Activities to enhance creativity at work

Creativity is on the rise. It is a skill that requires new points of view, new insights. And it’s increasingly becoming a differentiating feature in order to be personally and professionally successful. Creativity is trial and error, daring and experimenting without fear to fail. This explains that, in the age of world digitalization, artificial intelligence and process automation, activities enhancing creativity are increasingly valued.

The problem is that the reality of our country is not so encouraging. The study ‘Creativity at work’ conducted by design firm Steelcase in 2018, reveals that Spain is the second country in the world -only after Japan- where creativity at work is less encouraged. The report, based on a survey among 5 000 employees all over 6 different economies, points out that only 34% of Spanish workers affirm to perform creative activities on a daily basis. 62% of them, however, claim that they’d like to feel more creative within their work environment.

H3: Enhance your creativity and it will become your best ally

Having imagination, being motivated and curious, or working in a team are other key issues that, alongside creativity, enhance the development of our professional skills and appear among the most valued requirements when applying for a job. More than ever, today’s labour market demands professionals with creative skills, capable of devising new ideas and providing different and innovative solutions. And this creative potential, which is inherent to every one of us, is fostered and cultivated since childhood.                                  

But we´re not equally creative, and the very concept varies from person to person. It’s important to internalize this in order to avoid unnecessary frustrations. To start thinking outside the box, you have to get outside the box first.

We’re all creative

Often, we’re the ones limiting our own capabilities. How many times have you thought “I am not creative?” Or have you tried to justify your lack of self-realization on your lack of imagination? Well then, that’s precisely the first thing you have to stop doing. Leave the “I’m not creative” notion aside and start exploring the opportunities your mind has to offer. Being open to new possibilities and keeping a well-disposed attitude in order to develop your most imaginative side is the first step in a race full of hurdles, but extremely satisfactory.

There are five different types of creativity, which will be catalyzed or not depending on the environment and underlying conditions:

  1. Mimetic creativity. Imitating in order to remedy.
  2. Bisociative creativity. Balancing the rational and the irrational.
  3. Analogical creativity. Connecting ideas and images we already know with what is unknown to us.
  4. Narrative creativity. Ability to create and tell stories
  5. Intuitive creativity. Disconnecting in order to connect.

A sensational aspect must be taken into consideration: creativity grows along with the creative process itself. As we delve into something and devote to it, our inspiration grows and our competence gets better.

Tips to enhance creativity

Lack of time, stress or excess work are huge enemies of imagination and motivation. They limit, block and, above all, occupy the space necessary to give free rein to our most creative side. On this basis, it’s your mission to unblock those barriers and work to get the best conditions possible for your personal and professional development.

Delve into your professional skills, discover yourself. Talent may be anywhere, and many times it’s wherever you expect the less. These are some tips that, if implemented properly, will allow you let your creativity loose:

  1. Don’t set boundaries on yourself. Remove the boundaries in your mind and let your imagination fly free. You can try to bring a notebook along and write down the ideas that come across your head. Perhaps this way of thinking is not as effective at first glance as you expect, but it may serve you as a guide to achieve the goal you seek.
  2. Read and learn from professionals. It’s essential that you keep on training and learn new daily habits to broaden your creative side. Go to exhibitions, to the cinema, read, surround yourself with all kinds of people regardless their culture and tastes. Take whatever serves you and re-invent it; creativity is a skill that is learned and put to practice.
  3. Look for whatever motivates you. Giving free rein to imagination is easier inside an environment where you feel qualified and are able to give your best. There’s no point in trying to get something out of an empty box; find your element. Be open to new opportunities. To remain within your comfort zone is forbidden.
  4. Surround yourself with inquisitive people. Knowing people with initiative and an innovative point of view will always be synonym to personal growth, but it’s in your hand to transform it into professional development as well. Soaking in their knowledge will be key to carry out your own projects. The more you enjoy what you do, the better the results will be.
  5. Don’t get obsessed. Take your time to think and rest whenever you need it. Being aware of the difference between working and slaving away is crucial, mainly if you intend to explore your most creative side. Don’t be overwhelmed if you don’t’ find the key today; tomorrow will be a whole new day.

Einstein already said it: “Creativity is contagious, pass it on”.

Sources: IED Junior Academy, EOI, TheCreativeNet, Unycos and Forbes

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