Creative thinking helps us uncover new and innovative ways to look at situations.

“Our careers are no exception,” explains Michelle Warren, a creator and facilitator of interactive communication, leadership and innovation workshops. “By looking at things through a different lens, which creative thinking fosters, we are able to find new avenues to pursue, which benefits us and our employers.”

Although folks with careers outside of creative industries may feel like their jobs don’t allow for much creative expression, Michelle insists that there are some simple ways to tap into our imaginations to facilitate innovative solutions to all types workplace challenges.

Here are just a few:

  • Set aside some time, perhaps even 15 minutes a day to consider alternatives. “Once you start the habit, keep at it,” she says. “Be patient with yourself, especially if this is a foreign concept, and see what happens.”
  • Try free writing. “It’s an excellent way to tap into different mental reserves,” she shares. “Take a pen and paper and write what is on your mind, or try brainstorming alone or with others, in a non-judgmental, free-form manner.”
  • Be curious about everything. “Curiosity will help expand thought patterns and foster creative thinking,” she says.
  • Avoid feelings of judgment and frustration. “Keep your emotions in check,” she warns.
  • Don’t evaluate your output immediately. “Give yourself space and time to explore options,” she advises.

Brain Training

“Think of creativity as being a muscle – the more you practice using it, the stronger your creative mindset will become,” Michelle encourages. “Just as we become physically fit with practice, dedication, and hard work, so we will become more creative with regular brain training.”

Michelle reminds us that not every creative idea will be worth investigating, but with time, we should find one for consideration, and leaves us with this final thought: “Encourage creative thinking in others – in your team, with your colleagues,” she advises. “Creativity breeds innovation, and that is what we all need to foster in today’s workplace.”