Practicing Creativity

October 20, 2020
3 min read

The global pandemic has changed the way we operate, including how we run businesses, educate children, socialize with friends – it’s changed the way we live our lives. One thing that has become really clear is this: the difference between success and failure is creativity.

For us designers, creativity is the force that we tap into daily in order to come up with new ideas and solve problems, but now, facing a never-seen-before challenge, we’ve had to expand our resources for creative inspiration. Physically distanced collaboration is a new necessity, and brainstorming meetings look much different than they did barely a year ago. Feeding off each other’s ideas is not as immediate and energetically charged as it once was.

So how do you keep ideas flowing and feed your creative soul? Here are a few “Science – Backed” ways to nurture your creativity:

Exercise your creativity like a muscle
When people try to think more creatively, they almost always can -- and those effects are both significant and repeatable.  The more you use your brain to do something, the stronger the connections between the cells involved become.

Think Dumb
One of the challenges we face when the ideas just aren’t coming is the pressure to excel. But that pressure doesn’t do anything to help us. On the contrary, it can act like a mental block. How to break out? Experts recommend bad ideas. Come up with the worst, most ridiculous, most useless solution to the problem at hand — it loosens you up (goodbye pressure) and it forces you to approach the problem differently. 

Change up your surroundings
Our routines are great for comfort, but they can also be the very thing keeping our brain from working hard to uncover inspiration. You might not have much control over your work environment, especially now — maybe you’re working from your small apartment or bedroom —  but making even minor adjustments can translate to a significant creativity boost. Try switching out some of the items on your desk, orienting yourself differently, or even switching your coffee cup daily.

Expand your interests
Research suggests that broadening your knowledge by way of unfamiliar topics fosters new ideas and divergent thinking. So, when we’re looking to create brilliant new concepts…there’s nothing more valuable than a deep, wide well of ideas to draw on. And the only way to create that well of ideas is to consume as many new thoughts, and new pieces of knowledge, from as many varied sources as possible. The more interesting and diverse the pieces, the more interesting the interconnections

Try on Six Hats?
It is based on the premise that we are all predisposed to think in a certain way, always defaulting to what is comfortable. Meanwhile, we are all also capable of thinking in a myriad of different ways. Different situations put us in different frames of mind, which inevitably lead us to new and different ideas.

The Six Hats Game* is just this: Try approaching your problem from six different points of view. Try on each of the hats, and see how your perspective changes:

The Blue Hat: A broad outlook

The Black Hat: A negative perspective. 

The Yellow Hat: The flipside―a positive perspective. 

The Green Hat: Think different. 

The Red Hat: The emotional hat

The White Hat: The objective and reasonable hat

So, for full disclosure, I’ve always loved a good accessory, but as I was doing research for this blog and found out about the “Six Hat Game” my curiosity was instantly piqued and I personally can’t wait to put it into practice.

© 2024 Soubriet Byrne & Associates, Inc.