Five ways to fuel your creativity

11.02.2013
Oreo cookies Twitter ad

Oreos makes light of a black out

For those still on a creative high following the Super Bowl comes a thought-provoking perspective from Bruce Nussbaum, Professor of Innovation and Design at Parsons | The New School of Design.

In his forthcoming book, Creative Intelligence, he charts the connection between creativity and innovation and identifies four ways to amp up your creative capacity and bring greater value to your work or company:

1. Assemble a creative circle. Creativity thrives on collaboration and cross-pollination. Get out of your cubicle or your own head and talk to people. Think concentrically not vertically or hierarchically.

2. Belong to a “pivot” circle. Know your strengths and seek out colleagues/collaborators who have the resources and insight to help bring your ideas to (scalable) reality—whether it’s an ad campaign or new product/service.

3. Conduct a creativity audit. In other words, know your dots (values, benefits, intellectual assets, cultural points of view) and look to connect them in new patterns with new people that break out of the tried  (or trite) and true and lead to new ways of engaging with the world.

4. Map your creativity. A corollary of #1. Keep a journal of what inspires you, who feeds your creative thinking and where you get your best ideas. (For me, it’s the shower or gym.) Identify your sources of creative strength and build upon them.

To this list, I would add a fifth:  “think fast.” Not in the Malcolm-Gladwell-Blink kind of way, but opportunistically. Many creative ideas never see the light of day because they’re talked and over-thought to death. We should all follow the example of Oreo, which leveraged the Super Bowl blackout with a quick Twitter ad advising followers and fans “you can still dunk in the dark.” Brilliant.

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