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12 ways to nurture creativity in you and your business

Author's avatar By Expert commentator 12 Jan, 2015
Essential Essential topic

 Ideas on getting more creative in our marketing

What makes the difference between a good company, and a great one? Creativity. Fostering a culture of creativity in your business and your life will allow greater innovation, more effective problem solving, and a genuine competitive edge. When technology has made certain skills a commodity, it’s the creative, individual human elements that distinguish a successful business.

How to drive your creative marketing?

If you’re looking to inject some creativity into your life and your business environment, then take note.

  • 1. Make your time work for you

William Blake, visionary poet and inspiration for many a creative type, put it simply: 'Think in the morning. Act in the noon. Eat in the evening. Sleep in the night.'

Figure out how your brain and body’s natural rhythms work, and as best you can, listen to them and work with them rather than fight against them. Plan your day around your own personal peaks and troughs. After all...it’s only natural.

  • 2, Mix it up

All repetition is anti-spiritual. Thus spake Oscar Wilde...and that boy was creative. If you’re finding yourself in a rut, constantly putting off those creative ideas for another day...perhaps it’s time to try something completely different. The creative brain is nourished by new challenges upon which it can apply its lateral prowess.

  • 3. Stay you

What’s the defining feature of all your most treasured creative souls? Doors singer Jim Morrison’s father understood what it was about his own son with the inscription he had put on his tombstone: 'True to his own spirit'.

Despite the temptation to hide behind a comfort blanket of mediocrity, in the end you only have yourself to answer to. Pushing your thoughts, words and actions through a filter in order to fit in with the crowd will only dilute your will over time. You have just as much right to occupy a place in the universe as every single other person. There’s plenty of room for you. Just as you are.

  • 4. If you want to sing out, sing out

If you’ve got a creative idea, then the best way to discover its worth is to get it out there. If you keep it to yourself then an idea is just that...an idea. Nothing more. And the great thing is, the more ideas you get out there and turn into reality...the better they’ll get. Like anything else, practice makes perfect. All the best inventors have a long list of prototypes that never got past the second stage, but at least they were explored and tested.

  • 5. Read, absorb, grow

Every day should be a school day. The creative mind should always be fed with new information, ideas, and experiences. Why waste time on celebrity gossip and TV and social media when there’s a rich, beautiful, dazzling and inspirational font of knowledge and experience out there?

  • 6. Keep an open mind

'I don’t like that man. I must get to know him better'- Abraham Lincoln

If an idea comes in from way out left field, give it time to explore its own natural path, and see where it takes you. The same can be said of other people. If you meet somebody who is the total opposite of you, then think of them in terms of how much you can learn from the different perspective they offer. If you really can’t see things their way, then all they’ve done is reaffirm your sense of self-identity. You know yourself the better for it. You should thank them!

  • 7. Don’t euthanize your own ideas

If you think of an idea that at first seems ridiculous, don’t kill it off immediately...there’s often a kernel of inspiration in there that, if given a chance to grow, can become something amazing. Always note your thoughts down. You can return to them later, and explore them with a fresh perspective.

Encourage this behaviour across your entire company. Make your business atmosphere one where people feel comfortable throwing in those ideas out of left field. That person recently mocked for an idea that may not have had any traction may well come up with your Next Big Thing, but you’ll never know if they no longer have the confidence to speak up.

  •  8. Positive people

The late, great Robin Williams, in one of his lesser known roles, once said 'I used to think the worst thing in life was to end up all alone. It's not. The worst thing in life is ending up with people who make you feel all alone.' 

If you surround yourself with other creative people, you should find your own creative spirit being encouraged and nurtured. If those around you are closed-minded, then your creative bloom can wither over time in the aridity of your environment.

  •  9. Create space

Both inside and outside. Take a look around you, and within you. Most people carry a lot of debris, floating and bumping about in a constant orbit, distracting and cluttering their creative space.

blurgroupshutterstockcreatespace Take time out every day to keep these spaces clear. 20 minutes meditation and 10 minutes clearing your desk/office/apartment every day will help the clarity and focus of your mind. You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes every day unless you’re too busy, then you should sit for an hour. Trust me...I’m a bodhisattva.

  • 10. Experiment

It's OK to experiment. Try something new with your projects. Look to new ideas and go for what hasn't been done before...sometimes your best work can spring up out of a hunch or gut feeling! Go on, give it a go...the excitement of the unknown is what keeps us alive. Not being afraid to make a mistake is crucial to succeeding in creative endeavours. Having creative ideas is one thing, but actually acting on them to prove them out is another. Rather than having more and more idea meetings, why not actually work on some ideas and test them?

  • 11. Stay Humble

If you’re looking to nurture, build and allow creativity to flourish in your organization, you need to be aware that you don’t have all the answers. You can learn something from everybody. Yes it may your company, or you’ve obtained a senior position so you’re understandably proud of your achievements to date, but you cannot succeed on your own. Complacency is what separates the good from the truly great, and hubris is complacency’s bedfellow.

The typical pyramid power structure of an organization should be turned on its head, so that the boss spends a great deal more time ensuring people’s jobs are fulfilling than simply bossing them around. Quite often the best ideas develop from the bottom up, rather than the top down. Trust your talent.

  • 12. Punch out ideas, not clocks

Happiness is the greatest competitive advantage for businesses in the modern economy, according to Happiness Expert Shawn Achor.

Rather than making your staff prisoners of their schedules, make them masters of them.

Stress and fear are the enemies of creativity. Taking breaks is healthy; enforced routine can breed mediocrity. If your staff are too busy worrying about getting to work bang on time (or early!) and presenting a facade of working late to appease the culture, then that’s valuable time and brain power that they won’t be committing to dreaming up or manifesting creative approaches to your success.

A creative mind requires space within which to flex. And flexibility is the key word here. The more draconian the enforced rules and regulations around minutiae such as clocking in and out, the fewer creative minds you will obtain, and retain.


Creativity is a delicate flower. But when it is presented with the right conditions and is nurtured without being pressed, stifled or feared, it has the ability to transform both people and businesses. So whatever you do, just keep those creative fires burning. After all it’s the creative ideas and actions that define and dictate progress.

How creative are you, your working style, or your business? Can you take stock and make some simple yet effective adjustments to allow you and your business fulfill its creative potential?

Blur understands the importance of fresh ideas and a different, creative approach. It’s what started our journey, and it drives us forward as a company.

Image/Copyright: Shuttertock
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