In this very competitive society we live in, the need for creative thinking is now more in demand more than ever. Both the corporate and organizational landscape require creativity from their staff and employees, may it be to come up with superbly packaged products, enticing marketing campaigns, innovation breakthroughs or as trivial as solving daily challenges in the workplace. Creative thinking is not for the artistic people alone. People who work in other fields need to fire up their creative thinking to get out of the rut called “creative block.”
Creative block is a phase when an individual seems not able to conjure a creative idea, or because he thinks not creative. That’s not true! Everybody can be creative but like everything you need to practice it. To work out your brain and to get out of this stagnation, applying a few but useful tricks should get your creative juices flowing.
11 useful Tricks to Improve Creative Thinking
Creative thinking is not a talent, it is a skill that can be learnt. It empowers people by adding strength to their natural abilities which improves teamwork, productivity and where appropriate profits
– Edward de Bono
1 – You need inspirational rituals
One of the best ways to inspire yourself and create every day is to develop rituals that you begin to use regularly and routinely. This will condition your brain for better creativity. For instance, your ritual might be reading in the morning, listening music, meditating for a few minutes or taking several deep breaths.
2 – Try to create something every day
Create something every day, even if it’s only for 5 or 10 minutes. I try to write articles, I draw mind maps in meetings, develop business models, concepts and I also collect and develop hundreds of ideas. I always have 3 projects in the pipeline, lots of them are not developed but they inspire me. My core business is digital transformation consulting and Lean Six Sigma training, but I work on projects that are not related to my expertise. Here are some examples:
- In 2010, I was in the Himalayas to produce and direct a long featured documentary called Introspectus. I was also working on a collaborative filmmaking platform, an innovation benchmarking software, Fab Lab project…
- In May 2013, I was breeding insects to develop food protein solutions. I stopped because it was not profitable.
- In June 2013, I didn’t know how to develop and manage a blog, here you are reading this article.
- In July 2013, I created the Startup Shelter ( web site in french) to help people or start-ups launch and fund their ideas.
- In February 2014 with 3 partners I launched Lean Six Sigma Belgium and Lean Six Sigma France to use Lean Management principles in order to identify waste and design faster and responsive processes. We also use Six Sigma principles to improve customer satisfaction by delivering perfect products and services on a consistent basis.
- In July 2014 I co-founded a training and team building project related to agility and happiness at work : Agile & Scrum Belgium & Team Building Spirit
- In May 2015 I launched I copywriting and ghostwriting agency called Ghost Writer Hub.
- In September 2016, with one partner and ADNEOM we launched World of Digits a company specialised in Digital Transformation.
All those ideas are inspiring each other and generating new ones. It’s a wonderful feeling. Some people call this luck or planned serendipity.
Now it’s your turn to challenge yourself to create for the next 2 weeks.
3 – Instead of discipline, think devotion
Luciano Pavarotti, one’s said: “People think I’m disciplined. It’s not discipline, its devotion, and there’s a great difference.”
4 – Take breaks
When you feel stuck with an idea and you have nowhere to go. You need a breather. Forcing yourself to find a solution will only lead to exhaustion. Try standing up from your desk, walk outside or to the vending machine, grab a coffee, talk to people and look at the scenery outside your workplace. Some inspirations will strike you at the most unexpected places, and you’d be surprised when you get them when you’re actually not working. I find most of my inspiration when I’m cycling in the woods or talking with friends.
5 – Make a list and select your ideas
Sometimes the opposite of creative block happens – you just have too many ideas! While it’s good, it can also make you confused. You can sort thoughts up by keeping a list. List down each idea that comes to mind and determine which one you think is the best. You can also bring a pen and small notebook wherever you go so you don’t forget the ideas that come to you when you’re riding a bus, having a lunch, reading a book or watching videos in the internet.
6 – Ask the right questions
When you need to start a creative session, always start with why, how, what, when question and try to answer it.
7 – Have fun with your colleagues or friends
Having fun with your colleagues or friends is a proven and popular way to generate ideas. It’s a great moment to open up to ideas of others, so you can make your ideas more consolidated. The best way to do it is to listen to ideas without judgment. Passing judgment even without hearing the full concept will breed humility and hostility within the group. Furthermore, the goal of that kind of team building is to generate as many ideas as possible, so make every body’s contribution count. Here is an article showing how some companies have created this fun and creative corporate culture.
An other way to have fun with your colleagues is to go out for a beer a genarate ideas. article
8 – Take advantage of peak hours
Some people are more creative and productive in certain hours of the day, while others are more creative at the height of their emotions. Work your heart out at these specific times and let your creative juices flow freely. Creativity can also be improved if you put yourself in a certain place in the room or if you surround yourself with certain music. This release of creativity works from person-to-person. There’s hard and fast rule what time of day, emotion or surrounding you should be to become creative. Just do what works for you.
9 – Build a network
Get creative and inspiring people into your social circle and interact with them in a regular basis. Listening to fresh perspectives and seeing your issues in different angles may help you reconstruct your ideas. The re-focus will help you substantiate the problem and narrow down solutions. Here is a list of 10 profiles you should work or talk with and an other article with an explanation on How to Build an Innovation Group in your community?
10 – Take Risks
A risk may be a double-ended sword, but the more you avoid it, the more you are leaving ideas unturned. Risks allow you to think out-of-the-box, look for the unconventional and embrace the difference. Creative thinking doesn’t necessitate you to conform all the time; in fact, most of the ingenious concepts are born from deviating.
11 – Forget talent
We tend to think we either have it or we don’t. Talent is an overloaded word, don’t focus on what you can do, just do it. Learn by doing. Show up, work hard and support yourself. It’s how you’ll make thing happen every day.
To develop your creative thinking, you need to know how to get your creative juices out. You can do this by:
- Build inspirational rituals
- Try to create something every day
- Instead of discipline, think devotion.
- Taking a break and find creative inspirations.
- Make a list and select your ideas.
- Ask the right questions.
- Have fun with your colleagues or friends.
- Working on your most productive hours.
- Building a network.
- Taking risks.
- Forget talent.
Some people are born to think creatively but that doesn’t mean you can’t be creative if you’re not showing signs of creativity in the workplace. Creativity can be harnessed as you grow in your organization. Given the right venues, mindset and resources, it is possible to fuel your creative thinking actions.
- 14 Creativity exercises to improve Lateral Thinking
- If you want to further investigate your creative thinking abilities here is an extra article with 5 videos showing how to generate creative ideas : 5 Video’s To inspire Creative Ideas
- Do you want to measure your creativity? Here are some free creativity tests
- What is creativity?
- What is innovation?
Please share this insight to inspire people to work with more passion and lead with creativity. It’s free like this ad free article. Thank you 🙂