Leadership sets the company’s direction and atmosphere, and if you fail to establish an environment that encourages creativity, then you get what you get — the status quo. Even in a hectic and fast pace setting your attitude toward innovation and creativity can still make room for your staff to toss some fresh ideas your way. But everything starts with the conversation that you have with yourself.
Do you give yourself room to think and operate outside the box?
Do you socialize with creative others in your industry? Being around your contemporaries can awaken a competitive and creative spirit in you. Directing that energy, just may inspire a new idea.
If your life revolves around going to work and coming home and going to work and coming home, then you’re breathing the same old stale air.
Go for a dream walk.
Go help your mentor do something.
Reinstate date night with your mate.
Hang out with your kids — they’ll love you more for caring about what they care about, plus inspiration may find you on the way home. Children have inspired all kinds brilliant and profitable business ideas including Jibbitz — the little inserts that kids use to decorate their crocs.
Do you have wild and mad brainstorming sessions with your self?
If you don’t give yourself room to be creative, then it’s hard to pass on what you don’t have. Pull out that big over sized pad and start writing down your ideas. I don’t care how wild it is, put it on the board, you can filter later. For right now, just let it flow.
As Anita Campbell, Founder of Small Business Trends, states in “Are Your Employees Scared To Innovate?“:
“You can’t expect employees to innovate if you’re not thinking creatively yourself.”
And how you spend your time can play a big roll in your creative process. John Mariotti gives some key advice in “When Your Career Is Over, But Your Life Isn’t.” In reference to retirement John says:
“Start with a plan…based on reflection about what you like to do…know how to do…or would like to learn.”
It holds true for anyone trying to shake up their status quo. Do new and interesting things centered around “what you like to do…or would like to learn.” Make room for change and creativity in your own life and it will show up in your business.
The by product of a creative environment is an inspired team that represents you well, even when they’re off the clock. In “Small Business In America: 10 Years After 9/11” Susan L. Reid highlights the idea that being active and visible within the community creates stability. While that’s true and great for the city, that visibility is also good marketing.
This is more than staging events (which is important), it’s real and abiding relationships within your community around causes that matter to you, your neighbors and your business — for that to happen your team has to get involved.
It’s funny what a little spark can do. Inspire yourself. Inspire your team. Let your team inspire each other (and you). Become active. Become visible. It’s a natural return on investing in a creative environment on the clock.
Spark Photo via Shutterstock