people. Here, I build on his post to show how you can expand those qualities.
- Rethink your assumptions. To see the world differently, you have to understand the accepted logic in a situation and turn it on its head. While many gaming companies saw a conventional view of the customer universe, people at Nintendo chose to look beyond. Could you envision bowling nights at senior centers 5 years ago? You can now! So take a look at your assumptions about what market you are in, how you compete for business, what customers expect and who is your real customer.
- Be sensitive to small details. When your inbox is piling up with emails, it is natural to scan the headlines and make fast decisions. Every once in a while, choose to slow down to explore, to listen to observe. What would happen if you got beyond your normal routine with clients, for example, and really dug into what they are trying to accomplish, what challenges they want to overcome and what they are up against. What would you see if you saw beyond your first look?
- Get comfortable with ambiguity. Ambiguity is when something can be understood in more than one way and it is not clear which meaning is intended. Rather than rush to resolve the ambiguity, explore both sides, expand both sides, split your bets, merge the two and see what you get. Sometimes, two opposing truths can exist at the same time.
- Learn to synthesize information. I am a tool collector - tools that help me sort and make sense of information. One of my favorites is simply putting ideas into pictures. Dan Roam believes that there is no problem that cannot be solved by playing with pictures. So get a pen and start drawing pictures. Forget the fact that you have not taken an art class since 6th grade and just draw! Get some people in the room with you and ask them to draw, too. Exchange papers and build on each other's ideas. See what you come up with.
- Broaden your motivations. If you are focused exclusively on fast results, you make it difficult to build long-term capacity. If everything must be perfect the first time, you leave no room for experimentation. If money were not your top priority, what would be? Play there for a bit.
- Play courageously! This is a bonus to Idris' list. Creative ideas come faster if you don't edit yourself - or others. Ask, "What if?" even when challenged. Make your team or company a safe place to play a little more often.
What do you think?
- What tools and approaches do you use to be more creative? Can you build on this list?
- How do you encourage more creativity in your workplace?