According to a running annual survey of thousands of senior executives*, seven out of the last eight years, creativity has ranked as the top strategic corporate imperative. Face it. We’ve moved beyond the days when any of us could claim that we’re “just not a creative type.” We’re all creative, including you! Our ability to create depends on whether we decide to exercise the creative centers of our brain or not. James Altucher, founder of over 20 companies and bestselling author, creativity is the key to his success. For Altucher, his daily creativity exercise is to keep a small pad in his pocket and hold himself to brainstorming at least 10 new ideas every day. You may want to try this.
Here more ways that you can wake your own sleeping creativity. Once you do, you’ll see your creativity integrated into career decision making and problem solving. You can be the one to come up with new, unexpected solutions.
1. List options. In chess, the first thing a grandmaster does when its his turn is not look deeply down one variation but takes a step back and lists all of the possible option moves. Once you finish that list, create lists of options for each item. What would be your next set of choices if you were to choose option B?
Altucher: “Take a pad (my favorite choice: the waiter’s pad) and start listing options. I still do this all the time. Since its your own private pad your options can be as insane as possible. Who cares? Its your pad! This is not supposed to lead to anything (yet) but just as exercises to kickstart the creativity.”
2. Combine Ideas. If you have 20 options on your list, think of ways that you could combine some of your ideas to create new possibilities. (created Let’s say there are 10,000 possible things you can be interested in.
3. Adopt or learn about a new technology. Can it be used in your job or organization? How can you integrate its various functions and tools to come up with new solutions for your workplace challenges? Start reading about every new technology you can find. Even if you don’t use it, the new concepts and innovations tied to new technologies will help you come up with fresh ideas for your career, team, and organization.
4. Be a connector. It’s been said that “you are only as valuable as your connections.” This is probably true, but even more, actively connecting others helps you think of the people you know in a new way. Consider yourself a connector. Every time you meet someone new, think about how you might be able to connect that person with someone else in your network.
5. Move. If you are at a standstill with a major project, things seem grim at work, and you feel a sense of dread, then leave. Really. Just get up from your desk and take a walk. The best way to freshen up your mind and kickstart some new and creative thoughts is to move your body. Walking meetings result in more creative outcomes than those held in a staid conference room.
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