Getting a team to boost their creativity can begin with something as simple as asking them to look differently at their socks.
It begins with asking each team member to take the most boring socks they own, then write “creative” or “fun” on each one.
This is what Scott Berkun refers to as “creative defiance,” or making something interesting out of something boring.
Berkun, author of “The Dance of the Possible: The Mostly Honest Completely Irreverent Guide to Creativity” says that creativity isn’t something you’re born with – it’s just making interesting choices every day. That’s something we all do, whether it’s choosing how to arrange a desk or deciding what to wear to work.
“I think that it probably the biggest misconception – that being creative is something magical and something you’re born with,” he says. “That’s not true. It’s usually about finding a solution to a problem.”
Another barrier to unleashing team creativity is that too many team members – and their leaders – are so focused on being more efficient that they cannot allow themselves to simply think and explore new paths.
“Creativity is rarely efficient. It always involves taking chances and trying things that might work but might not,” he says.
He explains that another obstacle to creativity is that we’ve been taught that there is one right answer, and it can be achieved with the right formula. “That might work for math problems, but not when it comes to ideas,” he says.
Berkun offers some ideas on how leaders and their teams can increase creativity:
- Start a journal. “The act of preserving your ideas is critical because humans (read more here)