If you asked me for one skill, talent or trait that I could choose over all others in building a successful workplace with long-range staying power, the answer would be easy.
In this fast-paced world driven by technology that is constantly challenging everything we do, those who get the farthest fastest will creatively think their way there. Or at least they’ll sure do it a lot better than their competitors.
Creativity is like attitude. You control it. No excuses. If it’s important enough to you, you’ll find a way to do it, even if it means you do it outside the office when no one’s looking, bringing the results back with you at work.
When it comes to creative thinking, we’re our own worst enemies; no one else is to blame. And the odds are against us almost from the start. The older we get the less creative we come. At least that’s what many studies have shown.
It’s not an old-age thing, either. One notion says we are the most creative in our lives around age 5, using about 80 percent of our creative potential. By the time we’re 12, it declines to about 2 percent, where it stays put for the rest of our lives.
What gives? Conformity. We are taught from the get-go in school about rules and values and that’s how we grow up and go about becoming a successful contributor to work and successful member of the community. All good.
Just means we have to work all that much harder to stay creative.
What can you do? Read different books. In fact, for many today, read. Period. Get more time away from the TV or computer screen. Hang out with different people. More important listen to what they say. Emphasis on listen.
Go someplace different over the weekend. Do something different when you get there. Don’t get overly excited when you make a mistake. Give up on being a perfectionist. Don’t play the blame game. Sample some new music. Practice something you’re not good at but still enjoy. Let yourself take a risk.
That’s more than enough. You get the picture. Embrace and celebrate the creativity in yourselves and others. And don’t be fooled by those who say they like to “think outside the box.”