How To Be More Creative At Work

Fetch the finger paints, it’s time to get crafty!

The term “creative business” has two definitions.

On the one hand, you might work in the creative industries — perhaps you run huge advertising campaigns, design epic games, or chisel shoes out of cement (hey, you do you!).

On the other, a creative business can be any company that harnesses the power of creative, flexible thinking to approach everyday problems.

You can be one, you can be the other, and if you’re extra lucky — and likely wearing horn-rimmed glasses — you can be both. But the simple truth is that everyone, no matter what your business, can bring an extra sprinkling of creativity to their working day.

Here are our top five tips for getting those creative juices flowing:

Get Everyone Involved

Find time in your day or week for everyone in your team to pitch in with ideas. From your intern to your CEO, putting everyone on an equal playing field is one of the best ways to let your team know know that their voices are heard and their ideas are appreciated. Choose a single project, proposal or problem (official work or “fun business”) and encourage everyone to brainstorm together.

Think Laterally

There’s more than one way to cook breakfast. While you’re problem solving, find ways to challenge and reframe your line of thinking. What is the exact opposite of your idea? How might your favourite character in a film approach this problem? What about if you couldn’t use any colour, or sound, or words? What does the problem smell like? It might seem silly at first, but engage all your senses and make connections to things that seem totally unrelated for a fresh and original approach.

Do Two Things At Once

Your mum was right: you should never, ever talk with your mouth full. But any other multi-tasking is totally fair game. Keeping your hands busy and your mind distracted is one of the best ways to approach a difficult problem. Try playing with clay, doing a puzzle or even reorganising your desk drawer (two birds, one stone) while you and a colleague mull over a problem. In a meeting, switch out who creatively documents your team’s thoughts on a board — doodles, sketches and crosswords make takeaways surprisingly memorable.

Take It Out Of The Office

You don’t have to spend a mid-winter weekend navigating the Norfolk Broads in canoes to “think outside the office”. Take a quick walk in the park, head to a museum or even (if you have to) sit in a coffee shop. There’s something about office-standard fluorescent lighting that screams “NO NEW IDEAS TODAY”; go and find yourself some sunshine.

CharlieHR is the HR platform for teams with big ideas. Building a company is hard, running one shouldn’t be. Find out more here.

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