Being in the transportation industry (as I was) meant a lot of time spent thinking about balance, and not being too heavy inbound or outbound. In moving things (or people), the ideal state is the same number arriving and departing. If you’re too heavy outbound, it means you have lots of things going out, but very few coming in. Heavy inbound is the opposite – many things arriving, but few leaving. Within the economy, there are distinct geographic and industrial patterns in the movement of goods and people. As a result, transportation providers are constantly trying to achieve balance within their networks.
All of this has a direct tie to creativity. It’s not difficult to find yourself in creative imbalance, with a disconnect between the amount of creativity you’re producing and the creative elements you’re taking in to fuel your own pursuits.
Typically, I run heavy on the outbound side of creativity. Part of it is my personality; part of it is a strategy to provide real-life testing of the various creativity-instigating exercises and tools I share. If I’m creatively spent and a particular approach helps spur my creativity, chances are it will work for you as well.
Right now though, I’m so heavy outbound, it’s a little ridiculous. Beyond blogging and tweeting, I’ve been doing a lot of proposal writing (which is a wonderful situation to have), building messaging for the business side of Brainzooming, and trying to do more commenting and guest blogging, too.
One problem of being too heavy outbound in transportation is you wind up with all the equipment you need to function located somewhere else. You have problems making commitments because you lack necessary resources.
What that means for me in the creativity world is trying to force myself to schedule an all inbound day – no blog writing, no tweeting, no thinking about what I should be communicating. Simply a day to read, absorb, replenish, and learn, unencumbered by the need to say something.
Quite a goal, and I’ll let you know when it’s achieved! In the meantime, how’s your creative balance?
Mike Brown is an award-winning innovator in strategy, communications, and experience marketing. He authors the Brainzooming TM blog, and serves as the company’s chief Catalyst. He wrote the ebook “Taking the NO Out of InNOvation” and is a frequent keynote presenter.