Seven Ways To Cultivate Innovation And Creativity In Business19 March, 2018 / Articles
Even the most creative of business minds hit a wall at one point or another. The creative juices stop flowing, and it all just comes to a head. Taking the time you need to get away and reignite that internal flame can help you get yourself back in the mindset needed to come up with those innovative ideas once again and make thing happen at your business.
Taking time off work typically comes with various health benefits, including lower blood pressure and improved emotional levels. So, the next time the temperature starts to heat up in your office, and you just can’t focus your mind on the task at hand, give your body a much-deserved break from it all, and you’ll return more inspired and ready to create.
Below, seven women members of Young Entrepreneur Council provide several ways that you can cultivate creativity and innovation after hitting a brick wall. Here is what they recommend:
- Take A Vacation
If I’m blocked and unable to find creativity, it’s often because I’m overwhelmed and exhausted, so I find the best thing I can do is take a break and go on a short vacation. Sometimes, even a weekend away can be enough to get me unplugged and re-ignited. Habit is the enemy of creativity, so being mired in the day-to-day activities involved in running a business is the greatest thief of innovation. Taking a break, and coming back with a fresh mind can do wonders to getting new ideas. In addition, I always spend time reading different books and staying connected with some of the latest innovations in order to challenge myself to think outside of the box. Exposure to ideas combined with a fresh, relaxed mind can easily lead to creativity. – Marcela De Vivo, Mulligan Funding
- Go To Conferences
Industry conferences are a great resource for recharging and inspiration. It’s a place where you can meet other like-minded entrepreneurs, hear exciting talks from other leaders and network with other businesses. Some cool conferences are GROWCO, the National Association of Women Business Owners’ conference, Women in Leadership, Startupfest, SXSW, to name just a few. I find that I always leave the conferences with a renewed sense of energy and excitement toward getting back to work. – Sunny Bonnell, Motto
- Read, Read, Read
If you’re feeling stuck, pick up a book or newspaper! I fill my spare time reading books on business topics for a relevant perspective, and fiction to get my creative wheels turning. In PR, your favorite newspaper or magazine can also serve as a great source of inspiration. When we’re particularly challenged by a media angle for one of our clients, I like to pick up a major publication and take a close look at the story that jumps out at me most. I like to think, “how could I work my client’s narrative into this story, even if it doesn’t relate to them at all?” That’s a fun and creative exercise that helps me connect dots that aren’t immediately there. And, it’s always great to hear a client say, “I never thought of it that way.” – Lindsay Mullen, Prosper Strategies
- Speak To Leaders
I’ve noticed that every time I hit a brick wall or too many wrong things are getting in the way, I speak to other leaders who have walked down the path before me and have seen success with it. They have a better idea of what success should look like and they are able to direct me with their guidance. Recently, I hired a video team to help my business create more visual content. The team tried to get by without any contracts and just a single fixed payment after the video was recorded. This created friction on both ends and almost opened a can of worms for operations. I spoke with a leader who gave me a process to avoid misguided expectations and how to mitigate expectations stemming from frictional circumstances. – Sweta Patel, Silicon Valley Startup Marketing
- Brainstorm With Colleagues
First, I always encourage collaboration with my employees. Whenever one of them is stuck on something, they go on a 15-30 minute “brainstorm walk” with at least one other co-worker. This lets them step away from the computer, get some fresh air, light exercise, and gets the juices flowing. It’s a great middle ground between a refreshing break and thinking critically. We tend to have the most creative ideas while on these walks. Also, once a week, we cater lunch for the team, and discuss a work-related topic or brainstorm how to overcome a roadblock. In this instance, everyone researches creative campaigns and ideas that companies have done before, and then we come up with our own creative strategy. – Kelley Weaver, Melrose PR
- Stay Close To Suppliers And Consumers
Staying close to the consumer and the supplier always provides feedback and inspiration. We source moringa from Nicaragua, Ghana and Haiti, so it’s important for me to travel at least once a year to connect directly to our suppliers. I recently took a trip to West Africa and was completely inspired by the farms I visited and the people I met there. Similarly, connecting to the end consumer is also important. I was at Costco last weekend for a roadshow passing out samples, and it was incredibly informative to have one-on-one conversations with customers. You get instant feedback and can ask lots of questions. – Lisa Curtis, Kuli Kuli Inc.
- Get A Hobby
After coaching 100 women for 100 hours (since January 1, 2018!) I am reminded even more how many people do NOT have a hobby! If all you are doing is digging into your career deeper and deeper, you are not allowing your brain time to rest and recover from all of the creativity! Know how people say they get their best ideas in the shower? That’s why you need to let your brain connect with something else for the sake of creativity. If you are constantly taxing yourself with being an idea machine, you’re going to get fatigued — and your ideas and creativity will suffer. Find something that has NOTHING to do with work — crochet, run, bake, draw, dance — and recharge! – Jen Brown, The Engaging Educator