Header Image - Nature is Creative...You Can Be Too

Blog

289 Articles

Seeing Things Differently

“Everyone has two eyes but no one has the same view.”

Seeing what everyone else see’s is one thing. Seeing things differently than others is something else. Sometimes the more creative you are, the more you view things differently. Seeing things different from others can produce innovative breakthrough results.

When you look at something, do you see the same thing every time you see it? Do you see the same thing everyone else sees? Do you look at every angle and see something different, or do you just agree that you see the same thing others see as to not deviant your thoughts?

“Just as our eyes need light in order to see, our minds need ideas in order to conceive.”

-Napoleon Hill

Some people are afraid to say they see the same thing others see differently. This fear of being judged or criticized from others has you hold back your real thoughts and feelings. As a creative, you don’t need to hold back or be afraid of what others say. It comes with the territory.

Understand that we all may view things differently. Seeing things differently is a big lesson to be learned that can be carried with you the rest of your life. Making it a part of your life helps you solve problems, challenges and difficulties you encounter.

“We can’t change anything until we get some fresh ideas, until we begin to see things differently.” – James Hillman

Defining Moments

“There are moments which mark your life. Moments when you realize nothing will ever be the same and time is divided into two parts, before this and after this.” – Unknown

Accepting the challenge of seeing things differently can be difficult. Define who you are by generating your own ideas and follow through with them. Present fresh and unique perspective to solving the problems, challenges and difficulties to others on your work team. Don’t be afraid to express your thoughts, ideas and opinions. This can show more of who you are to co-workers.

Asking “What If” Questions

Ask questions beyond your assumptions and beliefs What if you could break from the status quo? What if you could make the changes you know you need to make to improve things?

Encourage yourself to ask “what if” questions to see the possibilities of your ideas. The questions you ask has you asking more questions to express more of your thoughts and opinions in order to generate greater ideas.

An important question to ask yourself is “What would I do differently…?”

Extraordinary in the Ordinary

“Sometimes the most ordinary things could be made Extraordinary,

simply by doing them with the right people.” – Nicholas Sparks

Seeing the extraordinary in the ordinary essentially is that of people may appear ordinary yet create and produce extraordinary things. These individuals see themselves as ordinary.

Try this exercise. Look around for ordinary things. Whether it is a building, a toy, or an appliance for example, look at the item differently than you never did before. Experiment with ordinary things to spark inspired ideas. Even intricate little things can spark a lot more than you think. Go beyond your expectation and use your imagination.

 

Creative people manage to see the world from another perspective, and the things they do, the decision they make are just different than what the rest of the people would usually do. The different perspectives of the things around you can generate great ideas for you to create and produce as a breakthrough result. Try new things and let 2017 be the year to start seeing things differently.

“Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.”

Wayne Dyer

Happy New Year 2017

A Change to Be Creative in Your Business

If this past year has been challenging for you…You are not alone.  The New Year is built as an invitation to look at everything with a fresh set of eyes, and a chance to rethink creative opportunities. Re-evaluate where you’ve been and where you can and want to go.

Welcome back to work now that the New Year has begun. It’s a fresh new year and the season of beginnings. Being eager with new thoughts, ideas and opinions you can use starting the first day back to work. More and more businesses are turning to creativity in order to thrive beyond previous expectations, you need to show these creative problem solving skills to what you can do for your clients and customers.

New Year’s Resolutions: This year determine that you will make changes because you need to unless your business goes straight into survival mode- not thrive mode. Shifting to be creative is your best bet on keeping your current clients and gaining more as the year progresses.

Creativity in business is more important than ever before. Let’s reflect for a little bit of the reasons you may not have been creative or as creative as you could have been during the last year. Pause and ask yourself why you stopped being creative?

“And now we welcome the New Year. Full of things that have never been.” -Rainer Maria Rilke

What was your creative edge in 2016 and what will be your creative edge in 2017 be? Break your long-term goals down into smaller pieces and turn them into short-term goals.

