Catering to Creative Minds
Stimulating the most creative minds in the room is every bit a challenge. One option would be to attend the five-day Cannes Lions held in France in June. As the world’s biggest event for all things creative in marketing, communications, design, and tech, you could definitely source a few creative ideas to inspire your team.
But what about the other 361 days of the year, how are you to engage original and innovative spirits? Start by setting the stage to work with team members who have a creative edge.
Encourage daydreaming. Our world’s history is ripe with daydreamers from Albert Einstein to Steve Jobs—and with good reason. It helps your mind make connections that are otherwise be overlooked. In fact, the University of California reports that people who daydream do 41 percent better when taking creative thinking tests.
Yet without some sort of focus, daydreaming staffers can become lackadaisical, which adversely affects your schedule. Business Insider highlights three types of daydreaming, including positive-constructive daydreaming. This is what you want to see in your team. To daydream with intention, give your creative staff a problem, idea, or question that you want them to solve in their own way. Have them spend about a half an hour in deep focus when all they are thinking about is the problem.
Move Beyond Brainstorming
The stream-of-conscious act of has long been a popular way to get ideas out in the open. It doesn’t matter if the ideas are great or just plain awful, the process itself is stimulating of creativity. Brainstorming sessions penciled into your team’s weekly schedule can be beneficial.
However, MarketingProfs has other ideas that branch out from basic brainstorming sessions. Consider including word trees in with the brainstorming practice. This looks a lot like webbing where you circle the main word or concept in the center. Then have staff branch out with ideas, emotions, odd connections, and phrases that they associate with the main word. How can you use this? To come up with clever marketing ideas, new product concepts, or event themes.
According to Huffington Post, creative people work best when they have the freedom to work the hours that suit them. Go to bat for your creatives to make flexible with office hours available to them.
For creatives who prefer to be night owls or to work on the weekend, encourage them to talk with HR about the possibilities. USA Today reports that 43 percent of adults in the US are working remotely as of 2018. That is nearly half of the workforce here in the States. As a result, there are technologies and services that cater to night owl and weekend workers.
If they need ammunition for their pitch to HR, let them know about co-worker spaces, work hours tracking apps, and video conferencing. These are great ways to make off-site creativity flourish while maintaining business best practices. Another important point—don’t hover. Managers have to be trusting of creatives. And the creative team needs to trust that managers know they will deliver the goods.
New Experiences Nourish Creative Minds
Creative minds crave new experiences both in their professional and personal life. Pass along any announcements you come across for conferences, webinars, and books that offer a chance to explore and expand their horizons.
If the creative folks you work with have the opportunity to learn new skills, train with new technologies, and to attend conferences and events, you reap the benefits when it’s time to develop an event theme, a promotion or an in-booth activation.
Creative people need to add new insights to their mental banks. And this is vital for when they are actively engaged in creative tasks like daydreaming and brainstorming to come up with new ideas and solve problems.
And, by the way, all these tips work for managers, too. Because we are all creative.