A dose of creativity stimulation
to ignite fresh thinking
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."
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...
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.
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...
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....
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?)
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...
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.
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.
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...
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...
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.
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?
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...
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.
We get it. Creativity is important!
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.
Tha past year was a rough experience but one that made us look at what is beneath our top layers - in every sphere of our lives. It was a character-building year that toughened us up, whilst also somehow simultaneously softening us on the inside with gratitude for what we have.
I love this quote by the brilliant author Arundhati Roy about the pandemic that hit us in 2020.
Sign up to CREATIVE CAFFEINE to receive free tools, resources and inspiration to help grow your creative intelligence. It's your steaming cup of creativity stimulation!
We hate spam and promise to safeguard your information.