10 Tips to Free Your Creativity
Here are ten ideas that might help to let your people off their creative leash:
1. Challenge adversarial thinking – People with negative attitudes kill creativity so watch out for cynics, people who pull rank or those who deliberately ignore or discount other people’s ideas.
2. Promote consensus – The most positive teams know how to build on ideas, support one another, listen and question one another with the purpose of increasing their joint chances of success.
3. Value mistakes – This is not to say to go out and make mistakes deliberately. Rather that it’s possible to see mistakes made as an expression of trying out something new. Believing there is only one right way to do something is a sure way to stifle creativity.
4. Challenge the belief – Often it is our beliefs that keep us trapped in a fixed way of thinking. So, if you are facing an intractable problem, check what you believe about it and then act ‘as if’ you had a different belief, and see what solutions or perspectives you come up with.
5. Apply metaphors to problems to see if they shed a different light on the subject – Metaphors and analogies access the subconscious and, as such, can often help us to get new and different perspectives on seemingly intractable issues or problems.
6. Keep on learning – Love the problem in the way that a chess master loves the challenge. And, as part of learning, also make sure you are open to other people’s ways of seeing the world.
7. Honour the imagination – Be prepared to daydream – Take a notebook to bed to capture your dreams or to write down ideas that come to you at 4.00 in the morning.
8. Use Mind Mapping to wake up your brain – Why? Because it helps make connections between ideas easily. It encourages whole brain thinking. It allows you to be expressive. It is free-flowing, exploratory, colourful and connected.
9. Apply creative thinking techniques – These techniques can be learnt and developed through training. Learn techniques such as Mind Mapping, Metaphors, De Bono’s Six Thinking Hats®, Reversal Thinking and De Bono Lateral Thinking to move beyond habitual ways of thinking.
10. Play your hunches – Intuition, hunches and gut feelings can be great allies if you pay attention to them. Be careful not to follow emotions blindly, but know also that if it feels right for you, it probably is the right course of action or the best decision.