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CREATIVE CAFFEINE

A dose of creativity stimulation

 to ignite fresh thinking

How to increase your Creativity Quotient

Your Creativity Quotient is a measure of your creative intelligence. Can you increase your creative intelligence? Yes!  Here are three short videos with some helpful advice from experts on how to be more creative. 

 


How burnout makes us less creative | Rahaf Harfoush

The Way We Work, a TED series (5:05 mins) 

It’s understandable that you want to be productive – we all do! But digital anthropologist Rahaf Harfoush says that putting too much pressure on yourself to perform can actually have the opposite of your desired effect.

“We’ve been so obsessed with doing more that we’ve missed the most important thing.”

 

3 key ideas

  • Our idea of productivity is strongly founded in industrial era thinking when output was measured in terms of widgets produced. The knowledge work era has much more abstract outputs like solving problems and strategising.
  • Our self-worth is wrapped up in productivity and we...
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It’s funny how humour boosts creativity

comic relief humour mindset Mar 17, 2021
 

Ooops!

It was late on a Thursday evening when Helen finally finished up her work and got ready to leave the office.  As she made her way out, she found the CEO standing in front of a shredder with a piece of paper in her hand.

"Listen," said the CEO "this is a very sensitive and important document here, and my secretary has gone for the night. Can you make this thing work?"

As a young executive, Helen was eager to be of assistance. "Certainly," she said and she turned the machine on, inserted the paper and pressed the start button.

"Excellent, excellent!" said the CEO as her paper disappeared inside the machine. "Thanks for your help. I just need one copy."

The creative origin story of Comic Relief

This Friday, March 19, is Red Nose Day in the UK. It is run by the charity Comic Relief which was launched in 1985 live from a refugee camp in Sudan during the Ethiopian famine. Red Nose Day is a campaign to end child poverty, using humour and grassroots fundraising as the basis of...

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9 areas of your business that could use creativity - Part 2

Businesses are innovating at a rapid pace. What is your business doing to keep up? Don't get left behind.

Ask yourself: Where could I use more creativity in my business?

The Business Model Canvas designed by Alexander Osterwalder is a helpful tool for getting a bird’s eye view of your business. At Creativity Wake-Up, we find this a useful model to share with our clients to spark ideas for applying creative thinking.

In my last blog, we looked at four of the nine blocks in the Business Model Canvas where you could begin to apply creativity.  Let’s take a look at the rest of the blocks.

 

 

5.     Channels

Channels are ways that you communicate with and distribute your value to your customers. Channels serve various functions including raising awareness about your products or services, allowing your customers to evaluate your offerings, enabling them to purchase physically or virtually, delivering the value and providing post-purchase...

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9 areas of your business that could use creativity - Part 1

Imagine you are being interviewed by a reporter for an article about creativity and innovation in your workplace. You are asked: “Where could you use more creativity in your organisation?”

What’s the first thing that springs to mind? Product innovation? Installing a funky ‘thinking room’?

We tend to narrow down the scope of creativity at work to a few areas, typically involving R&D, an innovation team, marketing and/or creative touches to the office.

This narrowing down of the power of creativity is done at our peril. Every employee has the capacity to think creatively and to develop creative solutions to problems. Every area of the business can benefit from creative thinking.

In this two-part blog, I will use the Business Model Canvas to highlight nine areas of your business where you could apply creative thinking for innovation. We'll start with the customer-facing part of the business this week and cover your internal operations next week. 

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How do I train my people to be more innovative?

Follow our simple recipe.

Picture the scene:

A blue screen flickers and glows. Faces peer out of little video rectangles. It is the sixth virtual meeting of day. Nineteen pairs of eyes stare wearily at Kevin’s section of the digital vista as he implores his team: “We need to find another way, team. We must make this year work for us. The way we used to do things is just not working any more. We need to think out the box, here. C’mon everyone.” (The eyes blink silently back at him. Sighs are breathed. Tony scratches her head and thinks: How?)

Businesses across the world are under pressure to innovate.

In a study last year, McKinsey concluded that prioritizing innovation today is the key to unlocking postcrisis growth, yet few consider themselves equipped to face the challenge. In addition to the seismic impact of the pandemic, automation is displacing jobs and cutting down on process-oriented tasks. Businesses urgently need to get people thinking creatively to...

