Even the leftiest-brained thinkers can use a jolt of creativity every now and then. Author and creative consultant Edward de Bono has said, “There is no doubt that creativity is the most important human resource of all. Without creativity, there would be no progress, and we would be forever repeating the same patterns.” His theory of lateral thinking or “thinking outside the box” has benefited government agencies, corporate clients, organizations as well as individuals for nearly four decades.
You don’t have to be as legendary as de Bono to explore creativity. In fact, there are a number of ways in which you can work it into the workplace. Here are five ideas to get you started:
1) Make the most of your commute – Take the drive into work each day and make it a springboard for creativity. Listen to books on tape or motivational podcasts while you’re stuck in traffic. Select speakers and authors that fire you up. You can even use this time to learn a foreign language.
2) Find something to celebrate – There are only 10 Federal holidays in a year. So, what do you do with the other 355 days? You find a reason to celebrate! From Ice Cream for Breakfast Day to National Wear Your Pajamas to Work Day, there are plenty of reasons to be playful in your everyday activities. Let your office in on what you come up with so your staffers can participate too.
3) Change your routine – Do you do things in a certain order? Is every minute accounted for to the second? The first step in generating a creative spirit is to switch things up a bit. Take your lunch break at a different time of the day. Wear a different color than you’re used to. Drive a different way to work. Eat dessert first.
4) Clear your space and make it your own – Decluttering your desk can be such a liberating feeling. It can also inspire you to decorate in ways that you never knew possible. Find motivational sayings and pictures and hang them on the walls. Create a cool pencil and pen holder by recycling a tin can and gluing some fabric to the outside of it. Get a plant. Write things in different colors on your calendar.
5) Take brainstorming to the next level – Make your brainstorming sessions burst with creativity by infusing a sense of your unique spirit into them. Create visual displays that are fun and invigorating. Play music that gets your heart racing. Challenge your employees to a competition and award prizes to the winners. Choose a theme for your meetings and go all out. For example, if you’re working with a client in Hawaii, incorporate the sounds of the islands into your meeting. Put a lei on everyone that walks through the door and serve them fruity drinks with umbrellas. Then get down to business.