Article

Suzy Pickard
Suzy Pickard 8 April 2016

7 Tips for Unlocking Your Creative Genius

Early in my marketing career, the old adage, “it’s an evolution, not a revolution”, was buzzed around. I believe that there are not many truly authentic ideas.  

Most things have been done before and most new ideas, are simply old ideas reinvented.

Be creative.

Think creatively.

Brainstorm.

Think outside the box.

Or my favourite:

Think like there is no box…

Creative thinking is the process of coming up with new ideas, either deliberate or accidental.

I recently read about blogger James Alucher who gets up every morning and writes down at least 5 new ideas, every single day.  His reasoning was in line with Maya Angelou’s theory on creativity, he was saying that the more ideas you have, the easier and more frequently new ideas will come.  James said of his experience, “Within three months the ideas would really start flowing, to the point where I felt overwhelming urges to execute the ideas.  Within six months, good ideas would start flowing, I’d begin executing them, and everyone around me would help me put everything together.”

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Artist, Austin Kleon once said,

“Every artist gets asked the question, ‘Where do you get your ideas?’

The honest artist answers, ‘I steal them.’”

Steve Jobs also agreed, “Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something.”

This takes the pressure off, it’s not about reinventing the wheel, it’s about finding opportunities and making them into new creative avenues for your business.

To generate ideas, you need a healthy balance of dreaming and reality.  Different beliefs, values, experience and knowledge create different thoughts, feelings and ideas.  To make an informed decision, it’s best to test new ideas on different audiences, relevant to your business to capture their responses and reactions.

Organised brainstorming is a great way to get the creative juices flowing, however creatively cannot be scheduled or forced  and you should allow others time to mull things over and incubate their thoughts and suggestions.

Researchers say that being tired is often the best time for creative thinking.  When you’re tired, your brain has more random thoughts and distractions and struggles to push these out and focus on the one thing, this state of mind is good for creative thinking.

7 tips for unleashing your creative genius:

  1. LISTEN to your customers, your team, your suppliers – the best ideas can come from the most unexpected places.   Create a culture that encourages people to speak their mind and reward feedback.
     
  2. READ & LEARN - follow industry newsletters / undertake research / read blogs / find a mentor / join business groups / google stuff.  Educate yourself – what are the leaders in your industry up to?
     
  3. WRITE & SHARE - put it down on paper.  You know your business better than anyone, but what do you share with your team?  Writing releases ideas from your mind, making space for new ideas.  When you see your ideas pieced together on paper and when you present them to others, it’s often easy to identify the gaps and the ideas will easily follow.
     
  4. Don’t force it, INCUBATE it, let the solutions to your opportunities come naturally in your own time.
     
  5. Don’t be scared of failing, put it out there, review it, discuss and ANALYSE the idea from every angle.
     
  6. What’s old is new again.  For every trend that has made a reoccurrence, someone decided to REINVENT, they presented an idea, it was accepted and others followed.  There will always be leaders and followers, if you cannot innovate, follow.  If you don’t you’ll be left for dust.
     
  7. Remember you can’t do it all!  ASK FOR HELP. Surround yourself with an amazing in-house team or outsource. Expand your knowledge and skill-set by surrounding yourself with the best people.
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