How to Refresh you Creative Force
Innovation is a big topic for companies.
But what about you, behind your computer, thinking : « I’m not an innovator », or maybe just tired of trying new things when life hits you with covid, crisis or rejections?
Whatever the case might be for you, I think we always need a little boost to see the future with optimism and feel solution-driven again.
Here is how I would do it to refresh myself:
#1 / Remember innovation is not what is usually implied .
Today, we hear « innovation », and it implies that we are talking about a tech-based, blue ocean / Steve Jobs type of innovation.
Yes, that is one possibility, one meaning. It is called disruptive innovation.
But if you look at the etymology of the word, it is is first and foremost about reinventing, improving… and not necessarily about a revolutionary inventions.
This is called today incremental innovation and is regarded and the « not worthy » kinds of innovations.
But I’m a big believer that being an innovator is a mindset first. This is the first thing I say it in my keynotes and when I coach exec and leaders.
« The most important is the attitude of being an everyday innovator. »
And believe it or not, you are one, even if you don’t feel like one, because we are all creative, it is in our DNA as humans. It is a muscle we can all work, our way.
I make this distinction because of the pressure the word « Innovation » brings on our shoulders. Especially if you work in a company.
But pressure is for tires 🤷♂️
You have the capacity to take a step back and see the world with innovators eyes.
You have the power to say « wait a minute, why so much stress about that? » and relax about it (which, ironically is a state that is proven by various studies to promote the ideation process).
And then you can apply your creativity to things that matter to you.
Lots of people have reinvented the way they work, this is innovation.
Some have thought back on their work life balance.
This is innovation too.
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#2 / Reconnect with YOUR reasons of doing it
What is often implied when we push for innovation is that everyone is motivated to see their company innovate. I think this is the manager’s / CEO’s dream. Not employees’.
People care about their carrier, personal life and the meaning they get from their job.
And admitting it and stop focusing on innovating for your company will help you refresh your creative energy.
This will in turn (ironically again) help you to be more excited for company’s project and initiatives as you will be in the right mindset to explore, suggest, try and have ideas.
So I say: « Do it for yourself first ».
Try it for a month and see what is happening.
For a month, dare to dream about a different personal and family projects you might have buried.
Think about your work life balance and how you could improve it.
Improve little things in your life, just for fun, with no pressure of the outcome.
At work, go the extra mile on things you care about.
And without knowing it, you’ll feel the same way you do when you stick to anything for a month: it will feel more natural. No need to push; you attract fun and creative projects.
So, here are a couple of sentences for you to break the pattern consciously:
If I approach my work differently for once, I could ___
If I could [ insert a personal goal] actually happen, it would bring me & my family ___
If I surprise my partner tomorrow, it will bring him / her ___
Or else, just write down 5 reasons to use this amazing and free tool to reach your goals and do things a better way (yes, I’m talking about your creative skills).
#3 Reconnect with the fun of doing it
This is the first thing I talk about in my keynotes for companies: go at it like a little kid.
It is fun.
Creativity and being innovative is all about exploring, questioning, trying, laughing about how hard we felt and try again. And there is no risk because you get to do this in imaginary worlds.
Like kids playing with Legos 👦🏻
Yes, you’ll need to assess risks at some point of the process (in the convergence phase when we talk about budget, feasibility and so on), but not at the beginning.
It will be hard sometimes to find solutions to your stupid ideas. This is a good sign!
But hard, complex, is not impossible. And you can find solutions to each of those obstacles you’ll find along the away, while having fun.
It is an adventure!
The attitude you need towards this whole innovation thing, is somethings we already figured when we were kids; diverging by suggesting lots of ideas (bad, good, improbable) and surprising ourselves and others.
You creative force, the one you always had behind the layers of skepticism, rejection and negative thoughts that we tend to build over the years, is about being full of possibilities.
Actually, think of a moment in your early days when you felt like the world was full of possibilities. Wasn’t a great feeling?
« How different would you approach your life if you felt like that right now? »
I bet a whole different.
You would be more open minded, more curious.
This would help you to create better connections, new ideas and perspective on the same old situations.
Decide now: what industries, methods could you get interested into? What discipline, sport, country could you try / travel to?
Name 3 things you always wanted to check out but never did (like trying baseball, doing a mud day, learning to make a cappuccino).
It is fun to be curious, to get a glimpse of what is outside the box.
And what you acquire is the faculty to start sentences with the word « What if … », or « why not ».
This is agility, this is being innovative and this is you dormant creative force that is only asking to be refreshed.