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We all know how important creativity is. CEO’s are constantly touting creativity as a integral value for business success however the reality is that in our jobs we rarely have the time to actually BE creative.

Here are 5 ways you can make sure that you are walking the talk of creativity and carving out time to do it at work.

1. Have a weekly pro-active brainstorm

There is so much power in getting people together to debate and discuss ideas.
Even if there isn’t a live brief or urgent business challenge, proactively come up with challenges to brainstorm for your business or your clients business. I use to do this with my team every Friday. We would proactively brainstorm on a challenge we knew faced our clients business, we then would share those ideas with the client at the weekly WIP on Monday. Amazingly a lot of the ideas actually happened. This was also great for building the client/agency relationship.

2. Make it habitual

When I suggest doing weekly brainstorms to my clients, many of them say that they don’t have time. My answer to this is to make it a habit. We all know that people have habits but did you ever stop to think that organisatons do too? You might not be aware that Friday drinks is an organisational habit and so is the weekly all-staff meeting. They are things that happen habitually every week with out question. The weekly team brainstorm should be given the same priority. It happens every week at the same time without question.

3. Carve out time

Many of my clients like the sound of a weekly brainstorm but it seems to be impossible to find a time in the diary when the whole team is free. One innovative solution a client of mine had was to hold “Brainstorm Breakfast”. Every second Tuesday the whole team would come to work a little earlier and brainstorm around a catered breakfast. Find a time that works for your team.

4. Make time for what’s important

More and more companies are realising the importance of prioritising time for creative thinking. An advertising agency in New York has implemented a “No Meeting Zone’ from 9-11am every Tuesday. In this time, no meetings can be made so people have time to think creatively. A client recently emailed me and the signature of her email read “IMPORTANT NOTE:
Between the hours of 10am and 1pm Monday to Friday our creative minds are tuned in and laser focused. During this time we will not be responding to emails.

5. Halve the time of your brainstorm sessions

So many of my clients tell me that their brainstorm sessions are ineffective and often they have to have two brainstorms as the first didn’t quite generate good ideas. The reason you have to have a second brainstorm is because the challenge that you went into the brainstorm with was far too broad and couldn’t possibly be tackled in 1 hour. To avoid this, make sure that your challenge going into the session is specific. Challenges that are too broad will generate breadth of ideas but no depth. If you finish the brainstorm and have a lot of half baked thoughts but no proper ideas, you will have to have another session. By keeping the challenge specific and concise you will be able to get effective and creative ideas from one session.


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