Creativity. Everyone has it and it can unleash your career potential.
I was working on a resort Island many years ago as a porter and I did a bit of part-time work baby-sitting for guests. I remember vividly two ladies talking about one of the children, and what one of them said I found astounding: “poor little Robert, he just isn’t creative. Like his father”. That’s right, these women decided that a child in their care had no creativity! I said nothing at the time however it got me thinking.
Since then I have met a lot of people who profess to being non-creative or not very creative and I believe, that in most cases, this is something that has been imprinted on them by adults at an early age. Frankly I don’t believe anyone is “uncreative”, I find the idea ridiculous. The very act of reading a book demonstrates the amazing creative potential in us all. Sure, you are reading someone else’s creative efforts however what is going on in your mind is, well, mind boggling. The images you conjure up reading one word after the other, like a constantly adjusting movie screen, is worth taking some notice of. All the characters features are conjured by you, all their clothes, all the scenery. Everyone who reads the same book will have entirely different images in their head which is an expression of their own creativity. Take some time to notice this the next time you read.
Creativity is Intelligence having fun. Albert Einstein
Another exercise we have done with adult students, is to ask them to make up a story. Most students will baulk at this, and often will give the argument that they aren’t very creative. So, I tell them that I’ll think of a story instead and they just have to ask a series of questions to which I’ll answer yes or no. “Is the story about a dog?” No. “Is the story about a man?” Yes. “Does he have a funny hat on” Yes. I haven’t thought of a story by the way, I’m just saying yes and no at random. Eventually, usually after an incredibly bizarre story emerges, I’ll confess that they have actually done all the creative work, which kind of kills their “I’m not very creative” argument.
So, we are all creatives. If you still don’t believe me just take my word for it. But how do we use this fact to enhance our work and life? Everyone is aware of the need for creativity in a work environment, it is usually called “thinking outside of the box” and if you are on a managerial path in life, you really need to be able to demonstrate this. If you are wondering how exactly you can access your wonderful and unique brand of creativity, here are 2 simple things to help:
1: Play. If you’ve read my previous articles, you’ll see a theme here (Why Play is Important in Business), however possibly the most effective way to draw out your creativity is simply to become more playful. Easier said than done, I realise, but try relating back to a game that you have enjoyed in the past that involved problem solving. Scrabble is a good example, sometimes you give up trying to make a word out of the 7 tiles in front of you and just start shuffling them around. You have moved from using logic to just having a play with the letters and it’s amazing how often this will inspire a word.
Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way. Edward de Bono
2: Do a course in creativity. There is plenty out there to help you release your creative spark, a creative writing course for instance is a fabulous way to get those creative juices flowing. One of the best options though is to do an acting course, as the skills you pick up here are all about human communication and playing is essential. Unfortunately, a lot of acting courses out there are designed for acting hopefuls, take themselves very seriously and are populated by lots of young aspiring actors. There is, however, a few companies that specialise in teaching acting skills specifically for business participants. Check out this website and you’ll see what I mean: www.peersandplayers.com. OK, that was a plug for the company I work for, but what the hell, I was thinking outside of the box…
Matt Stewart is a professional actor and project manager with Peers and Players Corporate Actors. If you’d like to know more about how corporate actors can enhance your workplace training check out our website www.peersandplayers.com or email email@example.com to arrange a chat.