How did this creative edge grow you in 2016 and how will your creative edge grow you in 2017?

“Celebrate what you want to see more of.” – Tom Peters

Viewing the New Year

Your New Year’s resolution for creativity is not so different from any other resolutions you make. Creativity goes beyond music, art, or literature. Being creative primarily is generating fresh innovative ideas you think of doing in unique ways to solve problems, challenges and difficulties.

With the start of another new year, think about becoming more creative in order to explore different ways you can be creative and generate higher revenue. You may just be surprised.

Learn Something New

Continue broadening your mind with learning everything you can from different perspectives. Learning something new does not mean that you have to return to school. Explore your hidden skills and talent to make you creative or to make you a better creative person. The things around you can help you see things from a different perspective you never saw before.

Customers are a great source of inspiration and innovation. After all, whose needs are you trying to meet anyway?! Talk to your target market, your top customers, and really connect with them. Find out what they’re looking for and what they love about you.

Say Goodbye to Ho-Hum Say Goodbye to Ho-Hum New Year with Creativity

“Every time you tear a leaf off a calendar, you present a new place for new ideas and progress.” -Charles Kettering

What will be your New Year can astound you now and as you generate ideas and create your ideas into the results you are hoping for. Instead of doing the same old-same old and getting the same results, start adding a little of your creative thinking for greater inspiration in the work you do. Keep motivating yourself and your employees for greater breakthrough results.

It’s only natural to want to scrap the old and start over once you get a whiff of that “New Year smell”. It gives you the opportunity to rethink and evaluate how creative your ideas can be. You may sometimes find that routine can be a source of generating ideas for you to use in solving problems, challenges and difficulties. Look with open eyes and an open mind for opportunities for greater results.

Make the Impossible, Possible

“Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.” -Helen Keller

Challenge yourself and your employees to solve things that others believe are impossible to achieve. By breaking down each piece of the puzzle, you will find it easier to solve and then put it back together using your own unique combinations to complete and make impossible, possible.

Carry a Notebook

Don’t stop thinking of ideas, thoughts, opinions and questions. Write down your thoughts, ideas and opinions with regard to the things you see and how you can improve them. Write down any questions you have that provoking thinking beyond beliefs and assumptions. Do yourself a big favor to write things down whether you need to refer to them now or sometime into the future. They are very handy to hold onto.

Don’t Wait Until to Create the Change You Want Today

As you enter the New Year, are you ready to hit the ground running! What’s your goal and why? How do you plan to tackle the challenge? Cultivate at the start of a fresh new year. Spark new creative ideas for an extraordinary result. Be creative and find as many different ways as possible of achieving the same goal. Break down your goal in smaller pieces.

“The New Year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. We can help write that story by setting goals.” -Melody Beattie

Employees to Bring Ideas to the Table

“Creativity is a Function of Leadership” -Linda Naiman

For years your leadership has been telling your employees what to do and how to do things. After all these years, you realize you are losing business to your competitors and you need to thrive beyond survival mode. Many of your employees work on their own projects outside of work. After talking with a few employees, you find that many of them have great ideas for moving the company forward with their great ideas. You decide to give it a try.

Your employees already generate and create ideas for their own results outside of the workplace. Maybe it’s time you have them do the same thing in the workplace? For some leaders, this is the terrifying unknown – or like being afraid of the dark. For others, you know what you need to do to thrive and as the Nike ads say- “Just Do It.”

“I encourage people to bring ideas to the table. I’m very much a listener

and keep an open ear.” -Bruce R. Keiser

Since your employees are the ones who do the work, and they can be productive during the time they wait for any approval from management. Now is the time to allow your employees the opportunity to generate ideas to solve the problems, challenges and difficulties you assign to them. How can your employees meet your challenge?

