10 Ways to Be Creative Like a Kid

by Mike Brown

10 Ways to Be Creative Like a KidI was in Cedar Rapids, IA recently to be a keynote speaker at CreativeBloc 2011. It’s a wonderful opportunity to speak about both dealing with organizational innovation barriers and personal creative blocks. One way for adults to attack creative blocks or improve your creativity in general is to revert to doing what kids – who are often at the creative pinnacles of their lives – do naturally. These ten creativity-inducing ideas (which all started life as tweets one night last week under the #KidCreativity4Adults hashtag) are great ways for adults to take a more creative and fun approach to our oh-so-serious work lives:

  1. Always have a sweet box of Crayola crayons around so you can color a picture and put it on the fridge.
  2. Do something every day that will make you giggle. Better yet, do it multiple times daily.
  3. Take something with you when you’re in public to occupy yourself creatively in case you get bored and cranky.
  4. If you don’t know the answer to a problem, take a guess. Or copy off the person sitting next to you.
  5. Draw your ideas, even if the lines are crooked or it’s tough to tell exactly what it is. And don’t call it an infographic!
  6. If something isn’t making sense, be sure to scrunch your face so it’s apparent to everybody!
  7. Get everybody together for a meeting in the cafeteria and serve ice cream cones.
  8. Don’t wait to raise your hand; just start talking when an idea occurs to you.
  9. Always have toys in plain view in your office. Don’t be reluctant to play with them during boring meetings.
  10. Forget to bring your homework home with you at day’s end. Work on it tomorrow between meetings. It will probably be better anyway.

The fun part of tweeting the forerunners of these ideas was when other tweeters jumped in to contribute to this friendsourced post. @SBarton1220 recommended including a Magic 8 ball and a Jump to Conclusions mat (from “Office Space”) in the toy mix. She said she uses Magic 8 balls to help clarify the outcome she really wants by shaking it until the ‘right’ answer appears. @EastRidgePrint suggested her favorite: “Silly putty. Best. Invention. Ever.”

What other ideas do you have to add to #KidCreativity4Adults?


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Mike BrownMike Brown is an award-winning innovator in strategy, communications, and experience marketing. He authors the BrainzoomingTM 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.

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