Business creativity is a critical skill for future success.
How many times have you been stuck at your desk trying to dream up an idea for a project?
You might be reaching for a phrase that sets your marketing campaign alight or creating a proposal title that powerfully seizes the attention of the C Suite.
Alternatively, your creativity needs may be more practical like facing the challenge of a changing work flow or getting the same amount of work done with less staff.
Two Types of Creativity
In my forthcoming book on innovation and creativity, I talk about two types of creativity that most of us see in everyday business life.
I call one of them organic creativity and the other, applied creativity.
Organic creativity is about regular long term actions you take to transform your brain into a constant ideas factory. Applied creativity refers to specific techniques you use to jump start the ideas process.
One activity which can jump start your creativity when you find yourself stuck in a rut is simple, cheap and easy. Take a walk in the park.
Walk in the Park
That’s right, to improve your business creativity, leave your desk or office and head outside for a walk around the park.
As you walk around, breathe in some fresh air. Stop and allow yourself to notice the leaves changing color, the sign posts placed by the park’s caretakers to keep you off some are of the grass. Watch the ducks swimming on the pond and the children chase the pigeons.
Forget what you were doing in your office and free your brain from your office mindset. If you don’t have a park nearby, sit in a coffee shop or cafeteria. Sip on your mocha and watch the world go by, allowing it to stimulate your thoughts.
Now, I know that some bosses don’t understand how creativity works. They frown on any person who leaves their desk to think. These bosses are stuck in the old world thinking which is all about how many hours you sit at your desk and not about how much work you produce.
If your boss is stuck in the old world, and won’t allow you to take a walk don’t fret. Swap desks with a colleague. Camp out in a conference room. Find someplace in the office where your usual distractions are far away.
The point of this very simple activity is to break with your current environment and free yourself from what I call rut-thinking-mode. Rut-thinking-mode is when regular thinking patterns restrict your ability to think freshly.
Take a Notepad
As you walk through the park and allow the world to freshen up your ideas, make sure you carry a notebook and pen.
You’ll discover that as you banish rut-thinking-mode, and embrace clear-thinking-mode, your brain will be slowly filled with fresh ideas.
And those fresh ideas that come from the external stimulus you get from leaving your office will collide with, challenge and augment all the ideas you currently carry in your brains.
Guess what? This is the creative process in action. It’s when future ideas are born and grow. It’s like you are creating your very own little greenhouse inside your head.
If you don’t have a notebook in your pocket to write the ideas down that have grown from this creative process, your fresh new ideas last for a few minutes then disappear forever.
Allowing ideas to grow in your head but not writing them down is like growing fresh fruit in your back garden and never eating it.
Your notebook and pen enable you to capture new ideas quickly and easily. And your notebook enables you to review them and select them for use when you need them.
Enjoy the park! Grow some great ideas. And good luck as you leave your desk to create the future.
Filed Under: Innovation & Creativity