Creativity. In lots of industries, and especially in ‘creative’ industries such as marketing, this word is thrown around a lot. So much so that it’s almost lost meaning. Let’s take it back to basics with a definition: “The use of imagination or original ideas to create something.”
Phew. We know what it means again. But, how do we capture some of this creativity for ourselves in our everyday workplace? Here are 10 ways to do just that.
Since one of the main barriers to creativity is time itself, we’ll keep this short with plenty of links away for further reading if you’re interested.
How to build a creative culture within your work:
1. Variety is the spice of (office) life
Having different areas for different tasks and mindsets can work well, with some areas allowing for a more collaborative, open flow of ideas and others providing a private space to get your head down. IDEO have a few interesting ideas for this, including a communal gathering space, moveable desks, and a ‘home-y kitchen’.
2. Embrace natural light
Nothing makes you feel less creative that harsh, artificial lighting. Open the blinds, turn off the lights, and let the world outside light the way. This is one that Interactive Space definitely agree on, as it made their own list, along with the science behind workplace lighting.
3. Welcome nature
Bringing a splash of green into the office is proven to reduce stress and increase productivity, both needed for creativity. Here are 20 plants you could try.
4. Understand the brand(s) you’re working with
By knowing the foundations of a brand or brands you’re working with, you’ll all be on the same page and new ideas will flow more naturally. We use the SOSTAC method to make sure we fully understand a brand and their situation, audience, objectives and so on.
As a result, we can be more creative with campaign ideas because we know exactly who we’re trying to reach, where we’re trying to reach them, and the kind of content they want to see, saving time to discuss bigger ideas.
5. Look for another way
We so often have certain tasks that, for whatever reason, need completing over and over. We’re looking at you forecasts. But why do we let that happen? Take a step back and look at something again. Can it be done better or in a different way? Can any processes be automated, giving you time to think about something else?
6. Encourage creative pursuits outside of work
We have a few different interests and skills in our teams and we like chatting about them before we get down to work. It’s a fun way to bond and may spark a new talent or desire to learn that you never knew you had… Some of us write, some of us draw, others are learning another language, and some have a real passion for photography.
Hobbies and interests should be celebrated, making way for new ways of thinking.
7. Pretend budget is endless
This may not be possible in reality, but focusing too much on the finances can limit ideas. Forget about the numbers for a minute and think of every option. You might have some amazing ideas that can be scaled back or used in the future.
8. Try a different way of thinking
There are many different ways of approaching a task or campaign. Here are 15 exercises that encourage collaboration more than the usual ‘brainstorm’ and your ideas just may benefit from it.
9. Give yourself time
The clock is always ticking, but for once… ignore it. Sometimes the best ideas come in a moment, but other times they need time to grow. Take the time you need.
10. Have fun, take risks
Just try something new. According to the definition, you can’t be creative without being original, so you need to try somethings for the first time. It can be scary, but exciting, too.
Feeling creative? Maybe not yet, but try a few of these 10 ideas out and you might find yourself and your team can’t stop sharing new ideas at your new communal table surrounded by plants.