Can you remember back to your school days?
I’m sure for some of us it will be easier than for others! Remember how you’d answer a question, but even though it was technically right, it wasn’t the one the teacher was looking for?
Q. What is ‘hard water’?
A. Ice (of course!)
See what I mean?
There was only ever one right answer at school – imagine what that did for your creativity and your confidence.
Many people, and you may be one of them, grow up believing that they’re not creative, but I’m a strong believer that trying to be creative makes us creative. It gets the under-used side of our brain up and running, the side that’s been lying dormant possibly since childhood.
I think it was George Bernard Shaw who said,
“We don’t stop playing because we grow up, we grow up because we stop playing”.
Of course, I’m not suggesting you go out french skipping at lunchtime or kicking a ball against a wall (though then again, why not?) but start playing at work; playing with ideas.
Here’s a couple of ideas that will not only get the creative juices flowing but will also add value to your business.
Idea Pooling: how you can improve your Customer experience maybe or how you can attract more of your perfect Customers.
Gather your team, no ‘wrong’ answers, just as many ideas as you can think of, sane or wacky – get them all down and then pick out the gems. You’ll see people building on the ideas of others and gaining confidence that anything goes and no one is sitting in judgement. As well as providing original ideas it’s also a great team building exercise; just keep the energy high and have fun!
Mind-maps: I love. They are a great way to generate new and creative ideas, I so wish I’d known about them when I was at school. Such a great tool for revising and particularly for generating ideas when you’re planning.
A mind-map gets us thinking in almost a chaotic way, allowing us to go off in all sorts of different directions, like a spider’s web. It snaps us out of that linear way of thinking which is more ordered and restrictive.
I bet you know someone who you think of as an ‘ideas’ person. Well the truth is we are all ‘ideas people’, we just need to give the creative side of our brain a bit of regular exercise. Just make a start and keep practising. I’m telling you, you’ll be amazed.
I wonder where the creative children who gave these ‘wrong answers’ are now?
Q. How can you delay milk turning sour?
A. Keep it in the cow
Q. Explain what you most like about Kipling?
A. Almond slices
Q. How do you change centimetres into metres?
A. Remove ‘centi’.
Do one thing: Have some fun this week!
P.S. Great systems are a great foundation for you and the creative people in your business. They take care of the nuts and bolts of business to give you time to get those creative juices flowing.
‘Great systems are not chains to tie you down they are wings to help you fly’.