“Connect the dots between individual roles and the goals of the organization. When people see that connection, they get a lot of energy out of work. They feel the importance, dignity, and meaning in their job.” – Ken Blanchard and Scott Blanchard

Enabling Employees to Solve Problems

One way to activate creativity within your employees is to develop your workplace into an environment that invites and accepts change, challenges and solutions from your employees. Being inclined to generate ideas, create those ideas and produce great results needs to be encouraged. On top of this, your employees need to feel comfortable expressing their thoughts, ideas and opinions without judgment or criticism. Their confidence is what is needed to bring new ideas to the table. 

Leaders Accepting Feedback from Employees

“Good ideas are common – what’s uncommon are people who’ll work hard enough to bring them about” – Ashleigh Brilliant (English Author and Cartoonist, b.1933)

Giving employees feedback and recognition helps them feel valued. This in-turn helps them contribute more into the creative process of their work. Ask them questions and allow them to give feedback, ask questions and express their concerns without retribution.

Employees can offer greater ideas when they are able to feel comfortable in speaking up and giving their thoughts and opinions. An employee who is hesitant to speak up is not going to feel valued especially with the contributions they provide.

Keep Ideas Flowing in Your Workplaces

“New ideas pass through three periods: 1) It can’t be done. 2) It probably can be done, but it’s not worth doing. 3) I knew it was a good idea all along!”

 Arthur C. Clarke quotes (English Writer of science fiction, b.1917)

Allowing your employees a percentage of time each week to work on personal projects can boost your company’s performance, revenue and profits. Ask for ideas from everyone within your company. Create an inspiration room specifically designed to encourage your people to brainstorm and use a whiteboard for ideas. You can put up a “What if…” board for questions. Set up an “idea Challenge of the Month” to encourage your employees to generate ideas on a specific problem or area.

Bringing out the best in your employees

“To win in the marketplace you must first win in the workplace.” – Doug Conant

Generating great ideas of creativity leads to innovation. Innovation is essential for the growth of any company. Instead of stifling creativity and innovation, business leaders need to understand the triggers of progress to grow your company. Diversity empowers your people as to capitalize on their strengths.

Cultivating and developing training to improve the skills and talent of your employees for greater creative breakthrough results need to continue. Having some of your more creative employees working with less experienced employees can have a significant impact throughout your organization. This is where your employees take a lot of pride in them and in their employment. Innovation is the key to keeping your business competitive, as bright ideas are often hard to come by.

“The air is full of ideas. They are knocking you in the head all the time. You only have to know what you want, then forget it, and go about your business. Suddenly, the idea will come through. It was there all the time.”

 Henry Ford quotes (American industrialist and pioneer of the assembly-line production method, 1863-1947)

As a leader, you want to shift gears from an ordinary organization to one that is extraordinary in being creative and innovative. This is so you can get a jump on your competition and thrive beyond survival mode. You already know that your employees work on great ideas outside of the workplace. Now, you have them to bring their great ideas in-house. Thrive beyond your expectation.

Creativity in a Box of Crayons

Crayon your way to creativity. What do I draw, what ideas can I generate?

Think back to your childhood school days. You most likely used all the colors in the box, colored outside the lines and sometimes even added to the picture. The little extra stuff is part of your creativity. If you colored in the lines and did not add anything onto the paper, your teacher loved what you drew. On the other hand, if you drew outside the lines and since you added extra things or colored how you wanted, your teacher probably wasn’t a happy camper with you.

As an adult, it’s time to forget what you were taught in school and are ready to do things your way; it’s time to try things on your own. With a blank piece of paper in front of you and cracking open a brand new box of 64 crayons you can now stretch your creative ideas and draw what you want to without your former school classmates bothering you. No one tells you what to draw or to ask “What is that?”  Show your creativity. You make the decision of what you want in your picture.

Quick: Think of five things you could do with a new box of crayons. Take notice of how you feel when thinking of these 5 things.

Opening a pack of crayons and making an idea your own helps you see things others don’t when it comes to creativity and innovation. Look around you and take pieces of information and generate ideas from what you see. It may not be possible to draw them, instead use a creative notebook and write down in detail your thoughts, ideas and opinions.

