Creativity BulbCreativity is usually an aspect of a business that is overlooked as it’s difficult, if not impossible to quantify.

Owners and managers often place a value on “thinking out of the box.” But if creativity is so important why do large and small companies often leave it to chance?

Entrepreneurs such as Richard Branson have always been keen to use creativity at the workplace to help innovate. – “At Virgin, we encourage and reward creativity in our employees and we have enjoyed the success of empowering other people’s good ideas.”

1. Artwork

Replace the standard corporate posters in the office with a piece of art that is a talking point such as contemporary art or a sculpture.

Try some websites like www.20×200.com and www.unknownprints.com for some affordable art that’s different from the norm.

2. Plants

A study by the Texas A&M University research team showed both women and men demonstrated more innovative thinking, generating more ideas and original solutions to problems in the office environment that included flowers and plants. In these surroundings, men who participated in the study generated 15% more ideas. And, while males generated a greater abundance of ideas, females generated more creative, flexible solutions to problems when flowers and plants were present.

Your local plant & flower nursery.

3. Notepad

Taking notes increases retention of ideas and it also gives you ideas to build on later. Sometimes a keyword can jog your memory about a place, a conversation or an idea you had. We all have sparks of inspiration which can be lost forever if they aren’t noted down.

A pen and paper shouldn’t be hard to find.

4. Exercise

Creativity improves when you exercise. It’s true. The type of exercise doesn’t matter, and the boost lasts for at least two hours afterward. However, there’s a catch: this is the case only for the physically fit. For those who rarely exercise, the fatigue from aerobic activity counteracts the short-term benefits.

Open door, run around.

5. Make mistakes

Edward de Bono once said that “It is better to have enough ideas for some of them to be wrong, than to be always right by having no ideas at all.”

Don’t fear failing.

6. Talk to children/strangers

It sounds odd, but we tend to talk to people who are either in the same workplace or who have similar interests, it’s human nature. However, we tend to not question the way things are done because we have a similar mindset to those around us. By listening to other people who have different mindset to us, we open up new possibilities of the ways things are which enables us to look at things from a different perspective.

I know it’s fictional but watch a film like BIG. A classic example of a ‘child’ in an adult society giving a new spin on ideas.

Gavin Smith is the founder of www.unknownprints.com, a new site putting a creative twist on the art market.


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