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What does creativity mean to us?

  • 17 February 2014

This is a blog about team management and team work on any project where creativity is vital to achieve a good result. It will give you the recipe to be successful and if you follow it, your project will be a great achievement with no quarrels with group members and make you lots of money.

Of course it won’t.

No expert has the ‘recipe’ for super successful project management and collaboration (although there is a lot of theory that can be applied as ground rules), and I am no expert, but I’ve had a few good (and bad) experiences so I want to share a few tips that might or might not help you.

Creativity

First off, there are many definitions of creativity and what it is to be creative. Initially, I didn’t think I was creative at all, but someone told me that anyone can be creative as long as you put your mind to it; ‘be crazy, be different’ I was told.

So that’s what I did.

At first I got lucky and my crazy ideas proved to be pretty decent.

Luck

Because as time went by, crazy ideas remained only crazy ideas and didn’t give any useful results. I realized that behind crazy there must still be some sort of rationale. But not always at the start, maybe you can come up with a crazy idea and then work on the rationalization. Extremes are not always good, but sometimes the best. It can be a hit and miss.

The point is, crazy ideas can really lead to something. Go random and weird.

Think outside the box? There is no box, and you don’t even know what it contains – go to a different dimension and generate an idea there.

Creativity can be applied to anything, from film to mathematics. And if you feel you’re not creative, learn how to play an instrument. Playing instruments stimulates the brain and forces you to use your creative side. Learn three chords on the guitar and make a sequence out of them, ie make your own song. When you’re finished, you’re ready to learn another chord and be creative and make another song.

Do something different. For some people that means to go on an impulsive trip to Hong Kong, for others it’s to try a different yogurt flavour. Whatever it is, try it out, step back and evaluate, realise that you’ve just tickled that creativity bone of yours.

Group work

Every group is different, with some working is a pleasure, with others, collaboration is impossible.

Lets imagine that a group is stuck and can’t generate ideas. Lets say for a story for a film or scenario. Remember that everyone can be creative, but of course, not everyone are using their creativity – some are even repressing it.

Hence, force them to use it. A really nice exercise is to go into a circle where everyone has 15 seconds to portray a story or idea. Does not matter what it is, how crap is it, how boring etc. They MUST come up with an idea, and if they don’t, group pressure will make them.

What’s the first thing that comes into mind? Whatever it is, that’s a story, use that, elaborate.

Writing down all the useless ideas you realize that these can actually be combined and used together. The person in idea 1 can have the feelings of idea 3 because of the event in idea 5. This way you can create an idea for a script in 10 minutes.

It seemed stupid to just say whatever random stuff that comes into ones mind at first but now suddenly there is a momentum in the group. Yet again.

If you’re a leader, exercises like this are brilliant, and even though the group members might not think much of them at the start, they will generate something, resulting in a paradigm shift and a crowning of you as the trustworthy creative leader in the group.

Force creativity, because as humans we possess this skill, no matter how deep its buried.

Walk fast in a slow pace.

Scream quietly.

Write down 5 totally irrelevant and random words. All in different places.

Before you know it, the idea is there.

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