“Your attitude is like a box of crayons that color your world. Constantly color your picture gray, and your picture will always be bleak. Try adding some bright colors to the picture by including humor and your picture begins to lighten up.”

ALLEN KLEIN, attributed, Soul Rays: Discover the Vibratory Frequency of Your Soul

Too many adults think that you need to instantly become an adult with all the responsibilities when you reach 18 years of age. These same individuals don’t revert to childhood for any reason.  If you did not get praise or recognition as a child with regard to your creative works, you typically will think you are not good at being creative or that no one likes your work. At least be creative for yourself.

This week crack open a fresh box of crayons.  Stretch your creativity by getting back in touch with your inner child. Draw, sculpt, paint, or write. Challenge yourself to find something creative to do with all that colored wax. Being creative, you invent, imagine, problem-solve, create, and communicate in fresh, new ways. This is where every business requires creative thinkers to work for them.

Experimenting with crayons could lead to some new ideas for your current projects. As you might imagine, different colors activate the brain in different ways. Studies have shown that specifically green and blue have strong effects on enhancing creativity and nourishing innovative thinking. What colors work for you in the projects you create?

Now grab your crayons and go to it! Underneath it all, explore the colors. Use each colored crayon and draw something, doodle or just make lines.

“Learn to use ten minutes intelligently. It will pay you huge dividends.”

-William Irwin

Leaders, Start Viewing Setbacks as Opportunities

For some time now, your company has been thriving very well. All of a sudden something stopped working and your productivity was brought to a standstill. When your business suffers a setback, how do you handle it?  Everyone responds to setbacks differently. Good leaders are resilient. They bounce back from set-backs.

How can you thrive after a setback takes place in your business?  First, don’t panic. Focus Your Vision.

Focusing where your energy goes determines where the company goes. For example, if you focus on the setback itself and the challenge it brought you, your business will not move forward. On the other hand, if you focus on your vision for where you want to take your business from here, use this transition period wisely.

Looking at ways to strengthen your resilience, you need to first and foremost, stay calm. If you don’t stay calm, you will take reactive actions that can worsen the situation. Otherwise, by staying calm you get to think about what had taken place and take rational steps to work through what the setback situation is on a proactive basis.

A setback is typically an event that hinders your forward progress. This can take the form of employees quitting without notice, losing a large account,  or an executive who died suddenly.

Resilience for most people just isn’t there for them. They see a negative situation and wallow in it. For others, you see a negative situation and look for how you can turn it into an advantage. According to Stacey Copas, keynote speaker and facilitator of Resilience for Results, “the key to building resilience is to actively create strategies on how to handle difficult situations – a trait which is absolutely critical for any leader”. A big part of resilience is confidence.

The key ingredients of handling setbacks include the following.

Be Optimistic

Look at your situation as optimistic as possible. Think more along the lines of the “glass-half-full” attitude as you put your focus on spotting opportunities for positive change. By asking thought-provoking questions leading to how this setback can be an opportunity in disguise may be just what your company needs to move forward.

Adopting a Growth Mindset

Being open has you looking at various opportunities for a back-up plan. Seeing a setback in your business can bring you down. By letting the setback get you upset and having you worry about it has you not thinking clearly for the best solution. Instead of going into a downward spiral, turn your energy into asking yourself “How can I add value?”, “How can I contribute to turning things around?” and start to focus on what your next steps need to be, not want the situation is.

Start looking at setbacks as opportunities for new beginnings. Instead of reacting, take a short time to re-think what you have in front of you. Then start to brainstorm what good can actually be the outcome of what you have.

Every day offers you the opportunity to ask yourself, “Will I let this make me better? Or will I allow this to make me bitter?” The choice is ultimately up to you. When in doubt, pause. Don’t let the fight-or-flight stress response take over.

