It’s Human Nature
Creativity; it’s one of those traits you either think you possess or you don’t, right? But what is reality? According to a Forbes Councils Member contributor, creativity is for everyone! The author, Ben Plomion, talks about two kinds of creativity: Radical and Incremental.
While radical creativity is what we most associate with incredible, mind-blowing artistic or technological feats, incremental creativity is more attainable for the masses – yes, even those people who think they have zero creativity! Think of incremental creativity as evolution versus revolution. It’s the continual work put into creating a solution, solving a puzzle or moving your job/company/personal life in a new direction. It’s not about that huge “A-Ha” moment, but rather all the small steps taken to make an improvement.
Here’s the critical part – creativity is something that can’t be outsourced to a robot! So, encouraging a creative environment at work is important to cultivating not only new ideas but also attracting and retaining quality employees. And, as an employee, showing creativity could be your best value prop.
It’s a Team Effort
We can all recognize creativity when we see it. Here’s a really fun example of how a team in Sweden made taking the stairs the preferred option to the adjacent public escalator.
At Motivation Excellence, our clients rely on us to use our creativity to make travel programs exceed all expectations! We also look for how to creatively report participant activity each month driving them to their program website. Engagement mailings need to spark an interest and motivate positive behavior. It’s not a one-person job ever. Working as a team (lots of brainstorming sessions) is one of the best steps to fostering creativity.
Ed Wojtaszek is our Creative Art Director and an integral part of any design elements that go out for clients or our own marketing needs. He says collaboration is a key component to successful creativity.
“Since most of the projects I work on have a specific goal to reach or message to get across, collaboration is very important. Not so much to decide on the look, but to have all of the facts before the creative process begins. Proper brainstorming can be very useful. Listing ideas…any ideas that others may think of can supply a wide variety of puzzle pieces to use in the creative process.”
As our Strategic Marketing Manager, I personally work with Ed daily. I often say that whatever I give him, he makes incredibly better. In 2020, we embarked on creating monthly MEmes. It was truly a collaborative effort, with our company owner, David Jobes, also getting in on the creative process each month. Here’s one of my favorite examples of what I handed Ed and what he did to make it shine. I came up with the wording and a very rudimentary sketch and left the rest to Ed. It was our September MEme on inclusivity.
The 1,2,3 of Creativity
For those of you who love a good step-by-step guide, you’re in luck, there are many resources available about how to be creative. Gerard Puccio heads the International Center for Studies in Creativity at Buffalo State in New York. BBC.com featured him in an article about how to learn to be creative. He shares that creativity comes in four stages: Clarifying, Ideating (brainstorming), Developing and Implementing.
There are also ways to encourage creative thinking. Being in a relaxed mood has been shown to help. Perhaps it’s because an idle mind has more time to bounce between a wide variety of thoughts and ideas. Ed says a change of location helps him, especially if he feels stuck.
“When I get in a rut, a change of scenery is the best medicine. Walking, hobbies, anything that removes me from the topic for a period gives my mind time to put all the pieces together. Most times when I re-engage with a project, the solution comes quite easily.”
|One of Ed’s favorite hobbies is working on classic cars. He could be building an engine when a solution to another issue pops into his mind. Our brain’s spark plugs ignite new ideas constantly.|
Try it out for yourself the next time you’re searching for how to best keep your dog out of the trash (tell me your answer please) or the best way to get a prospect’s attention. And, remember, the internet is an amazing resource. You might not be able to always figure out the answer on your own, but there’s a good bet someone out there has. Using someone else’s creativity keeps the process flowing. Maybe you’ll add to another’s idea and share it with the world too!