Have you ever stopped to think about how mysterious and awesome creativity is? I mean, how can you really define it? Where does it come from? Why do some individuals have much more of it than others?
Recently I came across a very interesting article in The Huffington Post. In the piece, author Carolyn Gregorie shares 18 traits that highly creative people do a little differently than others. As a social media account manager, I began relating her insights to my work and the different ways I try to harness my own creativity to benefit the organizations I represent. Here are my thoughts:
1. They daydream.
In any creative field, there is a paradox between two competing necessities. On one hand, you need an inquisitive, nomadic mind that continually sparks new and innovative ideas. At the same time, it’s crucial that those meandering thoughts are organized and managed in a way that maintains productivity and meets deadlines. For creative individuals who struggle with this organization and time management piece, there are multiple apps and tools to help you manage competing priorities, maintain task lists and stay on track. A few good options I’ve come across include Todoist, Mind42 and focus booster.
2. They surround themselves with beauty.
At first, this point may sound a little “fluffy.” However, it’s no secret that the environment a person is surrounded by can greatly impact his/her thoughts, attitude and actions. When working in a field that requires a steady flow of creative content, it helps to have aesthetically-pleasing, positive surroundings that encourage similar content output. Some individuals have the flexibility to work from a park bench on a summer afternoon. Others don’t. Even then, you can add a little paint to your office walls, hang an interesting wall piece or bring in a few plants to liven up the environment. Here are a few other great ideas from my colleague’s recent blog.
3. They observe everything.
I find this trait to be very helpful in identifying campaign and content ideas that clients themselves often don’t recognize. For example, every time I interact with a client or stakeholder, I observe and listen intentionally. I’m searching for clues about things that are going well and items that are causing frustration. Then, I consider how social platforms (or other tool set) can be utilized to help amplify the good and ease the pains associated with the bad.
4. They take risks.
As Forbes contributor, Steven Kotler puts it, “Creativity is the act of making something from nothing. It requires making public those bets first placed by imagination. This is not a job for the timid. Time wasted, reputation tarnished, money not well spent – these are all by-products of creativity gone awry.”
For me, the key here is making my “creative bets” calculated ones. Whenever possible, it’s wise to run ideas by stakeholders prior to delivery. However, this isn’t always possible when an immediate response or post can make the difference in terms of service recovery or customer satisfaction. In these cases, it pays to have team members in place who exercise discretion and tact. Nothing is worse than negative publicity going viral! For more on that subject, be on the lookout for one of my other colleague’s upcoming blogs about incorporating crisis management into your online marketing strategy.
Do you consider yourself a creative type? If so, what do you think about the traits Gregorie presents in her article? Do you find the four that I mention here to be applicable for you as well? Let’s keep the conversation going in the comments below.