Never Give Up

There’s a great saying that how you do one thing is how you do everything. Setbacks may mean you have to start over on a project, or even that you have to admit defeat on a business idea, but never give up your enthusiasm. When you stay positive and stay in the game, you open yourself up to possibilities. When a setback occurs, immerse yourself in new ideas.

Learn from Setbacks

No matter what the setback, the most important thing you can do is to put things in perspective. It is easier said than done. Look at every failure as an opportunity. Setbacks only slow you down

Setbacks are merely hurdles standing in your way. They are inevitable and unavoidable at times. As soon as you recognize this, you will begin to navigate through setbacks accordingly. As long as you keep your eyes on the desired outcome, you will get there eventually.

 

Great Leaders Ask Great Questions

“Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers.” —Voltaire

When it comes to creativity, asking the right questions provokes your thinking for great results.

Many leaders, managers and supervisors do not know how to probe for information from their employees, colleagues as well as their own boss. Instead, you may make assumptions based on their actions. How many of these assumptions are wrong, yet you do not question them with the right questions? Asking the right questions to spur innovation to solve the problems, challenges and difficulties you have in front of you does not trigger defensiveness. It typically is seen as being constructive and a thirst for knowledge and understanding.

Most people do not know how to frame a question for understanding. Many leaders are not aware of the power asking the right questions result in. Some people think that when you are questioned, it is not asking for feedback to help understand situations. Actually, asking the right questions need to be listened to carefully and then thought of before answering.

“You can’t solve a problem until you’re asking the right questions.” – Unknown

Before asking a question where you want a great solution to a problem, challenge or difficulty is when the question is thought-provoking. Your questions need to make people actually use their creative thinking skills. By having others think about the question, they need to take the time to generate ideas that move the solution toward a positive response.

Unleash the Connected Potential of Your People

When working with a team of collaborative people, asking questions to challenge beliefs and assumptions of a project is definitely what you want to do. Follow-up questions gives you an understanding of the ideas you want to convey in the project as well as how things will be put together for a better result than ordinarily expected.

Leading By Example

“I’m always looking, and I’m always asking questions.” – Anne Rice

Your employees need to ask questions just as your leader asks questions. As leader, you are the one who your employees need to follow. Asking insightful questions is what every employee needs to do in order to achieve great results. In being open to new ideas, each team member/employee needs to share their thoughts and opinions regarding the project.

The Way You Ask Questions

“Management teams aren’t good at asking questions. In business school, we train them to be good at giving answers.” -Clayton Christensen

The way you ask questions is critically important. In asking open-ended questions, you start with “Why”, “How”, “What”. Questions that start with any of these gives you a fresh challenge to assumptions and beliefs.

On the other hand, closed-ended questions call for specific responses such as “Yes” or “No”. These types of questions start with: “How many…”, “Do you agree…”, “When”. Closed ended questions focus on facts.  Leaders who like to maintain control focus on these questions.

Having Courage

Having the courage to ask questions that challenge others helps to bring out the perspectives other people have of the same situation. This can be thought-provoking as you get to see how those who are fearful of asking questions put themselves out in expressing their thoughts. The courage to ask uncomfortable questions that are different from what others ask can be what is needed to achieve creative results.

Developing Yourself Mindset

The idea of asking questions demonstrates the thoughts, opinions and mindset others have. How curious your team is with regard to expressing their thoughts, ideas and opinions tells a lot how others see the same situation. Building a team with a curious mindset helps the organization through

Teams with a high level of curiosity are more creative and perform better than those who are not curious or not expressing themselves. Being an important contributor to the problems, challenges and difficulties on your plate help generate more effective work results.

Move Beyond the Basics

Too many companies discourage questions from their employees. Get past the groupthink of how everyone else asks and answers questions. Think different in the questions you need to ask. Identify 3-5 ways you ask questions in your work culture that contributes to your competitive edge.

We’ve all experienced times when we’ve failed at being good questioners, perhaps without realizing it. Asking questions that get great results moves your creative innovations forward while at the same time, they improve your employee’s performance. Ask empowering questions to foster curiosity and creativity.

