Here at X, we are completely hooked on TED talks. If you also happen to like them, then you won’t be surprised to hear that there have been numerous talks about creativity and its benefits on individuals’ lives, careers and businesses.
While creativity is often associated with artists, musicians and designers, creativity isn’t exclusive to creative professions. Cognitive psychologist Robert J. Sternberg defined creativity as, “the process of producing something that is both original and worthwhile.” Thus, creativity is vital for any profession.
Here are a few ideas we’ve compiled from a variety of creativity experts.
Researchers have noted that creative people tend to re-conceptualize problems before even starting a task. Instead of looking at a project’s end goal right off the bat, it’s better to think about the problem itself from as many perspectives as possible. This will broaden your thought process and help you think outside the box of the way that you would normally do things.
Even if it takes failing multiple times before getting it right, don’t give up on a solution. As Einstein once said, “If I had an hour to solve a problem I’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and five minutes thinking about solutions.” If James Eames had stopped after one unsuccessful try, we wouldn’t have the luxury of experiencing his famous Eames’ lounge chair. It took him 150 attempts.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. A friend, family member or coworker can spark a whole new stream of thought, even throughout everyday conversation. The more ideas and perspectives you can get, the better.
In the workplace, it’s helpful to have team members of different backgrounds to bring a diverse set of skills, experiences and solutions to the table. According to “Scientific American,” being around people who are different from you makes you more creative and more diligent in your work. Next time you work in groups, diversify your team to garner more unique solutions!
Try not to be too hard on yourself of your team members if you make a mistake. Studies show that fear of judgment and micromanagement are the greatest exterminators of creativity. Instead, learn from your misstep by analyzing what you did wrong and what could be done to avoid making the mistake in the future.
Winston Churchill once said, “All men make mistakes, but only wise men learn from their mistakes.” By adopting a company-wide feeling of security and confidence in team development, your team members are more likely to keep the creative juices flowing.
Try fostering a break during your workday by participating in team outings like a short walk or a coffee break. Letting loose even if for a few minutes throughout your day can help your team think more freely, as well as boost creativity and productivity behind the desk.
Getting away from the monotonous “office atmosphere” allows team members to open up and be themselves. This will give you a chance not only to get to know your coworkers better but allow them to ignite creativity.
We told you how much we love TED talks, right? Here’s a whole playlist devoted to finding The Creative Spark.