As much as companies today yearn for creativity and innovation, they are astonishingly inattentive to offering outlets for creativity to employees. Yet, here’s the thing: you can only learn creativity by doing creativity.

We’re all creative. Yeah, yeah, tell me you’re not really creative. Baloney. Do you solve problems? Yes. Okay, boom! you’re creative.

So how do you up your own creative genius? In my experience, don’t wait for the company to offer my workshop. Instead, try a few things on your own.

Creative people do a few things differently than other people. They know that creativity doesn’t often happen sitting alone and at a desk, looking at the same things every day: why? Because the brain’s default position is to make connections with what it already knows. Thus, new ideas, fresh ideas – DISRUPTION! – don’t emanate from the default. Interestingly, the same directives now surfacing as possible preventatives for Alzheimers and dementia apply to the strengthening of the creative genius.

– Meet new people, and make new connections; build your network and talk to them
Exercise: walk, run, hike, pick blueberries. Create conditions for an associative state in which the brain can make fresh connections or recall from the subconscious.
– Take a nap or get more sleep: creativity comes not to tired brains. Seriously, a 45-minute nap can do more to bolster productivity than most anything else.
– Seek out and embrace The New: visit a new store, go to an art exhibit, learn to build something, look at things
Make something: got paper, pens, glue? Do a collage. Doodle. The mind handles images better than text. Some kind of evolution thing. Art taps into your subconscious and there’s lots of genius there.
Capture ideas in digital or paper form: use whatever medium you are more likely to review from time to time. Do this a few times per week.
Share: don’t keep ideas and insights to yourself. Find someone with whom you can talk it through.
Meditation: not everyone’s cup of macha, but if you’ve ever been at all intrigued, pursue it. Even 10 minutes can generate important insights and recall. I got started with Buddhist teacher Jack Kornfield’s “Meditation For Beginners“.

And PS, ideas don’t spring forth fully formed like Athena from the head of her father Zeus. That’s where you, your team and hopefully your giant corporate entity need to develop a high tolerance (a welcome mat would be even better) for half-baked ideas. Keep the heat up in the form of examination, inquiry, scrutiny, and you’ll get the soufflé. Just be patient. And build creativity practices into your weekly routine.

~ Image by HauntedVisions at