The Curious Leader

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” -Walt Disney

Welcome to the era of the curious leader. Success may be less about having all the answers and more about being curious to explore an idea with asking questions.

Existing businesses and business models face disruption everyday as creativity and innovation expands into the workplace. The exploration of possible solutions, how people generate and create ideas in order to flourish, leads to more and more questions for improving from where you are right now.

“Curiosity is the engine of achievement.” -Ken Robinson

A curious leader is an inquisitive leader that sets an example that inspires creative thinking throughout your business. By laying out the foundation for your employees to follow, you set the company culture. Brian Grazer calls this “leading-by-curiosity” where you help generate more ideas from throughout your organization. At the same time, you raise employee engagement levels.

“Question what you know; explore what you don’t.” – Dan Rockwell

Embrace Curiosity

Curiosity leads you down new paths to keep exploring for greater breakthrough results. This is important due to the fast-changing innovative business environment that surrounds you. In being curious, it requires a change in leadership style in managers and executives. Curious leaders take the risk to try new things and to see things from a new or different fresh perspective. In this circumstance, you would continually ask questions of “Why”, “What-if”, and “How”.  Ask a number of rapid-fire questions to get a better understanding of the work you and your employees are working on.

Curious leaders identify drivers and strengths of the work teams to ensure employees fit for what the projects or tasks are. Successful leaders thrive on new ideas and fresh perspectives by asking questions that are opposite the traditional or conventional ways of getting things done. Whereas stagnant leaders typically accept routine ways of completing the same tasks often accepting mediocre results.

What Kind of Leader Are You?

Some leaders go about their daily routine either in the ivory tower not knowing what their employees do except to be productive on the work they have to do. Other leaders are the curious type where you are curious about things either by asking questions, interacting with employees or even get interested in the actual work employees do to produce what they are working on. Which one are you?

Curious leaders respond from a position of wanting to gather information and try to understand what employees are doing and how their productivity is.

How to Stay Curious:

  • Listen Very Well
  • Ask Questions
  • Keep an Open-Mind
  • Don’t be afraid to try something new – even if it means you might fail
  • Continuously Looking to Improve on Things
  • Focus on Problem Solving
  • Don’t be afraid to consider ideas that might disrupt the status quo
  • Get comfortable with being uncomfortable
  • Take Calculated Risks

Rekindle Your Curiosity

Ask questions and be open to new ideas, challenges, and ways of doing things. Open-mindedness and curiosity often lead to calculated risk-taking, one of the hallmarks of innovation. In this time of great change for manufacturing, leaders must stay curious.

“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.” -Albert Einstein

Quiet Leaders Know How to Get Things Done

“Leadership is the challenge to be something more than average.”

  • Jim Rohm

There’s no one-size-fits-all kind of leader. When you think of a leader, people think of someone who is social, makes strong decisions, someone who is brash and overshadows others. Typically, people think of a quiet leader as someone who is an introvert. In various situations such as in a creative organizations leaders play a slightly different role than you might expect.

Through the successes introverted leadership does not mean you are powerless. Sometimes, people don’t realize that you need to be quiet in order to make the real noise of the organization. Remember, actions speak louder than words.

Over time in working with leaders, I’ve noticed that great leaders don’t monopolize conversations. They guide their employees. Understand that most introverts are overlooked by many in organizations for higher positions. What these extroverted leaders don’t realize is that introverted as well an ambiverted employees are actually your best employees.

When you’ve got a team of stars, working under an extroverted leader, the employees are told what to do, how to do things and have others lead them to the conclusion of the project. Typically, extroverts like to work with no structure yet their leaders put structure on them.

On the other hand, employees working for an introverted or quiet leader, they are given the assignment and they are left to find the solutions to complete the project. In this case, typically introverts who prefer working with structure give their employees a more unstructured way of conducting business. This approach has been found to achieve higher productivity with greater results.

