Why creative leaders don’t lose their house keys

Why creative leaders don’t lose their house keys

How much time do you spend looking for your house keys each week?  If it’s more than ten minutes it could be a sign you’re limiting your creative potential. Here’s why…

Discussion about being creative and getting organised doesn’t often go hand in hand.  That’s a shame because I’ve always found the more organised I can get, the more creative I can be.

I’ll bust some myths to explain what I mean…  

Myth 1: Creative people are disorganised

It’s wrong to assume creative people are disorganised.  Some of the most creative people I know are the most organised. They might not show it on the outside but behind the scenes they have personal systems and processes in place that create the head-space they need to think creatively.  In other words, they automate everything they possibly can at work and home to free  up their brain for more interesting work.  Whether it’s diarising the weekly dry-cleaning drop or creating rolling agendas for weekly meetings, anything is done to free the mind from remembering recurring jobs so it can focus on solving complex challenges.

Myth 2: Creative thinking requires no constraints

Our imaginations can take us anywhere which is great for ideas generation but not always good for solving specific business problems.  Our creative minds are always best when focused so if you’re trying to get a group of people to solve a problem the single most valuable thing you can do is get very specific on the problem you’re trying to solve.  Some of the best brainstorms I’ve been in have involved strict restrictions on what we are and are not brainstorming and the time set aside to do it.  When you give a room full of people some focus and a deadline amazing things can happen.  

Myth 3: People are either creative or not creative

I want to scream every time I hear someone tell me ‘I wish I could do that, but I’m just not a creative person.’  To me, creativity is about solving problems and everyone has to solve problems so like it or not, we’re all creative.  The problem is, most leaders don’t make it easy for their teams to get into their ‘creative groove’.  Creative thinking isn’t something people can easily ‘switch on’ so give your team a chance by briefing them at least 24 hours before a brainstorm session on what you’d like to cover.  Also break-free from the office by hosting creative sessions office in libraries, coffee shops and parks – anywhere that removes people from the day-to-day and opens up the mind.  
The need for creative leadership is more important than ever but in the race to embrace creativity don’t lose sight of the need for process.  The more organised you are, the more capacity you have for creative thinking.  So when you come home this evening, do you and your team a favour – quit losing your keys and unlock your creativity.

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