Are you an ideas person? Do colleagues or clients come to you for your ideas?
You may say my job doesn’t require me to be creative or an ideas person, however, I believe creativity factors into every role. Whether that’s updating an antiquated process or creating an advertising slogan.
Being creative is not about being someone who comes up with wacky ideas all the time or being high maintenance. It much more about taking initiative, you should always be thinking:
- How can we do this faster?
- How can we do this better?
- How can we do this more cheaply? How we can do this it more efficiently?
That’s how you can demonstrate that you add value to your boss, colleagues, organisation or clients.
So how do you do it?
1. Examine what’s closest to you
What do you do day in and day out that can be improved? Perhaps something currently takes 5 steps, but could be reduced to 3, saving time and money. Just because it’s always been done one way, doesn’t mean that it can’t be changed.
2. Read widely
I get lots of great ideas from soaking up information in blogs, journals, dn books they are brimming with current and usable knowledge. If you read of a case study about a company similar to yours or that of a client about how they fixed a problem with success, think about how you could modify what they did to capitalise on the same success in your position.
3. Understand your organisation’s mission
You need to know, live and breathe your organisation’s goals, more easy if it’s your business of course. Always remember who your job touches and how it impacts people.
4. Always have a fresh idea at hand
Before you go into a meeting or brainstorming session have some ideas in your back pocket. Its great to be prepared and awful to be called upon to contribute and have nothing to offer. This is a great opportunity to wow your colleagues, boss or clients with well thought out positions and ideas.
5. Offer solutions, not problems
Creative people don’t whine about the problems that they are faced with, they do something about it. Your clients and your your boss are much more likely to listen and take on board your positive solutions and feel better about their interations with you.
6. Get people on board with your ideas
Introduce your ideas in a public setting, that way its clear that it came from you. Dont worry if people poke holes at your ideas, just because your idea is shot down it doesn’t mean that you are. A good way to offer ideas is by saying ‘can I have your opinion on this ….’ You are not attached to the outcome and are more likely to get buy in.
7. Realise that not every idea will go through
Sometimes there is a business reason why ideas just can’t go through, it could be the technology or something to do with your customers. So understand that being an ideas person means that some of your ideas will be rejected.
So get those ideas flowing…..
“My ideas usually come not at my desk writing but in the midst of living.“
– Anais Nin
For more on Creatvity see 23 Ways to Spark your Creativity.