I have a piece in the Wall Street Journal that shows how employees in large corporations can reframe their jobs and careers by getting more creative. It offers up 10 specific ways for people to increase their value to their employers–and to themselves.
Here are: 10 Fast Ways to Boost Your Creative Intelligence
1) Find a creative friend. The social aspect of creativity cannot be underestimated. Spending time with creative peers can boost your energy and help you identify your own creative skills.
2) Map your creativity. Keep a daily journal about the places and activities that inspire you. Add something new one every month. Just changing the way you go to work every day can help.
3) Go for a long walk–or run or bike ride. Give yourself “zone-out” time to let your mind integrate all the new ideas you’re taking in. Creativity is social but still requires “alone time” too.
4) Conduct a “creativity audit.” Take a weekend to think about the knowledge and skills you have that you might be underutilizing. Dive deep into yourself. Bring a close friend to help.
5) Play the “reframe game.” Is your business or industry stagnating? Change the conventional wisdom about the way things have always been done and create something entirely new by connecting two previously unrelated ideas.
6) Find a wanderer. In their heyday, the labs at HP were hugely creative thanks to the founders’ policy of “managing by wandering around.” They choose promising research and championed it. Seek out the person at your organization who can help you bring your ideas into the world.
7) Become a wanderer. Find out what your colleagues and employees are thinking about and ask yourself: how can you help support their ideas? Can you become the person who makes things happen, whether by partnering with them or hooking them up with the right people? 8) Slow down. The rise in social media has left many of us longing for deeper, more meaningful experiences and engagements. There is an increasing need for people and organizations who can devise ways to help people simplify their lives.
9) Venture past the possible. We are often so accustomed to seeing things in a certain way that we’re blind to the possibility of something we can’t yet imagine. Set aside time each week to think about why things are the way they are, and imagine them differently.
10) Embrace uncertainty . There is so much change in our lives and in our work that it scares us, even paralyzes us. Yet uncertainty offers the greatest opportunities. With the right creative skills, you can make uncertainty a place of discovery for you.
“WHEN YOU ARE ENCOUNTERING ANY CHANGE OR CHALLENGE, IT MAKES SENSE TO TAKE A MOMENT TO REMEMBER THAT YOU, AND EVERYONE AROUND YOU, ARE ALWAYS PARTICIPATING IN A NARRATIVE–A STORY THAT CONTAINS ELEMENTS THAT YOU CAN CHANGE. REFRAMING IS OFTEN AS EASY AS ASKING, WHAT’S REALLY GOING ON? AND HOW DID WE GET HERE?”
And then you can reframe your narrative and decide where to go next.