4 Ways to Boost Creativity

Creativity – LinkedIn lists it as the number 1 job skill. School taut it as a top aim of education. Cultures value it as the cornerstone of art and entertainment. But how is it nutured?

Per usual, this blog aims to give actionable ideas. So let’s avoid the philosophy and get to the tactics.

Here are four ways to boost creativity personally or for your organization.

How to Boost Creativity

If you’re seeking to increase your own creativity or if you’re leading a team and want to increase the group creativity, try these four approaches:

Capturing: preserving new ideas as they occur,
Challenging: taking on difficult tasks,
Broadening: seeking knowledge and skills outside one’s current areas of expertise,
Surrounding: seeking out new stimuli or combinations of stimuli.

Capturing Creative Ideas

Make it an explicit habit to capture new ideas. They don’t have to be great ideas or groundbreaking revelations. Just new (see why below). Remember the last time someone mentioned a new idea in a meeting and a teammate commented that’s a good idea? Think about the last time you were stuck in traffic and a new idea came to you. Now, instead of admiring the new idea and moving on. Have a method of routinely capturing these ideas, so you or your team can review them periodically.

Challenge Your Creativity

Intentionally seeking challenging tasks can force creative ideas and solutions. Now…challenging tasks aren’t the same as high-stakes tasks. Lower-stakes, but high-challenge tasks can help you or a team increase creative output.

Broadening Your Way to Creativity

Many organizations use cross-training as a redundancy measure or an HR cost savings technique. However, the little-known benefit is creativity. Learning new skills outside of your typical wheelhouse literally creates new neural connections. It is by definition, the act of creativity.

Creativity by Surrounding

Sometimes its as simple as the intentional addition of a background noise, the addition of a decor object, or moving to a new location. New stimuli can increase mental alertness, attentiveness to tasks, and new ideas.

If you enjoyed these four ideas, they came from Robert Epstein’s research article Measuring and Training Creativity Competencies. It’s a scholarly read, so not for everyone. For more actionable ideas on creativity, I recommend the following resources:

BOOK: Where Good Ideas Come From

BLOG: Fear & Creativity

Read >> Fear and Creativity

BOOK: Creative Confidence