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Need to innovate? Copy these creative habits of innovators.

habits innovators Feb 15, 2021

Innovation is now an imperative

We used to wonder when or how we should innovate. We are in a crisis and there’s no way out but to reinvent ourselves and our businesses.  

“The enterprise that does not innovate ages and declines. And in a period of rapid change such as the present, the decline will be fast.” Peter Drucker

So how do we do this?

We copy the creative habits of innovators.

Why habits?

Habits make up a way of being. Habits are dependable. By adopting some of the creative habits of innovators, you will be able see real transformation in how you think and how you do things. You will be able to make innovation part of who you are rather than something you did once.  

What innovators do differently

Austin Kleon’s book ‘Steal like an artist’ is beautiful in its simplicity and pertinence. He is a writer and an artist who has distilled the key creative habits that have made an impact in his life. He writes the book as advice to his...

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As a manager, am I enabling or killing creativity?

 

‘Enable creativity’: a new requirement for managers.

As a manager today, you are now required to nurture creativity and lead your teams to innovate. Where creative thinking used get your team ahead of the pack, now it is a survival skill.

This duty to enable creativity has been placed in your arms which are already carrying: masses of meetings, countless communications, deadlines, deliverables, and the unenviable task of keeping everyone motivated and engaged whilst working remotely.  Eish!

If it is any consolation, you are not alone. You are amongst a throng of professionals worldwide who are doing the best they can in the situation that they find themselves. CEOs are in it with you too. In a recent Financial Times article, it was reported that when it comes to homeworking and productivity, CEOs are saying that “creativity is the biggest single issue.” (Emma Jacobs, Financial Times, 18 Jan 2021)

So as a manager, how can you enable creativity...

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7 Signs that You Aren’t Thinking Creatively

… and how to do better.

None of us want to be left behind. With reality morphing quickly and our business landscape shifting unnervingly under our feet, we need to be able to nurture fresh thinking and enable innovation in our teams.

Dr Roger Firestien, esteemed professor of creativity and author of Create in a Flash, puts it this way:     

“When the rules change, creativity is key.”

In the past, fresh thinking got us ahead of the pack. Now we need fresh thinking just to keep up.

You have most likely seen the need to reinvent some part of your work life this year so far. You probably needed to innovate for how you motivate your team, how you maintain team well-being, how you engage your clients or how you attract customers. There is no getting away from the need to innovate!  Therefore, there is no getting away from the need to develop creativity.

First let’s get clear about our definitions of creativity and innovation.

Before I...

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Help! It is too early in the year to be this depleted.

 It is a truth universally acknowledged that a new year should begin with a fresh supply of hope, ambitious resolutions, and the energy to get them going. This is somehow stitched into the fabric of our understanding of how the world should work. We feel entitled to this kind of start to a year. Shouldn’t we be?

It turns out that, no, we are not. It turns out that the world may sometimes twist and turn in wonky, unexpected ways and it is up to us to build the resilience and creativity to deal with it.

Does this sound familiar?

  • It’s not even the end of January yet, and I’m already worn out.
  • I’m feeling spent.
  • I’m so over this year. Can’t we skip forward to 2022?

The mental health charity Mind has found that more than half of adults in the UK (60%) and over two-thirds of young people (68%) said their mental health got worse during lockdown.  This was amplified when people had to go back into lockdown unexpectedly right in the middle of...

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What difference will creativity make in my business?

The demand for creativity is growing

It’s hard not to notice all the limelight that creativity is getting in press and on social media lately. The clarion call is sounding ever louder.

  • Creativity is first on the list of soft skills that companies need today (Sourced: LinkedIn Learning 2020 Workplace Learning Report)
  • Creativity is in the top three most important skills for the workforce, along with complex problem solving and critical thinking (Source: World Economic Forum)
  • Creativity is the number one capability that businesses require in order to navigate an increasingly complex world (Source: IBM survey of 1,500 CEOs)

We get it. Creativity is important!

Yet, we are not investing in creativity

Despite the ground swell of demand for this skill, the investment in creativity is lagging. Leaders are not putting their money where their mouth is.

We are still in a creativity crisis.

  • Average creativity scores for the total population have been falling since 1990 (Source: Prof....
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