Many people believe that creativity is an innate talent – something that is hard to learn or develop.
Normally, I perceive myself as rather creative. However, during the ‘intelligent lock-down’ (as we call it in the Netherlands) I noticed that I started to lose some of my creativity. I became curious and decided to reflect on the causes of this and to experiment with potential solutions. Because, to what extent can creativity be developed and stimulated? This reflection brought me to 4 building blocks, that can stimulate creativity (to a certain extend).
As the lock-down continued, my daily life became less diverse. By doing more of the same things, I got stuck in my own perspective. I looked at things with the same eyes. This even affected the way I saw nature, literally; nature started to look like ‘more of the same’.
It was clear to me, I needed new stimuli. I unpacked my inflatable kayak and my ‘winter race bike’ was exchanged for a mountain bike. By doing so, it changed the way I looked at nature. Trackways were no longer tracks to walk on, but were analyzed on the possibility to have some fun with a mountain bike. The kayak literally gave me another perspective on nature which made me aware of the diversity of mother nature.
The good thing about these stimuli? They helped me to become creative again in multiple areas, also with regards to work for example. It made my mind more playful and capable of searching for new point of views.
This is why Fresh Habits, strongly believes that people should keep looking for new stimuli. This can be done in your work life, but also in your private life as the effect works for both. A new team, new customers, new hobby’s, etc.. It really makes us more creative!
Take your time
We notice that some people are inclined to decide (too) fast. By doing so decisions are often made based on prior experience. Which is not a bad thing. But to be creative, we have to look further than our previous experience, which simply needs calmness and time. Time to analyze possibilities beyond ‘the way we did it last time’. If you would like to read more about this, please check out this blog: https://www.freshhabits.nl/en/postponing-leads-to-creativity/.
Many people tend to predict what the consequences of decisions will be. And in addition we also tend to be very critical about it, seeing the down-side more than the up-side.
At Fresh Habits we do not let doubts about the future to take over. We try ideas some of us do not believe in, at least for 1 month, with full commitment! And we always schedule an evaluation meeting to reflect upon the effects of the experiment and to decide whether or not to continue. There is a major difference between thinking about what works and what not, and experiencing it.
We allow ourselves to be surprised and encourage you to do the same. Ideas we believe to be brilliant, do not work out. And the other way around. In addition, we learn about the causes of success and failure. Often they are not what we thought before we started.
By allowing ourselves to start experimenting, even when we have doubts, we create our own playground for creativity. In addition we learn a lot.
Research has shown that teams who have the goal to learn (and to learn we need to make mistakes), achieve better results than teams focused directly on performance. So, experimenting stimulates creativity, learning and performance.
That brings us to the last building block. Something we all know, but is often overlooked: seek contact with colleagues and/or customers! Even when these people have less in-depth knowledge than you do. Often it just takes a 15 minute phone call, and just one question or one comment, to stimulate creativity. Most of the times it was not the case that the other came up with a super creative idea, but they gave me a different perspective. And knowing less than I do, often was a bigger creative stimulation.
Do you think there are other building blocks to stimulate creativity? Let us know!
Curious how Fresh Habits can help your team or organization to become more creative?
Fresh Habits is here for you!