"Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn't really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That's because they were able to connect experiences they've had and synthesize new things" - Steve Jobs
One of my favorite things to learn more about is the power of creativity. Creativity is the core of new ideas, inventions, artistic careers, openness, and happiness. I love to try and keep the creativity spark alive in my boys and I shutter at how both schools and society shun "dreamers". We are all creative, we just have to open ourselves up to what is around us and allow what we see, touch, hear, and smell to create new ideas and thoughts. Yes, even YOU are creative. It's hogwash that there are people out there without a creative bone in their body You just need to seek it out a bit harder.
Last week I talked about "repurposing" junk into garden art and people whom we can create anew with a fresh look. What they both have in common is the fact that it takes some creativity and a fresh way of looking at things to bring new life to either one. A garden is a fresh palate from which we can personalize and transfer our dreams onto. The same applies to us as people. We are unique slates that are open to evolving and taking on new colors.
Gardening and arts of different genres are a great way to discover and expand your creativity. It means taking snippets of things that you have seen and heard and putting them together in a unique way. Even if you love and excel at fixing things, building engines, or computing, you ARE using your creativity. You don't need to be a painter or sculptor in order to be an "artist" or creative. I consider myself pretty high on the creativity meter because I risk placing different colors, textures, and different plants together. I'm willing to build a wacky piece of garden art out of junk. I would love to get my hands on a life size mannequin because I have some unique ideas that I could build a garden around with it.
Creativity is what you want and feel is truly "creative", not others. It's what makes you an individual and builds your unique gifts. Sharing your creativity can be a bit more tricky. You need to have conviction, yet be open to other ideas or to tweaking your suggestions. If we keep our creativity bottled up and stay with the status quo, we would never have any of the technology or breakthroughs that happen every day at today's immense pace. Pick a hobby or something that you are passionate about and open your mind and eyes to what you can do differently. Take risks, be bold, and be willing to take a stab at changing the world.
Creatives are abound in all business sectors and companies, large and small. The key is that some industries and companies are more open to new ideas and encourage creativity and collaboration for growth and innovation. People tend to grow and enjoy their work more when they feel valued and encouraged to share their ideas. They thrive and feel a part of something bigger than them. We all want to feel like we are making a difference and that someone cares what we think and accepts what we can offer. Is your company a "Creatives" focused company? If not - find one that is or be active in changing the norms.
|Photo Courtesy of Cayusa via Compfight.com|
Even if you aren't a leader in title where you work, you can still be an influencer and have an impact. There are a lot of things that you or your team can do to encourage creativity and the open sharing of ideas. Here are some suggestions:
- Search out new opportunities, experiences, and see things with a different perspective
- Challenge yourself by setting higher personal goals, brainstorm more, and really focus on developing new ideas
- Hang out with a different crowd of people. You will be surprised what you learn! You become who you are with
- Find a department or manager that truly appreciates your efforts and sees failures as lessons
- Look beyond what something is and imagine what it could be
- Read read read read read!
- Redefine problems in a new way or try to solve them backwards
- Experience everything new in life that you can. You will trigger new connections in your brain and open up your mind
- Look for new patterns, try to reinvent the status quo or envision it in a new view
- Don't try to be someone else or turn your team into a group mini "You's"
- Ask a lot of questions all the time. Don't be afraid of looking stupid. You want to learn and understand all that you can
- See if you can be given some resources to focus on ideas outside of your realm at work. Great companies encourage pet projects and have seen some unique innovations
- Be you. Love you. Grow you!
I'm so excited to see that companies are finally seeing the value of encouraging creativity and innovation in their people. In many companies , the value of creativity is ranked higher than intelligence, a global mindset, and experience.
How can you breath some creativity into your career or those that you lead?