The world today is one that works against creativity. Too much happens too quickly to allow time for a robust creative environment. Since everything all at once is the new norm, how do we protect and maintain the creativity that is so vital to innovation? It’s an important question that has ramifications in both our professional and personal lives.
An absence of creativity leads to stagnation. This increases the possibility of failure if it continues for an extended period. With that in mind, we must consider how we can nurture creativity and not allow it die. Here are some very practical steps that can be implemented quickly to allow creativity to continue to grow:
- Don’t fear failures – Fear eliminates creativity before it can get on track, because exceptionally creative ideas often delve into uncharted territory. Who knows how many new ideas have never surfaced because of fear. Instead of allowing fear to quench creativity, push forward and allow new ideas to flourish.
- Don’t dismiss ideas too quickly – In the creative process, come up with as many ideas as possible without evaluating them. Excessive evaluation too early inhibits creativity. The goal is to let as much creativity as possible to flow. Critical evaluation of ideas can take place at a later point.
- Practice creating – It’s important to get in the habit of being creative. Set aside regular times to generate new ideas, produce new material or to focus on innovation. Regular practice leads to higher levels of creativity.
- Set goals – How often do you need to create? By when? How much? Knowing what your creative goals are helps bring about a greater focus that can help in being more creative.
- Develop a healthy curiosity – Learning about new things and how they function or operate often sparks new ideas. Expanding our horizons promotes broader thinking.
- Loosen processes – Excessive rules and boundaries limit outside-the-box thinking. Creativity can often flow more freely in an environment that allows flexibility.
- Reduce obligations – Being over over committed leaves little time for creativity. The mind is constantly focused on the next item to do. More time for free thinking allows the mind to explore new possibilities.
- Eliminate distractions – Constant incoming distractions like text messages, emails, social and numerous other forms of media captures thoughts and leaves less time and energy to be creative. Sometimes the best creative ideas flow out of times of solitude.
- Get to know other creative people – We can learn from others who are more naturally creative or who have taught themselves to be this way. Creativity is infectious.
- Take care of yourself – Healthy eating, exercise and rest all contribute to inner creativity.
- Be persistent and determined – Much of being creative is the relentless pursuit of new and innovative ideas and expression. The more effort put into being committed to creativity ultimately leads to growth in this area.
What do you think? Any other means of nurturing creativity that you would recommend?
Author: Steve Sonn
Steve Sonn is the Principal of S2 Marketing Communications. He has more than 25 years of marketing and PR experience with health care and business-to-business companies.