Creativity in business is often what distinguishes the companies that flourish from the ones that flounder. The ability to adapt, to focus on solutions instead of problems, can set you apart and ensure a thriving business…even in the toughest of economic times.
It’s interesting how lack or the perception thereof can be a great motivator for creativity. For instance, this morning I was hungry. I had food in the fridge but nothing I would normally combine to create a meal. Typically in this instance I would close the fridge, head out to the diner, and let the seemingly unrelated food items perish to eventually get thrown away.
But I wanted to conserve money to use for something more exciting. So I opened my mind, pulled out a bunch a food and went to town. I made the most delicious omelette. Fluffy eggs with red beans, salsa, and avocado…side of wheat English muffin. Delish!! Would I ever have thought of adding red beans to my omelette?? No. But boy am I glad I did.
The same thing can apply to your business. Where can you open your mind to using, instead of wasting, more of the resources you already have? How can you adapt what you are doing to better serve your clients…to differentiate you from your competition?
Same thing applies in your life. How can you create a more flexible work schedule to incorporate more free time to play? What activities can you add to your lifestyle that will simultaneously energize you, increase your fun quotient, and help you to be healthier?
- Think of a problem you are currently experiencing or a vision of what you want to attract into your life.
- Take out a large piece of paper (there are programs on the computer now that can help you such as SmartDraw or MindGenius …but I think pencil and paper holds its own power and appeal).
- Put your vision or your problem in the center.
- Make little spokes coming from the circle like drawing a sun. At the end of each spoke draw circles and insert possible solutions.
- For each solution add more spokes of clarity or actions you can take.
- Do not judge what comes out. Do not hold yourself back.
- When you finish go back and review the best options.
With mind mapping a more creative solution will appear than you might have anticipated. If you haven’t found the perfect solution, try again. Creativity may come naturally to some but it is also a learned behavior. You can practice and grow your ability to brainstorm flexible options to improve your business and your life.
Action Step: Every day you can practice creativity by changing your perspective, by seeing things a different way. Today, mentally put yourself in the shoes of someone you are interacting with…honestly take on that person’s perspective. You don’t need to agree. Simply see and feel it. Try navigating your house with the lights off. Or laying under a tree staring at the sky through the branches. When traveling to or from work, try a different route. Or look in your fridge and concoct dinner instead of preparing it. Try something new every day.
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