You don’t have
to join a gym, wear sneakers or sweat. No biceps, triceps or
abs. You already look fabulous.
So, take 10
minutes a day and exercise your creativity. Give your
imagination a good workout.
upcoming months, I will send you a series of exercises designed
to s-t-r-e-t-c-h the way you problem-solve, uncover resources
you never knew existed and look at issues from multiple
counter with, “but I’m not creative”, let me expand
Creative is much more than a Jasper Johns’ painting
or a Billy Collins’ poem (The
Lanyard , a favorite of mine) or a robust Rodin sculpture.
Creative is an approach to life and a way of
“seeing”. It can greatly improve your bottom line,
as well as making work and life more engaging and fun.
you are creative and trusting that you can access your
creativity is where confidence is born it frees you to try new
approaches, make new decisions, and realign your business to
better fit you and your client.
Let me give you
an example: I was facilitating a workshop on problem-solving
for 40 newly-promoted managers. It started out a little dry.
The bagels, fruit and coffee arrived – still ho hum. Each time
I presented a challenge for them to solve, they went straight to
their default solutions. There wasn’t a lot of original thinking
Then, I brought
out the umbrella.
Our conversation went like this:
I asked, “what
is this and what do you use it for?”
umbrella and you use it to keep the rain off of you.”
sense. What else can you use it for?”
guess you could aerate your lawn with it.” Some
could use it as a weapon and poke someone with it.” A guffaw.
could use it as a cane or a crutch.”
reach things on a high shelf.”
Just when the
group hit its peak, I took the umbrella away and replaced it
with a colander.
Energy was high
and the answers
flowed: “You use it to drain noodles. You could pan for
gold or scoop goldfish out of the tank when you want to change
the water. How about putting it in front of a lamp to
diffuse the light? If you put it on paper, you could use it to
draw a perfect circle. Hang it on your bedroom wall and dangle
your earrings from the holes”
When we got
back from break, I tossed out another business problem for them
to solve. What do you do if an otherwise good employee
arrives at work late every single day? The first response
him up and if he doesn’t improve, we fire him. That’s our
is one solution. What else could you do?
first part of the morning, the room buzzed with other
suggestions. “You could talk to him and see if it’s a
transportation problem that you could help him resolve. Or you
might consider offering to change his start time. Or you could
suggest he carpool with a co-worker who has the same schedule.
Or you might just sit with him and brainstorm solutions
creative thinking require?
|Knowing there is
never only one answer
|Realizing new ideas
are just a combination of existing ideas
|Not relying on
default thinking; pushing past your initial answers
for other possibilities and pushing your comfort zone
So, here is your “creativity” exercise:
- Think of all the tools you
would need to plant and maintain a vegetable garden
- Make a written list of what
tools you'd need
- Now eliminate 3 and replace
them with things you wouldn’t ordinarily think to use when
growing a garden.
I’d love to
hear what unlikely substitutes you come up with. Really use your
imagination and enjoy your creativity. The most exciting part
is that once you unleash your creativity, it will start to
impact the way you move through the world. You'll see it
in your business and you'll see it in the rest of your life. And you’ll like it!
If you have
questions or thoughts to share, please drop us a line at