Minisode 008 – Are you crushing creativity?

Do you create time and space for new ideas? Or are you crushing your ability to be creative? I’ve spoken many times on this podcast about the three evils of the workplace. An inbox overflowing with emails, day after day of back to back meetings and stilted, awkward and ineffective conversations with colleagues. The three evils of the workplace have a profound impact on the time we spend at work. The three evils of the workplace produce an atmosphere of busy and they force missed opportunities for working together and sharing ideas and leave us feeling like a cog in a wheel ploughing through our working day.

As well as these, one of the quietly forgotten victims of the three evils of the workplace is creativity. Creativity. I know what you’re thinking. I’m not a graphic designer, an app-developer, an architect or writer so I don’t need to be creative at work. Yes you do. And if you don’t make space for it then you will never produce work that makes a difference.

Think about the things on your plate at the moment. The program of work, the BAU challenges, the stakeholders you are seeking to engage, the systems you are trying to improve – whatever it might be. On your plate right now, without doubt, is work that requires new ideas and creative solutions.

Like millions of others, I really enjoyed the show Mad Men. And one of the things I noticed was that Don Draper, that dark, complicated, flawed advertising genius, gave himself plenty of opportunities to lie on the couch in his office and just think.

Then, after a period of time, he’d walk into a meeting with a client, uninhibited by the constraints of Powerpoint, and pitch an idea that made the room buzz. Draper did not rush from meeting to meeting. He did not spend time managing his overflowing inbox. He talked through problems, understood them, and then he thought them through.

So what about you? Do you have time to lie on the couch in your office and have a good think? You probably can’t get hammered on whiskey, or chain smoke like Draper did. You might not even

We are all creative beasts – or at least we have the potential to be. The numbers Gaia put around that are frightening – the vast majority of children are creative geniuses – while very few adults are.

Unless we free up some time and space and give ourselves permission to dream up new ideas the creativity will die in all of us.

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