As a business leader or interim manager, eyes often turn to you in critical times. In the face of problems or the unknown, or simply the changes that are needed, the responsibility to find the expected answer rests with you.
Here are five tips to deploy your creativity based on the specific situation you are in.
1. Splendid isolation
Don’t get it wrong. It’s a question of taking advantage of a period of isolation or even retirement to be able to get back in the game more effectively. The phrase "the sky is the limit" also applies to our creativity. Focusing for a moment on the sky works unconsciously as a creative fuel source. Try it. You’ll be surprised.
Moreover, to be inspired by the elements, the surrounding nature, to awaken one's senses; sight, hearing, smell, gently leads us into parallel worlds that offer a different perspective. This is the case with light, whose intensity can affect our ability to think "outside of our usual intellectual comfort zone." A German study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology has shown how dim lighting sparks creativity and encourages freedom of thought and inspires innovation.Try and check what you see in the darkness.
Isolation is sometimes a feeling close to the loneliness felt by decision-makers. But drawing inspiration from the seemingly unobtrusive life that surrounds us can provide a vast source of new ideas. Go for a walk!
2. Closer by social distancing
Social distancing forces us to shake up our habits. It inspires a certain creativity, just look at all the different kinds of masks and the messages they carry. Beyond this gentle rebellion in the face of the inconveniences it entails, it encourages us to zoom out and see the daily lives of the people around us more clearly, including our own colleagues. Online meetings, for example, often discreetly reveal some unexpected details about our collaborators. Without becoming guilty of voyeurism of course, the distance paradoxically allows us to get closer to each other. And to find a source of inspiration and creativity in everyone's universe.
Social distancing also inspires many entrepreneurs to come up with tailored formulas for remote customer experience. Blake Morgan, author and customer experience futurist, has devoted several interesting articles to it in Forbes. Have a look at her insights, but don’t forget to read some absurd stuff as well. To give another example, Italian author Nuccio Ordine wrote a superb short essay entitled The Usefulness of the Useless. Reading it feels like looking at the world differently.
3. Are you Toom or Zeams ?
Why not apply it by going around the virtual participants in an online meeting, removing formality with a more personal question, for example. Or present a visible object at the meeting , which may intrigue by its seemingly unwarranted presence but will also open up discussions from other perspectives.
4. Go the opposite way
Located in the depth of our brain, in the so-called limbic part, is the center of our automatic mental mode. It loves routine, rules and certainties; needless to say that this is not where our creativity flourishes. It is in the prefrontal cortex, which is located just behind our forehead, that our brain goes into an adaptive mode, allowing us to make our imagination work. Dr. Jacques Fradin, behavioralist and cognitivist, describes this work perfectly in his book called L’Intelligence du Stress. No need to translate this one, right?
Simply put, taking an unusual route to jog or to go to work, not sitting in the same place in the meeting room, questioning certain automatisms – those are simple ways to bring in creativity. Be unexpected, the one who surprises always has a head start!
5. Look at your kids
It seems obvious: the world of childhood contains treasures of imagination. But looking at the world through their eyes, starting from their perspective, "bottom-up" literally, also allows you to restart your own creative software with fewer thought-reducing cookies. They too will build the world of tomorrow. To imagine their future is also to imagine that of your company or your added value.
These few recipes apply to a universe that will accompany us beyond the current one. Nothing will be the way it used to be, but in a way, isn’t that so much better? It is up to us to ensure that we too evolve every day.
1/ Journal of Environmental Psychology - https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0272494413000261?via%3Dihub
2/ The Usefulness of the Useless https://books.google.be/books/about/The_Usefulness_of_the_Useless.html?id=nkm0jwEACAAJ&redir_esc=y