These tips will surely make your creative lulls a thing of the past!
New customers, new campaigns – we thrive on clever ideas! One thing is certain: a smart idea is not a coincidence. A great deal of thinking is put into every project, and this unique creation process looks different from person to person. Just a quick glance over our open-plan office would suffice to demonstrate this; As with the start of any project, Art Designer Manel meticulously sharpens his pencils – just as if he sharpens his mind and fills his thoughts with new ideas. Senior Account Executive Andreas, on the other hand, needs movement – where by a few steps are enough to set a mental high-performance sprint in motion. Since the sounds of nature inspire me, headphones are a crucial part of my work equipment. My colleague Julia on the second floor, requires absolute peace and quiet to unfold her creative power. It is said that our best ideas come when we least expect them. Some might find themselves on a train commuting home, when suddenly, their most – in the truest sense of the word – groundbreaking idea strikes them.
Concentrated competence instead of role play
This shows that there is no ideal creative basis and no optimal creative environment. Therefore, it is important that employers give their staff a certain amount of freedom. If the results are convincing, there is nothing wrong with that. In contrast, it would be detrimental to the imagination to impose fixed processes when it comes to brainstorming. Established techniques – based on mind mapping, brainstorming, Osborn checklist, etc. – define rigid rules and thus restrict thinking rather than promoting creative potential. As a well-rehearsed team, we have developed our own work processes over the years: From the imaginative dreamer to the meticulous planner to the tough analyst – ITMS is made up of individual creatives who only reveal their cumulative competence in cooperation. We know who is the most competent in planning, who provides the most valuable creative input, from which sides decisive objections come and who offers constructive alternative suggestions. We are a collective forge of ideas with diverse, ideally complementing and mutually inspiring strengths. Creativity feels at home here!
After an intensive debate, we were able to agree on three original tips, which are conducive to finding ideas. These are not self-explanatory clichés such as “read more imaginative books” or subjective statements. Instead, we have derived insights from our proven creative work processes. We hope they inspire you.
Tip 1: Get inspired
Do not allow a creative drought. Before an idea strikes you like lightning, ideas are drizzling, no, a myriad of ideas are pouring down on you – and that is a good thing. Don’t be afraid to get wet – even if your ideas just bounce off others. Think about the amount of fantasy Elon Musk must have had when he first talked about his dream of making self-driving cars possible for society. And who can possibly imagine today, that artificial stem cell meat from Petri dishes will eventually replace mass animal husbandry? The first visionaries have already invested in this future trend – despite the sceptics. One thing is for sure: ideas might not always strike when they flash by, but nothing ventured, nothing gained! Fantasy does not fall asleep – we must have the courage to dream.
Tip 2: Let your creativity run free, capture your thoughts!
It happens to everybody; whether it’s during a shower, a walk in the woods or jogging – as we are pondering in our daydreams, we unexpectedly come up with a really good idea. But such thoughts blow up in the blink of an eye – if we allow it. Since abstract thoughts cannot be grasped, we must hold on to them in a different way. For example, get a notebook – irrespective of whether it’s kept digitally on a cell phone or physically on paper; irrespective of whether you work with letters or sketches. You can also save your ideas as a voice message on your mobile phone. The important thing is to keep them safe – because even if you don’t currently have any use for them, they will eventually prove useful.
Tip 3: Moving from the hustle and bustle into isolation
Finding ideas is a lengthy process. If you are looking for inspiration, you must engage with exciting contents, visit fascinating places, let sensory stimuli (sounds, images, smells) have an impact on you, cultivate contact with energizing people (i.e. open your eyes when choosing a partner). This inspires our imagination, opens new spaces of reality, lets us look beyond the horizon and think outside the box. Make a note of all the associations that are currently pouring into you – and then seek out the vastness. In order to organize our thoughts, to make logical connections and to turn inspiration into innovation, we need peace and perseverance. So, retreat, turn off your cell phone, clean up your desk, let the flashes of thought hit you, and then enjoy the soothing, satisfying tranquility after the storm.