“Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.”
-Mary Lou Cook, 1940’s Actress
When thinking of creative people, many of us think of musicians, artists, and writers. However, creatives encompass all the people who solve problems-from designers and city planners to entrepreneurs, nonprofit employees, and teachers-in new ways that make our world better. According to the World Economic Forum, creativity is one of the most important and in-demand skills in the workplace. Don’t feel creative? Creativity is a strength that increases the more it’s exercised.
In a 2016 study, creativity was increased when employees are given more autonomy in an environment. The freedom to make decisions on your own, coupled with “permission to fail”, leads to intrinsic motivation which fuels creativity and innovation. In Michelle McQuaid’s book, Can You Put Your Strengths To Work, creativity is described as your preference for producing new ideas and executing behaviors that are original.
Need some inspiration? Check out these stories of creativity!
- Patricia Dovi and Kim Martin, two first-grade teachers in Florida, transformed the desks in their classrooms into social distancing “jeeps” to ease their students’ fears and keep them excited for school.
- Author ,Susan Straight, created Fence Library 2020 for her neighbors out of the hundreds of books around her house and an iron fence.
DID YOU KNOW…
Creativity helps promote the ability to think of many ways to solve a problem? This ability is called divergent thinking, the thought process that allows you to explore many possible solutions, and can be instrumental in changing a stagnant work environment.
PUT IT IN PRACTICE
- Find A New Way. Think of the countless tasks you can do with your eyes shut. You’ve done them in the same way that they’ve become routine. Challenge yourself to take one of those tasks and find a new way to do it. Even a simple location change to outside or color-coding when you normally wouldn’t can fire up your creative energies around a same-old, same-old task.
- Practice Conscious Constraints. Often, we can settle into a rut with certain parts of our role, and one exercise that can spark new thoughts and ideas is by barring your defaults. For one day, ban certain words, ban default communication tools, or ban your primary target market. This forces you to think dynamically and creatively outside of your “box.”