Many quiet leaders hide their quiet introverted selves from others. Many don’t even know if a leader is quiet, introverted or an ambivert. Some of the most effective leaders who get things done are introverted by nature. Sometimes being a low-key leader does have its advantages.

Characteristics of Quiet leaders

Quiet leaders are task-focused and let their actions speak louder than words. Quiet leaders are powerful. They focus on action instead of words.

Thinking First Before Speaking: With careful consideration, quiet leaders know how to respond to others ideas and present their own views.

Asking thought-provoking questions that make people think about the specific topic or focus at the moment.

Have a tenacity to solve difficult problems. When taking any risks, quiet leaders take calculated risks so as to having a back-up plan if the first one does not work.

They do not make high-stakes decisions- Often not at the top of an organization, quiet leaders don’t typically have the spotlight on them.

Quiet leaders often are out of your comfort zone due to the challenging situations you are in.

Listens carefully and does not ignore others. Quiet leaders are more attuned to listening to others in order to commit to what others ask or say to you.

Learns from mistakes made and improve for yourself and for leading your employees.

The next time you are in a meeting, ask yourself who is actually in charge of the meeting? “Usually we assume that the leader is the one who talks first and who has the most to say. The one who listens may not be your first choice.” Are You a Quiet Leader?/August 9, 2015 by Sean Swaby.

Those of us designated leaders and primarily quiet leaders have a leadership style that varies depending on the situation we are in at the moment. Our specific traits as mentioned above are just the tip of the iceberg. There are others that are used on a daily basis.

Many extroverted leaders have started using some of these for themselves. You may realize to get more accomplished with greater results, the quiet way may be best for your leadership style as well.

Leaders Allowing Employees to Break Rules for Creativity

Typically, leaders know the rules to inspire, motivate and just explain get employees to be productive in the work they do. Yet, in today’s business climate, the use of creativity and rules come into play in different ways from the traditional or conventional way of getting things done.

The challenge is in finding the balance between leading employees and having employees be creative and innovative. Since creative types are a different breed, they are less worried about profit, less tied into the world of MBAs and bottom lines. If you lead your team too tightly, you run the risk of creating narrow-minds and inflexibility. If you lead your team too loosely, the team can fall into the trap of perpetual creativity, but accomplish nothing.  Your objective as the team leader is not to swing too hard in either direction.

In most respects, creativity has rules to help you change the habits you have of conventional or traditional ways of getting things done. It is important to know the rules before you consider breaking them.

If you think for a minute or two about all of the rules that you conform to as a) individuals and b) groups then you will be surprised at how long the list is. Your list might start something like:

I begin work at 9am and leave at 5pm

I only work Monday to Friday

I must get my timesheet in by 5pm on Friday

Only senior managers can use the covered parking spaces

We must answer the telephone within 5 rings

… And the list goes on. Create your own list and see how many could be broken without affecting anybody else. By keeping a list of these rules in mind, you can balance between what you can and cannot do.

We all conform to rules and create boundaries which become constrained by for one reason or another. Try breaking some rules and see what happens, don’t think of it as breaking rules, instead think of it as stretching your boundaries.

Breaking the Rules for Creative Innovation

There are those times when you need to realize that creativity does actually have rules. They are not the same as traditional or conventional company rules. When you know enough to realize that rules decrease your productivity, it’s often a good time to break them. Rule breaking, of course, means risk.

“Rules can be broken as long as you work for a company that is comfortable with disruption as a defining them for growth,” says Roy Cohen, career coach and author of The Wall Street Professional Survival Guide.

Hiring Differently

Hiring creative and innovative people are not the same as hiring an employee for a profit making company. You need to look definitely “outside the box” in tapping creative people for generating ideas for greater breakthrough results. Their experiences and unique abilities and capabilities with how well they collaborate with team members are very important.

