Welcome to this weeks’ Guest blogger – I am really pleased to introduce Claire Marriott. I have known and worked with Claire over a number of years. We instantly developed a rapport as we both had similar views about innovation, creativity and life! Claire has a flair for weaving creativity and innovation both in her communications expertise and other interests. As you can see she is the perfect person to talk about sparking creativity! You can learn more about Claire below.
Let your Creativity Sparkle!
Hello everyone! Having worked with Christina on a number of projects I am delighted to be her guest on this blog.
For many managers, creativity is something of a holy grail. How many of you, if asked about your ideal working environment, would end up describing a free-thinking, energetic set-up where ideas flow like water and innovation is the norm?
Unfortunately, the day-to-day realities of working life and the typical structure of organisations often work to hamper the very qualities that we desire most in our team members, limiting their ability to generate new ideas or their willingness to think differently.
Letting go of expectations
The first step to unlocking creativity is to let go of expectations. Creative people aren’t fixated on what others think of them and tend not to focus on the ‘right’ way to do things. Instead they try a number of different approaches and see what happens. They follow their instincts and their intuition to see where it takes them and, above all, they ask questions.
Here are two exercises that you can try with your teams to increase the amount of creative energy in your organisation.
- Summarise a challenge that you are facing in just one sentence and then ask each team member to spend ten minutes writing down everything that occurs to them about the situation. Tell them that they don’t have to worry about spelling and grammar but should just write anything and everything that comes into their head when the y start thinking about the problem. This type of free-writing helps people to overcome their internal censor and can give rise to intriguing new ideas.
- Over a number of weeks ask your team members to save any images that they come across which remind them of your organisation, or what they would like your organisation to be. Gather the images together and paste them all onto a board then discuss what you see. Look for themes that the pictures have in common. Identify any colours or settings that recur. Imagine the lives of any people in the pictures and see how the images make you feel. Using images activates different parts of the brain and can be a wonderful way to bring a company’s vision and values to life.
If you would like to find out more about living creatively then I would thoroughly recommend ‘The Artist’s Way’ by Julia Cameron, a classic book on the subject. I leave the last word to film-maker Frank Capra who said ‘A hunch is creativity trying to tell you something.’