Creativity is key in business. It makes a brand stand out from its competitors.
I used to think some people were born creative. I worked for a creative communications agency in the early stages of my career and I remember being in awe of some of my fellow co-workers. We would brainstorm advertising ideas in a group and I couldn’t believe how some people’s brains appeared to work. They would produce simply brilliant creative ideas on the spot.
However, I’ve come to realize people aren’t born creative and it’s possible for many personality types to tap into this part of the brain – it just takes a little extra work for some people.
Four tips to unlock your creativity:
- Overcome the fear
A big obstacle standing in the way of creativity is insecurity. We fear having our ideas perceived as stupid or people pointing and laughing. I think everyone feels this fear, especially in the early stages of their career, but it’s up to you whether it stands in your way or not. There’s the old marketing saying that ‘no idea is a bad idea’ and I’ve always tried to remember that when thinking creatively or when responding to my co-workers’ ideas. What’s bad, however, is not trying to generate creative ideas at all.
- Work in a way that suits you
So, you might struggle to think of creative ideas on your feet but there’s a way around that if you’re prepared to put in the work. For example, if you know you’re meeting with co-workers or a client to discuss a new product or campaign around a specific theme, spend time drafting some notes beforehand. Even if some of your ideas feel silly, write them down. The more ideas, the better, too – there are bound to be some gems in amongst them all.
- Learn from the best
Read relevant trade publications to keep up-to-date with successful case studies in your field. Keep a record of any examples of work that you admire. Creativity isn’t often unique. It’s just a different take on something that’s already been done well.
- Get away from your desk
A desk is thought to be one of the worst places to inspire creativity. Explore new environments in your free time and be open to the unfamiliar. Create a quiet ‘thinking’ pod in the office, visit an art gallery, join a new fitness class, wander around a new neighborhood, travel or even better, unleash your inner child by spending time with kids. Children’s imaginations are incredibly creative (think of the games you used to play or stories you used to write as a kid!) and we can learn a lot from them.