Creativity boils down to breaking the rules

No one likes to be thought of as a conformist who is afraid to take a chance and break the rules. “When you know enough to realize that the rules don’t make sense or seem to bog down productivity, it’s often a good time to break them,” says Mark McMillion, founder of Clarksburg, West Virginia based McMillion Leadership Associates.

“You stand out by breaking the rules with your business- doing things no one else will do.” -Julie Austin

Calculate the risk of staying where you are and conducting business as you have been versus getting out of your survival mode or getting a jump over your competition to thrive beyond your expectation with being creative and innovative.

Rules are made to be broken when creating and innovating. Traditional rules hold back creativity and innovation breakthrough results.

A good team leader lets the team know the general direction where it’s heading, and trusts everyone enough to carry on. That is not to say that the team leader is completely hands-off, but it means that they have confidence in the group to move forward without her micro-managing every detail.  If the work is going too far off the rails, the team leader needs to step in and keep everyone on track and moving forward.

“If the rules of creativity are the norm for a company, creative will be the norm.”

– Jim Gilmore

Creativity’s Role in High-Performance Organizations

“If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.” -Henry Ford

Think of the most creative and innovative organizations you know. These same companies are the most high-performing organizations in the world. So what’s the connection between creativity and performance?

It comes from staying ahead of what everyone else is doing. These businesses do things differently and they do it better. So the only way to get better is to do things differently than others.

Challenging Your Beliefs and Assumptions

Your creative thinking requires you to challenge your preconceptions and assumptions by asking questions. Those who work creatively in high-performance organizations ask unique thought-provoking questions in order to go beyond re-framing the problem into manageable small pieces to work with.

Communicating with Employees

Recognize that creative and critical thinking are two sides of the same coin. Everyone is a communicator who needs to transmit ideas clearly and efficiently in a variety of media. Communicate frequently, talk and listen in equal measure, engage in frequent informal communication and explore for ideas and information.

By communicating well with employees, leaders of high-performing organizations work with employees with regard to the work that is given. High-performing organizations have a commitment to employee communication where they explain the why of doing things and the commit to being persistent in achieving the outcomes they are looking for.

Leaders need to understand their employees in order to understand how employees generate ideas to solve the problematic situation they are assigned.

Always Being on the Cutting Edge

Staying ahead of your competition can be challenging. By starting this way, a handful of businesses end up on top because of the different ways you create and produce the products and services that help move you forward beyond your expectation.

By unlocking the power of creativity for cutting edge innovation puts you in a better position to try different ways in getting things done. Creativity is the essence allows you to do something new which never existed before. Creating better ways than before gives you the opportunity to produce the things consumers want.

High performance innovation teams bridge any shift of their mindset for understand different perspectives in how to solve what they are given.

Businesses face difficult challenges every day. How your organization meets these problems, challenges and difficulties determines how well your organization is doing and how well your employees are developed to exceed in finding the solution to these situations.

 “The things we fear most in organizations – fluctuations, disturbances, imbalances – are the primary sources of creativity.”– Margaret J. Wheatley

Creativity Readiness

Are you ready to engage your employees to be creative and innovative for generating ideas for producing high level breakthrough results? Even with inspiring and motivating your employees, as leader you need to develop employees for working within teams in order to be more productive than they may expect.

Encouraging your employees to use their creative thinking skills does welcome them to put some fun into what they do. Your employees need to have the right attitude for becoming habits that become patterns to help them be more relaxed while achieving higher level performance. Some employees may not be used to the unconventional ways to reach greater goals than they have previously. This is where the leader needs to prepare employees for doing things differently and get greater breakthrough results.

“Some people have better ideas than others; some are smarter or more experienced or more creative. But everyone should be heard and respected.” -Jack Welch

How are you doing things differently to get better?

To succeed in the 21st century every organization has to be a creative organization.

Are you ready?

Ready to move forward to become a Creatively High-Performing Organization, if so, contact Burgis Successful Solutions. We will help you reach your goal.

nburgis@successful-solutions.com