Creativity is a Journey, not the Destination

Creativity is a Journey, not the Destination

Do you want more ideas?

Do you want to get unstuck?

Are you still looking for that quick fix?

Wouldn’t it be great if you only had to make one sales call, and sales kept coming through? Wouldn’t it be great if you only had to upload one social media post, and your marketing was complete? We know that sales and marketing take time and effort, so why we devote substantially less time to creativity, when it underpins two of our most important business tasks?

Do you remember the first time you had to make a cold call or knock on someone’s door to sell them something? We have been selling since we had to look for our first sponsorship for a charity endeavour, and we have been selling since; be it ourselves or a product or service. We know we need to keep these skills sharp. Why then is creativity not seen as a core skill of business?

Creativity is seen as something that is important, and it is talked about, but how well is creativity understood by companies when it comes to applying it? Does getting an artist in for a day-long workshop cover your creativity needs? Sure, as much as a one-day sales training programme with no follow-up will meet your sales needs now and into the future.

We need to see creativity as on par with sales and marketing and as a direct contributor to companies’ bottom lines. As such, it needs investment of time, attention and finance, but like any well-researched investment it will yield far more in the long term than put in.

Resourcing SNA’s : Fridays 13/6/14 and 27/6/16, Clare and Limerick

Hello All, it was great meeting you and here is the list as promised.

GAMES SNA’s

Keeping younger people occupied

Here is a technique for keeping children(5-12) occupied on car journeys or indeed any trip which involves you, them , and the need for quiet

Improv-Eyes – An analysis of the impact of using improvisation exercises with primary schools students for improved listening, concentration and creativity

ImprovEyes Paper

Some Improv Games for working one on one with learners

OneonOne

Some Group Games for Classrooms(minimum 5 people)

Group Games

Reigniting the Creative Spark

We are fast approaching the season of the home fire. Whether it’s a gas switch or the laying of kindling, a warm cosy fire represents winter and togetherness. Of course, the gas fire is easier to keep going, provided you have paid your bill. The man-made fire takes a little more work.

This reminds me of the several years of public speaking I enjoyed at school. For 3 years I took part in everything that involved standing in front of a microphone. Unfortunately, when I walked into an imposing lecture theatre in college to join the debating society, I felt I was out of my depth, and I gave up. Around the same time, I received a “no” from a poetry competition I had entered. Rather than shrug it off, I parcelled both of these passions into a box, and left them there for 7 years.

Does this sound familiar? Is there something you have boxed away somewhere? Fires left without kindling or oxygen will eventually go out. But what you don’t realise is that flame provided more than heat. It was a focal point in that room, the crackling of wood (or rather the hiss if you live in gas land like me) stilled the mind, and brought the world to a peaceful standstill. Once that flame goes out, where is the light and heat then?

7 years after I sealed my box with lashings of self-deprivation, I opened it to look inside. There was some ashes there still, and I used them to go and try out something I wrote at a local poetry meeting. As it turned out, I didn’t really miss poetry, but sealing it in the box with the public speaking mixed the ashes. When improvisation knocked on my door 5 years ago, it fanned the tiniest spark I lit on those hybrid ashes, and I have never looked back. In acknowledging those ashes and reigniting them, regardless of how much “success” I would have from using them, I became much, much happier.

Creativity is in all of us, and the sad truth is that it lies dormant in most of us. I was able to find a way back to the things I loved most, but it took years of practise to rekindle the spark that had almost gone out. What can you do today to rekindle your spark?

Three ways to recognise when you are “Stuck”

Creativity implies a flow of ideas or moments of inspiration. In a solution-focussed mind-set, we can figure our way out of tight spots and navigate unexpected twists and turns that life seems to present to us. A “stuck” mind-set can be equated to a wheel which we propel round and round, but get nowhere. There can be plenty of momentum generated, but it never seems to get us anywhere. We can reside in this “wheel” for weeks, months, even years without knowing, because even limited effort can yield some results. If we accept that these limited results are the best we can hope for, then this wheel spinning becomes synonymous with progress.

Here are some sure-fire signs that you are “stuck”:

  1. You actually feel lethargic when it comes to everyday tasks, where you would normally feel even a little bit enthusiastic.
  2. You have a sense that something is “wrong” but can’t put your finger on exactly what.
  3. You know something needs to change, but you have no idea what, as you cannot see beyond what currently “is”.

Sometimes people use the excuse that they “simply aren’t creative” as a reason for why they stay stuck. The truth of the matter is we are all creative, but if we don’t exercise our creativity, it will waste away like any other muscle.

I have made no reference to this “stuckness” referring only to business ideas; it can apply to all aspects of life. Creativity can be used in health, finance and other areas to help you move forward. It takes a little investment of time and effort, and trust me, the view is much better off the wheel than on.

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