Innovation is shifting creativity from a positive characteristic to a precious, highly sought-after asset in the global market. Esteemed schools like Harvard and Yale have added creativity to their curricula, and several Fortune 500 companies like PepsiCo and Marriott are running employees through creativity training programs. So how do you tap into your ‘inner Leonardo da Vinci’ (the accomplished artist, musician, scientist and engineer of the 15th century)? Try these creativity tactics right now.
Observing a problem and watching it under different circumstances is an effective approach to understand a problem’s true nature. When striving to improve a product or service, vigilantly study how people are using what’s currently available to identify and address any snags or frustrations they face.
Know Your Audience
Walking in the shoes of your intended audience helps you put yourself in your audience’s mindset. And the more you understand your audience, the more power you’ll have making your solution relevant to their personal needs and wants.
Abandon Your Comfort Zone
Seek unfamiliar activities. Take new classes; read random books; travel to unusual destinations; and talk to people with conflicting views. Different experiences can spark fresh and unusual thoughts.
Think of Failure as Opportunity
Successful individuals often learn from failure through three essential activities: detection, analysis, and experimentation. So ask yourself: “Why did I fail? What went wrong? What can I do differently?” Mind Thomas Edison’s wise words: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
Scientists report happy music boosts divergent thinking, which is associated with creativity and problem solving. Go for genius and stream some Mozart or Pharrell Williams. Need to focus hard and think deep? Try some sad, moody songs. Frustrated and need to kick serious creative ass? Assume air guitar position and salute AC/DC.
Have Some Serious Fun
Engaging in play reportedly opens up new neural connections in the brain, leading to increased creativity. Play can also lower stress levels, and boost optimism, motivation, concentration and perseverance. Don’t look at play as an opposite to work; view it as a complement to work. Remember: all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy!
Nap or Daydream
Take one for the team and dream your problems away. Sleep and daydreaming can solicit your subconscious mind to work on complex problems. If your boss or peers question you in any way, insist it’s not “fake news” and cite this study, where subjects that daydreamed outperformed other groups in creativity focus by more than 40%.
Take breaks, and switch things up. In a Sydney-based study at the Center for the Mind, the people who took breaks were more creative than people who worked uninterrupted. However, the third group, which did unrelated activity, outperformed the rest creatively. Why not incorporate some fun?
Keep Your Distance
Studies show that mentally distancing yourself physically or in time causes us to approach problems in abstract terms, facilitating solutions. Students in the US who were told they’re solving problems for faraway investigations solved twice as many problems. In another study in Tel Aviv, students were told to imagine themselves one day ahead and one year ahead — those who pictured themselves in the distant future solved significantly more problems.
Change the Scenery
Disrupt your daily routine to jolt your imagination. Go for a walk in nature, a second-hand store, or take your laptop to a coffee shop. Studies reveal that ambient noise encourages people to think more imaginatively. So now you can feel better about supporting your caffeine addiction and indulging in that bonus latte.
Amp Up Your Workplace
As social animals, we mimic the surrounding environment. So consider decking out your work area with funky furniture, lighting and signage, odd plants, ornaments and antiques, along with ingenious, inspiring art work and quotes, and splashes of color, shades and textures. You can always get direction from a professional, or a friend with good taste.
Don’t stifle your individuality. Many highly creative people can appear eccentric, or ‘out there’. Meanwhile, throughout the business world, there’s a growing appreciation and acceptance of the relationship between creative thinking and unconventional behavior. So put your socks on your hands, express your ideas through interpretive dance, and wait for the promotion to VP of Innovation.
Let Your Creativity Soar!
To crank up creativity, be sure to practice, train and expose yourself to unfamiliar ideas and experiences. To crank up your online presence, leads and sales, check out our web content agency, or contact us. We love to talk shop!