How Do We Stay Creative?
Randy Wolken, President & CEO
Our work can quickly become a grind. Whether our business is growing, holding steady, or losing ground, our work can take a heavy toll. We can lose our edge. We can just “show up” today – which will not help us become more successful. It’s vital we do not just settle for what was good enough yesterday. But, how do we do that?
We need to stay curious. There is significant evidence that being curious – and acting on that curiosity – improves our ability to navigate whatever we are facing today. It makes us happier and gives us the energy we need to push forward. What we need to do is find ways to nurture our curiosity and creativity daily.
I use several tactics to help me stay curious and creative. First, I identify what I do not know. This serves several purposes. It keeps me humble. It encourages me to reach out to others. And, it helps direct me to areas I need to be curious about. It would be easier to just ignore these areas – and hope they don’t affect my organization. But, in today’s fast-paced world, that can be a formula for falling behind and losing out.
Another tactic is to examine my strengths. It is often easier for us to get excited about areas we know about – and go deeper. I should do this, but I also need to be aware of when I am just doing it because it is more comfortable. Both playing to my strengths and getting outside my comfort zone will allow me to explore my capabilities while also maintaining my existing skillsets.
One of the big areas to focus on is cutting out distractions. It is so easy to get distracted today. We all know the difference between learning new things and just occupying our time. Be strategic in how you spend your time. I know I must do so. Cutting out useless distractions gives me more time to do the things that can truly help me grow – at work and at home.
Another key way to stay curious is to spend time with new people – especially those who have different perspectives. We can stay in our comfort zone – or branch out. Branching out helps us learn new things and incorporate those new things into how we currently tackle challenges in our lives. Go out of your way to introduce yourself to others who can help you think differently about your successes and challenges.
Staying creative and curious has become a primary way for each of us to thrive in today’s competitive and global economy. Creativity has moved to the top of the list for desirable skillsets of CEOs worldwide. Being intentional about remaining curious matters more than ever. How will you stay creative? What will you do today to foster it in others? Use each day to do so – it will be critical to your happiness and success!