There is a legend about a mystical creature. It cannot be tamed, no one really understands it. It can’t be touched and it strikes when you’re least expecting it – maybe during the night, or during your shower.
That creature is creativity. And it’s one of humanity’s most desired skillsets.
But the myth remains that creativity can’t be understood, can’t be learned and that it is just something that’s born with its claws already in you.
It’s time to demystify this creature.
What does it mean to be a creative?
Being a creative is something not to be sniffed at. Inspired ideas. Insightful concepts. Masterful creations. Art, fashion, campaigns, food, performances and more. Each uniquely manifested from a thought sparked by any number of internal and external influences. Something so exceptional, they say you’ve either ‘got it’ or you haven’t.
But what exactly is ‘it’?
And is our perception of what ‘it’ is, the very thing that’s holding us back from achieving our full creative potential in the workplace?
While having the right talent in the right seat is incredibly important, perhaps even business-defining, has putting creative skillsets on a pedestal somewhat restricted the inner visionary in each of us?
Often when people think of a creative they picture a designer or artist. It’s a visual thing.
But a piece of web code that creates a new function is creativity.
And the way that code is built into a website is all part of a creative process.
Even the colour coding on the spreadsheet that’s managing that website build is creative, granted on a smaller scale.
Creativity is there at all different levels in everyday life and in business. It’s about connecting things. Finding solutions. Looking at something in a new light. And often, it’s just a matter of unlocking it. Or recognising it. And then nurturing it.
One thing’s for sure – creativity is a product of imagination, so it’s free to anyone who has one. Which means everyone.
Are constraints holding back corporate creatives?
Constraints are actually a big part of creative thinking. Coming up against barriers forces you to draw from areas you wouldn’t normally go to – it’s called global processing. Many creative types cite constraints as a big influence on their final output.
That begs the question whether, if physical constraints were removed, could marketers deliver their campaigns more effectively and without specialist support?
Time. Budget. Resources. Ability.
These are the barriers that control creative output every day. Things are done a certain way to achieve a consistent result and reduce mistakes, which means opportunities for creativity are not always built into the process. How can we ever encourage creativity if we don’t provide the tools to support it?
Now consider these four areas, identified as key to the successful implementation of creativity in the workplace:
What do employees really want to be doing in terms of creativity? How much freedom do they seek? What drives them? Putting tools in place to help with the creative process, giving employees autonomy and sharing the vision of the company are all ways to help motivate teams to approach their day-to-day with a different way of thinking.
When there’s a platform to openly share and discuss ideas, creativity thrives. Listening to problems, finding solutions and welcoming all ideas to the table – even if they’re not right, it could spark something.
Creative thinking skills
When an employee has a problem, encourage them to think of solutions. Even if they’re not right or possible, it will encourage them to start seeing things differently, not just seeing barriers but the ways to overcome them.
An environment that supports creativity
The tech revolution allows for more people to be involved in shaping a brand’s creative message. Digital platforms and software make it easier than ever for us to automate parts of the creative process. Empowering teams to deliver the marketing materials needed without having to engage a designer or writer sounds impossible, but with smart templates from Papirfly, creativity is encouraged while keeping output governed.
The creative renaissance: how do corporates embrace it?
Einstein said if you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. It’s likely he knew that everything starts with an idea, and the way to foster ideas is to feed them – read more, go to the theatre, take a walk, take a break, have a shower.
Creativity can stem from anywhere in life, but people often forget the role it plays in businesses. Retail marketers can be creative about the ways they utilise their window spaces. Corporate marketers can find new and engaging ways to make their internal comms as exciting as their external comms. Employer brand teams can make sure that every piece of marketing material embodies the values of a brand, and then some.
No two businesses’ needs or employees are the same, and in order to nurture the hidden talent which remains unrecognised, we need to shed our archaic perception of what being a ‘creative’ means and recognise that there’s one in all of us. And it’s time we embraced it.