Keep using it and it will grow.

“Like a muscle, your creative abilities will grow and strengthen with practice.” 
― Tom Kelley

Tom Kelly is the author of Creative Confidence and the Director of Design Thinking Firm IDEO.

Let’s face it when we go to work, we aren’t scheduling in our creative thinking time. We schedule meetings, follow ups, conference calls and a list of to do’s as long as our arms but we never schedule thinking time. Maybe that’s because we’d never accept, or we’d suggest another time.

We get it. We’re all busy in the trenches getting stuff done but if I was to tell you having time to think was a key trait of the successful would it change your mind? Successful leaders value the time they can get to stop and reflect. Why? It helps them to think differently, perhaps change a course of action or come up with an idea they hadn’t thought of before. We can call this going out on the balcony, strategic thinking, creative thinking or critical thinking. Whatever you want to call it, it helps. In fact, it can be the most valuable time you’ll spend out of your whole week.

Of course all thinking and no action isn’t what we are talking about either that would have some other more negative outcomes. What we are saying is that even if you were only to spend an hour a week to reflect you may just be able to reprioritise or come up with that solutions you’ve been chasing for months.

In order to have our creativity warm up let’s look at some methods to help us be more creative at work.

1. Try a Team Sport

Collaboration is always a great way to bounce ideas of other people. We’re sociable creatures and we develop more well rounded solutions when we work together. Curiosity will lead you to creativity. Get together and you will different points of view you may never have considered. People working together will have a better outcome than someone by themselves. Building on people’s ideas is the rewarding and energising aspect to collaboration.

2. Game Plan

Get a creative session happening in your meetings and reap the rewards of higher engagement and more actionable and effective results.

Meetings are great forums for collaboration and creative thought. However, in many organisations it’s a lost opportunity. Everyone gets together reviewing minutes or going around the room talking about the plan for the week. Instead open with a rapid-fire brainstorming session to an issue that’s relevant to everyone in the room. Capture ideas and have each person jot down what they will do to contribute to the solution.

3. Find Inspiration

There’s always a world champion to look up to. Find Inspiration from them. Look at different industries. Is customer service your challenge? Is it engagement? Whatever the challenge is look outside your industry to how the best in class organisations have delivered on these. When things can be improved on or done better there is the opportunity for disruption.

4. The Cool Down

Free up time for thought. Protect some time in your week to thinking. Ask yourself what is my biggest challenge? What are the organisations biggest challenge? If I could overcome one obstacle what would it be and how would that effect what I am doing today? Block some time out in your calendar and if you reschedule it make sure it still happens. It’ll be the best time you’ve spent all week.

Good luck team, happy work out!

This article is written by Olivia O’Connor Founder of Liv By Design.

Liv By Design is dedicated to helping organisations harness the creativity of their teams to create more effective business solutions. Do you have some challenges in your business? Let Liv By Design rally your team to deliver simple and realistic solutions.

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