(Gawkwire.com) – Jeffrey, managing partner of Nonbox Consulting, a consumer insight think tank, spent several years researching the realms of creative thought and the sources of ingenuity. What he found is that while innovation in the workplace can’t be forced, it can be cajoled and enticed into being.
“Trying to be more creative is a sure way to limit your creativeness,” he said. “Instead, look to set up the conditions that allow creativity to flow more freely.”
Here are some of his ideas on how to set the stage that allows creativity to flow.
1. Stay relaxed, stay centered. Remember to breath deeply and diaphragmatically. When the mind is in a heightened emotional state, the inner resources related to creative output are generally not available. By entering a relaxed, almost Jedi-like state, you increase the chances of aligning to your inner brilliance.
2. Eliminate distractions. When you’re looking to enter a creative state and you’re working at your desk, be sure to close your email program and shut off your cell phone. Shut off the ringer on your land phone too. If possible, shut your office door. You’re trying to eliminate some of the endless distractions that continually present themselves.
3. Get out of the office. The corporate culture often assumes that if you’re not in the office, you’re not working. But how many creative ideas come to you while staring at the computer sitting in a cubicle or office? As many creative geniuses have attested, the creative impulse often presents itself while taking a shower, going for a relaxing drive or a quiet walk, reading poetry or a novel—anything that gets the mind to wander. Perhaps there’s a reason why we have heard of great ideas being sketched out on a paper napkin in a coffee shop.
4. Get Moving. Stagnation often hinders ideation. Get your body moving. Take a deep breathe. Smile. Break through stagnation by generating motion in your body.
5. Align to Beauty. Immerse yourself in nature, enchanting music, or any true form of beauty. Beauty uplifts the soul and helps create the conditions for the creative impulse to manifest.
6. Clean the Mental Slate. Be willing to let go of everything you’re doing. Our belief systems and “paradigm blindness” blocks our ability to see things in new ways. Be willing to let go of how things are generally perceived and view the problem from a clean slate.
7. Facilitate Open Dialogue. Most discussions in the boardroom, for example, are more like debates where each person tries to persuade the other to his or her way of seeing things. Quantum physicist David Bohm introduced the idea of “dialoguing” where a group of people willingly let go of their perceived notions and seek to find shared meaning.
8. Maintain a Positive Attitude. Avoid the three words sure to kill creativity and hinder your ability to find new solutions: I don’t know. Saying “I don’t know” to yourself or aloud essentially tells your brain to stop thinking. If you start with the assumption that there is a solution and that you have the inner resources to uncover it, you’ll increase the chances of aligning to the answer.
9. Come From a Place of Humility. Humility is a universal quality of the creative genius. You’ll be hard pressed to find a true genius who takes credit for the creative work he or she produces. Instead, these rare individuals look at themselves as a mere conduit for the creative impulse as opposed to its originator. Most of these geniuses look to some form of a “Higher Power” as the Source of their creative efforts.
10. Be Patient. The Muse often appears at the most unlikely time and place. Stay ready. Stay open. And be patient. The creative impulse is not a personal phenomenon. You’re tapping into a universal field of consciousness that transcends the understanding of the human mind. When the conditions are appropriate, the solution will present itself.
Writer’s Bio: Scott Jeffrey is a writer, executive coach, and lifelong student of Truth. He is a managing partner of Nonbox Consulting, a consumer insight think tank that lends its signature ingenuitity to clients like Kohl’s Department Stores, Scheels, LA Lakers and Turner Classic Movies. Scott is also the author Journey to the Impossible: Designing an Extraordinary Life.