Every business role and responsibility brings with it different demands. We are sought out for our specific skills sets to add value to any given situation or project. You might possess the knowledge, experience or answer that is needed, but what if it isn’t that simple? What if your job is to innovate, inspire and invigorate? How do you keep your creative heart furiously beating and that tireless flame burning?
My clients demand creativity and ideation from me on a daily basis. I demand it from myself. Every brief requires an original solution and a spark to illuminate the creative process. It is a great feeling to see someone’s eyes light up when you deliver an idea to revolutionise or revitalise their business. No regurgitated re-hashes allowed. But delivering inspiration and revelation is far from easy. Creativity on demand is tough. The application of lateral thinking is one thing, but rather than trot out the theories of Edward De Bono and risk you getting all ‘black hat’ on me, I’m going to focus on the source of a person’s creativity. That reservoir of inspiration and experience that nourishes and enriches.
I went to see a play called Pramkicker at the weekend. It’s a twisted and tender treat of a play from the ladies at the Old Trunk theatre company, that deals unflinchingly with the pressures of motherhood in modern society. It had just finished a stint at the Edinburgh Festival and was my local theatre, so I thought I’d check it out. We crammed in to the tiny auditorium and watched on.
I emerged an hour later, inspired by what I’d seen. Belly laughs and tears a plenty. A beautiful piece of art perfectly performed and bursting full of personality, passion and poise. It was a great experience and the right hand side of my brain was in raptures. We retired to the pub and discussed the play until the small hours.
Now if you don’t think that a brilliant play can help a designer create a great logo or online marketing campaign, then you’d be wrong. A true creative will find inspiration in all art forms and use it to inform their work.
And so I headed in to the working week with fresh ideas and experiences bubbling away in my mind, ready to feed the creative process and keep that reservoir well-watered. I relay my experiences to my team and use it to stimulate and energise them, which gets them in the right frame of mind to deliver the best standard of creativity to our clients. Everyone benefits from the simple act of seeking inspiration.
So just as you may be committed to continuing your professional development or expanding your knowledge base, don’t neglect your creativity or take it for granted. Surround yourself with sources of inspiration and seek it out at every opportunity. Soak it up and use it to fuel the fire. You, your colleagues and your clients will feel the benefit of it. If you want to be inspirational, you first need to be inspired.