Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Cultivating Creativity

Thinking creatively means different things to different people. I remember once when talking about creativity, one of the guys on my team throwing his hands in the air and exclaiming, quote; ‘what even is creativity?!’ Funny thing; he was a musician! You would think that they of all people might know something about creativity?

If your business, church, life is to be all it can possibly be it is going to take creativity. You are going to face all sorts of unexpected difficulties and challenges. You are going to have to get creative as you look to navigate these challenges.

Here are a few short cuts to creativity and developing your creative side:

* Thinking hats. When you need to get creative in regards to an issue in your world try putting on Edward de Bono’s thinking hats in order to look at the situation from all angles. The red hat has you looking at the situation from a emotional point of view, the black hat pessimistically, the white hat looks at facts and figures and so on.

* Creativity of others. Pull a group of people together and give them the situation, scenario or problem that your working through. For the price of a few coffees or a lunch you’ll find plenty of people willing to share their opinion. They could have the answer that is perfect for you, and they don’t even need to be in the same industry as you.

* Team brainstorm. If you leading a team get them together for a team brain storm. In one of her recent blog posts, Kem Meyer, the Communications Director at Granger Community Church in the States had some interesting thoughts on a team brainstorm. She asked everybody to bring "one-thing" to the brainstorm. Anything. It could have been a cool web site. A random new tool they’ve found. A scripture. A commercial. A prayer request. A new toy. Whatever. Everyone just needed to bring something they though was pretty cool. Just one thing. They devoted the first hour-ish to everyone sharing their “one thing”. It breaks up the “task mode” and gets brains working a little different and gets a different type of conversation going before busting into the actual brainstorm. I was a great brainstorm warm-up to get the creativity flowing.

* Keep at it. Never stop with the first idea you come up with. Keep working until you have three ideas, and then take time to develop them each a little. You’ll be amazed how ideas can trigger ideas. Your first idea is not always your best. Make a habit of coming up with multiple ideas and options. You’ll train yourself to be creative over time.

* Record ideas. You’ll never know when a great idea is going to come to you. Write it down. You don’t always have the time to explore an idea or develop a concept when it comes to you. So easily these are forgotten latter on when you have time to reflect, dream, think and get creative.

* Adapt the world around you. Everything you ever do doesn’t have to be a unique idea and initiative that you have thought of and no-one else in the world has ever contemplated. Chances are it never will be. Don’t be afraid to take things you see in other businesses, industries, organisations and so on and adapt them to suit your purposes. Don’t break copy write of course, just be adaptive. The ability to adapt is a genuine form of creativity.

* Ask God. Ask God for some help. He created the heavens and the earth, he created you. He is quite creative! Ask him to drop a few ideas into your head. Rainbows, pigmy hippopotami, underwater mountains and glow in the dark bugs are pretty amazing!!!

Keep developing your creative genius, you’ll sort it out, solve the problem, circumnavigate the obstacle and take your business forward like you know God has called you to do. Keep at it. Now get creative!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Rotorua Marathon

Well I completed the Rotorua Marathon. My first marathon and at least as I was running it, defiantly my last. Now I am not so sure. Maybe I'll have another crack sometime. My knees gave out after 36 minutes (6km), that left me 36km (4 hours 22 minutes) of extreme pain! My overall time was 4 hours 58 minutes. I was happy enough with that, especially considering the pain in my knees. 5 voltaren and 2 panadol were helpful but I would like to have a another go without the knee issues. I think I could do 4:12 and maybe even 3:59. I'll try to get some more thoughts posted about the marathon, why everyone needs to do one, what I learnt through the process etc and some photos as well. That'll have to wait though until I get back from LIFE 08 conference that I am at this week.