Creativity is said to be an essential part of any professional’s skill set. Yet, 75% of people think they are not living up to their creative potential. How can something so abstract be so important?
Working in the communications industry is almost directly linked to creativity. However, what makes an individual creative is not their career path. It is their willingness to push creative boundaries, and discover paths that will lead to revolutionary changes.
Fear is the opposite of innovation
It is true that the world is in constant change, and we all can agree that the pace of that change has drastically increased over the past years. This has generated uncertainty in every corner of the world, leading to a lot of people staying in their comfort zone for as long as possible. Yet, stepping out of our comfort zone is the best we can do to not even stay afloat but thrive in new situations.
Fear is a completely natural feeling, it is there to keep you alert when you are approaching an unknown situation. However, it is not there to stop you, it is there to make us think outside the box and figure out different strategies to make the unknown a playground for innovation. In other words, fear is what is keeping businesses alive.
Being exposed to new scenarios is something that will happen throughout all our professional careers, it can bring an enormous amount of commercial pressure – even more, when you are the one leading. A particularly useful tool to navigate this is VUCA, which stands for the different scenarios that can be encountered when exposed to uncertain challenges – i.e. volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity. It is the perfect tool to get “off the hamster wheel” and create some time to think and gather different perspectives.
Being brave is being truthful
Honest relationships are the ultimate synonym of bravery. It is really easy to portray yourself as someone who will have the answers to any type of question. However, true courage lies in understanding that it is completely human to not have the answers to everything or to get it right 100% of the time.
Being honest with yourself and with clients can build trust for both sides of the relationship. Having those “difficult conversions” and putting on the table what is working and what is not creates an environment of trust. By slowing down and actively listening you open your mind to a completely different perspective which can lead you to a world full of opportunities that are yet to be explored.
So seek different opinions, ask questions, understand the other person’s point of view – and only then, will you be able to get more creative as you expand your understanding of how different people perceive the same concept.
Creating a safe place to fail, only to thrive together
Anyone can speak up, but we would only do so if we feel comfortable enough to let our opinions be known. It’s often a common fear to be shut down when we are expressing ourselves- even more, if it’s an idea we are passionate about. The best thing one can do as a leader is to ask questions in a way that inspires curiosity rather than threaten someone’s creativity.
So what is the best way to get the most creative minds on your team? Get the people already in your team to talk about those things that make them want to get out of bed, doesn’t have to be work-related. Just those things that you are passionate about- you would be surprised by all the hidden talent that you will find!
And the only way to create an environment where people can express themselves in a creative way is to create an atmosphere where people are having fun. And no, that doesn’t mean pizzas on Friday or a ping-pong table at the office, it means making space for ideas to be heard for people to explore their work in different ways, and create a community where even when someone thinks of a “crazy idea” they will want to share it because they know it would have the potential to turn into something even crazier – and maybe actually achievable.