When was the last time someone asked you to come up with a creative solution to a challenge? For some of us, creativity comes naturally and for others, there is a need for colleagues, tools, images, and even directions to launch a creative idea. Sometimes when I ask teams, “what are your tools for creativity?”, the answer is silence. How do you enter your creative zone?
If you ask an artist about his/her tools for creativity you’ll hear things like pencil, paintbrush, chalk, markers, etc… Yet in workplaces and community meetings, the creative zone is not always as obvious. Yet, in the fast changing world we live in we are constantly needing to come up with creative solutions to challenges and opportunities.
What are your creative strategies? creative strengths? I believe by combining visual strategy and strengths most people can step into their creative zone.
Visual Strategy- Visual strategy is a way to capture all the ideas in the room in a large scale image. I find mind mapping and post it notes a fantastic way to unleash the creative energy of a room. David Sibbet is the master of this process and his books are very helpful. David teaches classes at the Grove Institute in his process but his books really walk you through everything you need. Basically, a few markers, post it notes, and a big piece of paper! In visual strategy a team creates a goal and then brainstorms all the ways to possibly reach that goal. The brainstorming is done with sticky notes and then you can move ideas around to capture themes and patterns. Creativity unfolds from the energy in the room.
Strengths- Some people hold natural talents for creativity. We often think of those people with brainstorming and strategic thinking strengths as the “creative energy in the group”. I also see people with relationship building strengths as incredibly creative. They naturally recognize who to bring into a conversation, how to gauge diversity of ideas, and how to create inclusivity in a team. Their creative super power is connecting people and ideas. In addition, people with executing strengths are brilliant at designing creative systems to organize and implement big ideas. I have found that teams that weave together the creative energy of the strategic thinkers, relationship builders and executors develop the most compelling creative ideas. Together they step out of their comfort zones and land in their creative zones.
What strategies do you have for stepping into your creative zone?