Creativity is something like the holy grail of business – meaning that everyone knows that creativity can be a make or break factor in personal and professional success, but that it’s also very difficult to figure out just how to “be creative.”
On the one hand, creativity is difficult to define in any kind of objective sense. On the other hand, we all know it when we see it – and innovations such as the iPhone are, undoubtedly, rooted in a substantial degree of creativity.
While there is no hard and fast formula that can guarantee that you will “become creative,” here are a few things that you can try, which might go a good way towards promoting creativity in your professional life.
Allow Yourself to Take a More “Playful” Approach to Your Work
Some of the great Nobel laureate scientists of the last half a century or so have argued, over the years, that innovation becomes less and less possible in science as the field of science itself becomes more and more dominated by KPIs and performance metrics.
According to the great physicist Richard Feynman, innovation requires play – and his own discoveries were dependent on the fact that people left him alone to toy with different ideas, have fun, and refine his theories, in a low-pressure environment.
While you won’t always be able to take a “playful” approach to your work, you should certainly look for ways to allow more playfulness into elements of your professional life, all the same.
Innovation is driven, largely, by having the freedom to experiment with your own ideas, while having fun at the same time.
Use Your Own Experience as a Consumer to Influence Your Approach
Everyone who’s selling something to someone else, is also undoubtedly a consumer in various other areas of their life.
We all buy groceries, we all buy electronics, furniture, and an assortment of other things, too. In order to be more creative and innovative in your own professional life, you should use your own experience as a consumer to influence and inform your own approach with regards to how to behave, professionally.
Do you find that you much prefer products that come in flat bottom box pouches, for example? Well then, “practice what you preach” and use that type of packaging approach yourself.
Likewise, if there’s a particular feature of online marketing that you really hate being on the receiving end of, don’t then turn around and apply the same principles in your business.
Develop Various Skill Sets, and Explore Multiple Areas
The book, “Range,” by David Epstein, makes a very compelling case that having a broad range of experience across a variety of different dimensions, is very often what leads to success as a whole – and certainly fuels and facilitates creativity and innovation.
There’s a common idea that “to be successful” means to be a hyper-focused specialist in a particular domain.
But the business landscape, for one thing, is very dynamic. It’s constantly changing, and there are all sorts of different elements that need to be considered, weighed up, and maneuvered. For this reason, among others, a breadth of experience is often one of the best things you can arm yourself with.