Inc. Magazine has an interesting article on developing and maintaining corporate creativity. It’s worth reading and there are a couple of interesting points that I thought applied to individuals as well.
Provide Lots of Free Time to Think
BrightHouse’s 18 staff members get five Your Days, in which they are encouraged to visit a spot conducive to reflection and let their neurons rip. No mandate to solve a particular problem. Just blue-sky thinking — often under actual blue skies. Reiman believes this unstructured cogitation is just as important to a project’s success as time spent hunkered down in client meetings. Or as he puts it: “I think; terefore, I am valuable.”
Do you give yourself time to think? It’s one thing to blame your work or depend on your work for thinking time, but you aren’t going to get it at most jobs. If time to think doesn’t seem to occur naturally, you are going to have to schedule it.
Bring in Outsiders
Many top innovation firms tap the perspectives of outside experts — be they physicists, poets, actors, archaeologists, theologians, or astronauts. At BrightHouse, such distinguished professionals, otherwise known as “luminaries,” are constantly cycling through the office.
Is your creativity insular? Do you look for help when you need it? Do you guess at things instead of asking? Learn to use other people for your own creative purposes. It’s not at all selfish, most people can’t wait for a chance to share what they know and will eagerly supply with everything you need. Find someone with information relevant to your current project and use them!
Do it for Free
Creative folks enjoy applying their talents to noble causes — and, increasingly, their employers keep them happy by providing opportunities to do so. At BrightHouse, employees with great ideas for improving public life receive a $1,000 bonus on the spot.
So many people complain that they aren’t paid for their creativity. Have you looked for a way to benefit others for free? This is a great way to get exposure and increase your skills while improving the world. Don’t wait for a paycheck to do the things you love, find an outlet that appreciates what you have to offer. The money will come eventually.
Link via Dose of Creativity