In this article, we review 7 ways to be curious, creative, innovative, and unlock your imagination as a leader. Let’s jump into it!
Why Creativity Matters
A study by McKinsey Global Institute identified that companies that prioritize creativity and innovation in their operations outperform their competitors in terms of revenue growth and shareholder returns. And, in IBM’s global CEO study, which surveyed over 1,500 CEOs from various industries, creativity was identified as the most crucial leadership trait for navigating an increasingly complex and uncertain business environment.
We would also add that being creative and imaginative is fun, inspiring, and something everybody wants to be a part of! That’s one big reason why people want to work for companies like Apple, Disney, SpaceX, Adobe, Nike, Becoming Your Best, and so on.
7 Ways to Unlock Creativity
Here are seven ways that you unlock your creativity and become an innovative and imaginative thought leader:
- Embrace Curiosity: Curiosity is a key driver of imagination. So, ask lots of questions. Start asking “Why?” and “How?” often. Approach the world with an open mind, seek out new experiences, engage in activities that inspire curiosity, read books, listen or attend lectures, explore new hobbies, and … be humble.
- Engage in Divergent Thinking: Divergent thinking is the process of generating a variety of possible solutions or ideas. Practice divergent thinking exercises, such as brainstorming, mind mapping, or free writing. Challenge assumptions, think beyond conventional boundaries, and explore different perspectives.
- Stimulate Your Senses: Engaging your senses can spark creativity and imagination. Surround yourself with stimuli that inspire you, such as music, art, nature, or even specific scents. Visit museums, art galleries, or natural environments to expose yourself to new sights, sounds, and textures. Learn to use stimuli that “turn on” and engage your imagination.
- Seek Inspiration from Different Sources: Expose yourself to a wide range of stimuli and diverse sources of inspiration. Read books, watch movies, listen to podcasts, explore art, music, and other creative outlets. Engage with different cultures, disciplines, and perspectives. Embrace the uncomfortable and unknown outside your regular sphere of influence.
- Engage in Playful Activities: Playfulness can stimulate your imagination and unlock creative thinking. Engage in activities that promote play and exploration, such as puzzles, games, improvisation, or even daydreaming. Playfulness helps break rigid thought patterns.
- Write Down Your Thoughts! Keep a thoughts journal and join the likes of Leonardo da Vinci, Marie Curie, Walt Disney, Sara Blakely, and other thought leaders. Your thoughts journal becomes a dedicated space to capture and explore ideas, insights, and inspirations, fostering self-reflection, idea generation, imagination, and personal growth.
- Create a Stimulating Environment: Make imagination and creativity a part of your workspace. This is the practical step of surrounding yourself with the stimuli that spark your imagination. Here too you can create easy access to many sources of ideas. And, keep your thoughts book here to capture your ideas and thoughts so that you can take them to the world.
You are a Creative Leader
Anybody, including you Murphy, can be a creative and imaginative leader because it is a skill and can be learned. Here’s to the wonderful ideas and thoughts you’ll contribute to the world!
“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” – Walt Disney
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