We are all creative and we can all enhance our creativity, after all creativity and problem solving have long topped the WEF list of top skills for the future of work. So how can you do this aside from signing up for a monthly delivery of post-it notes?
For me there are three key ways based on how you think about your creativity. These are creativity as a muscle, creativity as a mindset and creativity as a practice. Efforts made in these areas will work to make you more creative, it’s just up to you to decide which will work best for you.
Let’s take a look at each:
Creativity as a muscle
Most of us have little problem understanding that in order to keep physically fit we need to train and that even if we don’t train like a top athlete, every trip to the gym or walk around the block counts. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that your creativity needs to be trained too. The more you engage in creative activities, the more your creativity will develop. You don’t need hours a day either, you can start by doing some short exercises. You can find 10 of my favorite ones in my free download “Train Yourself Creative” here.
Creativity as a mindset
There’s so much to say about cultivating a creative mindset but let me just focus on how I help my clients to do it. I’ve done quite a lot of improvisational theatre in my time (a great way to cultivate creativity by the way) and there are 3 ideas that are essential for this Noticing More, Letting Go and Using Everything. They just happen to be extremely useful to develop your creativity (and leadership) as well.
Noticing more is about taking the time to observe what’s going on around you, taking a break from your phone and being in the moment enough to see what’s happening. Letting go has to do with acknowledging things like limiting beliefs and negative self-talk: anything that is holding your creativity back. Using everything is about connecting the dots between different areas, proudly saying “yes and” when talking about your past and future as well as in a creative process.
The three together help translate everything into an opportunity a starting point for whatever kind of creation you need to make.
Creativity as a practice
The final approach is thinking of creativity as a practice and just doing it. Identify something, a way that you can be more creative and do it. Set yourself a challenge or a timeframe and get into the habit. The great artists of the world were not born creative, they worked at it, practiced, drew or painted or composed the same thing over and over again until they got better. There is no short cut, but you can be sure that if you practice you will improve.
It’s time we stop thinking of creativity as something magical that only a few have access to and start being more pragmatic. I hope these three ideas help you to take a step in that direction. If you’d like to see more you can check out our Youtube channel here.