Creativity is a powerful tool that can help individuals and teams innovate, problem-solve and generate new ideas. However, harnessing creativity can be challenging, especially when it comes to maintaining focus and managing distractions. Many of us get stuck, or don’t know where to start. Here are some tips on how to mindfully harness your creativity.
Creativity is a powerful tool that can help individuals and teams innovate, problem-solve and generate new ideas.
As an individual:
- Cultivate a positive mindset: Start by believing that you are capable of being creative. Adopt a growth mindset and understand that creativity is a skill that can be developed and improved upon.
- Make space for creativity: Set aside time and a dedicated space for creative thinking. Remove distractions such as social media or other notifications that can interrupt your focus.
- Embrace boredom: Allow yourself to feel bored and resist the temptation to constantly seek out stimulation. Boredom actually be a catalyst for creativity.
- Experiment and explore: Don't be afraid to try new things and take risks. Explore different perspectives and approaches to your work.
Start by believing that you are capable of being creative.
The late Ram Dass reminds us, "The most exquisite paradox...is that the only way to truly change the world is to first change yourself." Believe that you are capable of being creative, and understand that creativity is a skill that can be developed and improved upon.
As a team:
- Foster a culture of psychological safety: Create an environment where team members feel comfortable sharing their ideas without fear of criticism or judgment.
- Encourage collaboration: Build opportunities for collaboration into your team's workflow. Collaborative brainstorming sessions can generate more ideas and diverse perspectives.
- Prioritize diversity and inclusion: Diverse teams are more likely to come up with innovative solutions. Encourage diversity and inclusion in all aspects of your team's work, from your hiring practices to your user and market research.
- Celebrate and recognize creativity: Acknowledge and celebrate creativity within your team. Recognize team members who demonstrate creativity and innovation. Remember, as a leader, it’s not about you - it’s about the team.
Create an environment where team members feel comfortable sharing their ideas without fear of criticism or judgment.
Harnessing creativity mindfully requires intentional effort and practice, and by adopting some of these practices, we can unlock our creative potential.
About Frank Bach:
Frank is Principal Product Designer at Headspace based in LA. He has an entrepreneurial spirit, kickstarting several businesses, consulting for startups, and building communities online and offline from ecommerce platforms to microbreweries and record labels.