Creativity is the result of how you think. Practicing the habits of creative thinking allows you to break the barrier of what’s achievable. Better professional skills, better clients, and the ability to get through tough situations are just a few of the things creative thinking brings.
According to a global study by Adobe, “only 1 in 4 believe they are living up to their creative potential.” That’s a sad fact due to what’s truly possible. But what’s the good news here? Well, IT consultants know how important the strive for creativity is. Plus we have the opportunity to create all day long.
We may sometimes be interrupted by other colleagues, customer requests, or getting organized, but creative minds always find time to be creative. Whether you’re stuck in a creative rut or you want to maximize your creative thinking potential, here are the habits of creative thinkers to learn from.
There’s one simple fact you need to know in order to succeed. In order to have the life you want. To live beyond the confined space of so-called life. And to spark your imagination so you can do the best work possible.
Here it is.
“Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you. You can change it. You can influence it. You can build your own things that other people can use.” – Steve Jobs
Well said Mr. Jobs. Well said.
Creative minds don’t let other’s achievements affect their own creation of something remarkable. If you think you can’t do something – write a blog, code a website, or make a product you believe people will need – think again. Think about the fact that everything you see right now was created by someone. Did they have some sort of superpower?
No. They were a creative thinker who practiced the habits of creative thinking truly and passionately.
Developing creativity means learning something new every day. Go to the best place to learn online to find new tutorials and articles posted daily on topics relating to your consulting niche. Take time between working on projects and running errands to acquire a new skill. This could also mean experimenting with new techniques for the stuff you’re already working on.
Steve Jobs talked about it in his famous commencement speech. He said that creativity is just connecting the dots. Creative thinkers produce ideas by finding the relationship between facts. Facts merely on their own are useless until one sees the connection between them.
“Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you. You can change it. You can influence it. You can build your own things that other people can use.”
When you see the connection between facts, you’re able to create something different.
This is what your clients are expecting. Even if they aren’t aware of it, they’re really going to you because they rely on a fresh perspective.
Developing a wide range of skills is a great way to discover the connection of ideas. Don’t just stick to what you’re “naturally” good at. If you’re a web designer, spending some time learning how to code will make your designs better. Why? Because you’re opening up new venues of creativity based on technical aspects you weren’t aware of.
Don’t stop thinking just because the technology, money, or support behind your idea doesn’t exist yet. It will someday. Reality is the result of imagination. What you put into the machine of creativity is the actual product or innovation you’ll get out.
You can create your best work based on the amount of vision you put into a single idea. Even Einstein famously said, “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.”
Some tend to think lists are too constraining for the creative mind. But this only partly true. A list telling you mundane tasks to do at a specific time sure can be limiting to creative thinking. But good list-making is about more than simple task management.
Creative thinkers use lists as mental road maps. As a place to see all their ideas before they get overrun by another wave of creative thought. Thomas Edison, John Lennon, and Leonardo da Vinci are among some of the creative thinkers of history that have used list-making as a creativity tool. Designers and illustrators can either make lists of concepts or keep a sketchpad to quickly draw out their ideas. When a new project comes up, it’s easy to be inspired when you already have all your creative thoughts written or drawn in front of you.
Here’s what you should do. Make a list of the things you want your consulting business to do, to be, and to achieve. Without editing, without thinking too much, and without believing something’s impossible – just write a list.
We all know it’s important to listen to other’s feedback. But if someone is telling you something can’t be done or shouldn’t be done without hearing the full story – don’t listen to them. Create without interruption. You don’t want someone knocking down your ideas before those ideas flourish.
You don’t want someone knocking down your ideas before those ideas flourish.
When it comes to being an IT consultant though, we have to sometimes tone down our creative mind from getting too wild. But don’t do this right away. If a client asks for a logo with very specific requests, don’t immediately follow those rules.
First, design with your initial instincts. What could you do with their concept that they hadn’t asked for? Then tone it down to meet their requirements. Perhaps you could even include this concept design in your preliminary draft. It may even inspire your client to think of something they would want to include in the design. But if you’re going to do this, make sure most of the work you present them follows what they asked for. The point is to keep the door to creativity open. When you write, don’t stop to edit. This is when you loose all the good thoughts that prompted you to open a blank document in the first place.
Create now and edit after. Who knows where your creative mind will go?
As a business person (and that’s what you are as a consultant) you know that the nature of business is to constantly evolve. Roll with the punches, adapt to demands, and carve out a new path in the direction of what a client wants. If you’re going to achieve all that, you’re going to need to think outside the box. Come up with creative ways to take one person’s vision and make it a well-rounded piece.
Many artists throughout history have displayed the effort to think beyond a one-way street. Picasso went through many stages of different styles of art. He had the Blue Period, the Rose Period, and the Surrealist Period, among others.
Over time he evolved. He changed his art to reflect the outside situations he felt and experienced.
As a creative consultant, you need a broad perspective. Creative minds are curious about how the world works. They find various topics fascinating. This is especially important when it comes to working with your clients. The types of clients we work with vary. Many probably aren’t like you, but you need to know how they think in order to write the best copy, design the best website, or take the best photos for their type of business goals.
Sifting out the stuff that doesn’t work is just as important as keeping the things that do work. Saying no to clients is actually an important aspect in preserving your creativity. Getting overloaded by requests for extra work will reduce the quality of the work you already have on your plate. But it’s not just about saying no to clients. Saying no also means refining your creative ideas….eventually.
First, let your imagination soar. Write without editing and design without rules. But after that, reel in some of the crazy concepts you caught. Refining the results of your creative thinking and revising out the parts that don’t fit is what creates a solid piece of work.
Two minds are better than one. Collaboration is key to developing ideas and taking them places you hadn’t thought of before. This habit goes hand in hand with connecting the dots.
It’s like picking fruit from a tree that grows apples and pears and bananas and mangos all on the same branch, instead of picking an apple from an apple tree.
Sometimes an idea flourishes when you talk about it with a friend, co-worker, or partner. Other times, you (and the people you’re talking with) end up with a long list of new ideas that strayed so far from the original thought. This is good. This allows you to connect the dots between all those ideas which, really, has more substance and depth than a singular concept.
Imagine a blank whiteboard on the wall. How many creative ideas could you write down in 5 minutes? What would that whiteboard look like? Now think of 5 creatively-minded individuals (you included) writing down all their creative ideas in the same 5 minutes. You get a different image in your head about what that whiteboard looks like now, don’t you? There’s more to explore and expand upon. It’s like picking fruit from a tree that grows apples and pears and bananas and mangos all on the same branch, instead of picking an apple from an apple tree. The variety of possible creative connections gets you drooling.
Consultants have the great advantage of collaborating with other consultants. Not only does the work of individual consultants improve that way, but the entire value of consulting in general goes up because we’ve just helped each other reach prime creative levels.
Inspired from this source article.