Creativity can be learned. You may think you are not a creative person and creativity is for people like those who sit and write books, songs or create movies, etc. You may think creativity is something that comes naturally to some people and you are not in that group, or you just don’t need to be creative.
How can creativity help you in your job, regardless of what kind of job you are doing? Your job may seem very secure and snug right now. However, you need to realize that our economy is cyclic and is never the same, is always changing. Your job may be secure today, but will it be two years from now? There is a huge chance it will not be.
Being creative in your job today may help you keep this same job two years from now when things change. Creativity can absolutely help you do a better job today, which will make you a more valuable employee for tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. If you are good at what you do, you can always be better, and the better person is most likely the one who will be kept around when things suddenly change and downsizing begins.
What exactly is creativity on the job? According to Michael Michalko, one of the world’s leading experts in the field of creativity, creative people are those who come up with more ideas in a shorter space of time. These people had good and bad ideas that were generated quickly. Out of the huge number of bad and good ideas will spring some that better solve a problem in new and exciting ways. If you become a person on your job able to generate a huge number of ideas, whether they are good or bad, that at least in that bunch are some that solves the problems of your employer, this quality alone can set you apart from another employee and make you more valuable to that employer. More ideas and better ideas is definitely an asset to any person in any job. Who does not have problems to solve at any kind of job they may be on? Being creative, and coming up with more ideas and better ideas is something that can be learned. You may never write that best seller book or a number one hit song, but….be assured that you can learn to be creative enough to do a better job and make yourself a more valuable employee to your employer today and for tomorrow.
One reason people are not creative on their jobs is that with all the recent cutbacks in staff and downsizing trends of the last few decades people live from day to day fairly stressed out and unable to relax and think creatively. Another reason is people often they just can’t think creatively. Because of that mindset they continually miss opportunities that people on the look for creative ideas immediately pounce upon. So what can you do if you fall into one of these categories? Obviously, you need to relax, ease your stress and learn to think creatively, so when the opportunity arises, you will be one of those ready to pounce and spit out all those good and bad ideas that among which will be solutions to your employers’ problems.
Assess what you can realistically do and cannot do. You don’t need to get an all-or-nothing mind-set or the opinion you need to be absolutely perfect or superman or superwoman. Maybe you just don’t have the time to become a creative thinker. In that case, you can hire someone to help give you creative touch to your work, either to do it for you or to look over your work and talk it over with you of how you could add some creativity. You need to find someone to bounce your ideas off who is innovative, non-judgmental and enthusiastic. You will be amazed at how many ideas you will be able to come up with.
Another way you can start to learn to be creative is to take a few minutes of your time here and there throughout the day and notice things a little closer. When you watch television, pay special attention to the advertisements and see if you can visualize just how the advertising staff came up with the idea for that particular commercial. Have a childlike curiosity about the world around you and try to see the unusual connections of two things totally unrelated together that can solve a problem. If you practice this routinely you will start seeing associations between totally different things and you will start to become more creative and innovative naturally on a daily basis without doing too much thinking about it or messing up your schedule otherwise just to think creatively. You will begin to come up with more and more ideas that will suddenly stun those individuals you work with. Be aware that you need to learn how to generate thousands of ideas, both good and bad, and don’t be disappointed if most of those ideas produce failure or nothing. The good ideas, however, that produces the solution will most likely be in that batch as well.
One example of an incredible idea generator is Thomas Edison. I always heard that many, many people “laughed” at Thomas Edison and all his ideas and inventions. Thomas Edison had a remarkable number of invention failures. However, those inventions that did succeed solved some huge, huge problems for a lot of people. If you become a creative idea generator yourself just know that you might be quite comical to a lot of people around you until of course, you come up with the one idea that rocks the nation, or in your particular world and job.
Here are some fun games you can play to help you become more creative:
• While you get dressed look at the color of what you are putting on. As quickly as possible, think of as many alternative different names for that color. Keep thinking of new names until you finish dressing.
• Do you ever get caught in a traffic jam? The time wasted sitting in these traffic jams could be used to play a creative mind game. Look the car in front of you. Choose something about the car that catches your eye such as a bumper sticker or the actual color of the car. Say out loud ten thoughts that come to your mind as a result of that part of the car. Now think about a problem you have at work. As quickly as possible list as many ways that what you notice about the car part is similar to your problem at work. Now determine whether or not any of these items might help you solve your problem at work. If not, pick another part of the car and play the game again.
• Another game you play with yourself is when you run into a problem, think, about what Leonardo would do in this situation.