Tips and stories to add value to you and your organisation
When was the last time you sat quietly and sketched something on a piece of paper? Just for the fun of it. Or stopped thinking about business for a while and went and played a musical instrument? Or maybe changed the pictures in your office?
All children in school begin with free play, messing with water, or spraying sand about. Remember finger painting? Or potato printing? I think I still have a photo somewhere of a very small me, in an apron, messing with paints.
It would be very strange to have a school where creativity and free expression was banned and yet the exam system can drive out creativity in the rush for A* grades, where young people have to conform to a results based society in order to get on. So many people fail to celebrate creativity and then once we are work, the spark can be lost.
Business thrives on creativity and yet we can relegate it to an annual brand refresh, or hire marketeers to be create on our behalf. We all have the capacity to be creative and the little us who made a mess with poster paints is still inside us. In my case I’ve swapped paints for musical instruments and some of my best business thinking has come off the back of a good thrash of my bass guitar.
Being creative, in any way, engages the bits of our brain that are languishing on a long holiday. We need all parts of our brain to come to work with us and creativity boosts thinking skills, prevents us from always making binary choices and, let’s be honest, is just fun.
Obviously there are activities where the option to be creative is limited, of which book keeping is probably top of the list. However, if we want to stimulate our staff, create exciting new products and services and make the working environment more enjoyable, we can find ways to bring a dash of creativity into the office.
A client I know well taught an art class to his colleagues. He was beaming with the success of it afterwards. I taught a class outside on the grass, during a hot day, a few years ago, and it was wonderful to be free of the four walls of the lecture room. We all relaxed and the afternoon skipped by happily and of course, it was the one day they all remembered.
Does your office have white walls, faded pictures and is hostage to a drab monotone office-chic colour scheme? Imagine what it would feel like to come to work in an art gallery every day? Could be fun! It’s why school classrooms have busy walls with colour and art and life. Creativity is stimulated. Thinking is promoted. Learning takes places.
So, this week have a look around your workplace. How could you install a sense of creativity into it? Maybe add a dash of colour, or even get some new pens for the whiteboard to replace the black markers in use all the time.
We can all be creative at work. We can all brighten our environment and find ways to inspire our colleagues. I think I might have to buy a corporate ukulele for impromptu business planning sessions. I’m sure there’s a good tax break to be had on essential equipment like that!
Next week: Spotting Snap-To-Grid Thinking
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