Sophia Guevara is an EPIP member in Michigan, a long time contributor to RE: Philanthropy, and the former chair of the Consortium of Foundation Libraries affinity group. Here she shares four tips to help engender creative thought.
Some of the best value that an early career professional can provide to an organization is their creativity and courage to try new things. For those interested in improving their creativity, here are a few ideas to consider:
1. Regrets have no space in the mind of a creative
Regret causes fear, and limits your ability to see opportunities. With this mindset, you’re limited in identifying the connections that can be the key to an innovative solution. Instead of working with regret, work with a mindset that focuses on lessons learned from each opportunity, whether a success or failure. Also, be intentional about putting into practice the lessons you have learned.
2. Understand the value of an open mind
Keep an open mind and look for opportunities in all places. Solutions can come from a visit to the store, a book you’ve read, or a conversation with a friend or colleague about a totally different topic. Sometimes people think that creativity requires someone to focus intensely on a solution instead of letting go of the problem. Some of the most innovative solutions are actually quite simple and are born out of a relaxed mind.
3. No one is an island
You would be surprised by how many people think a creative solution is born out of just one person’s mind. A humble attitude increases others’ interest in contributing the ideas needed to arrive at a solution. In addition, some of the most creative ideas are produced through partnerships and collaboration. This requires you to ask for help, and it is surprising how fearful people can be in doing this. To develop a fearless mindset in this area, keep three things in mind:
– I am no better than anyone else and no one is better than me.
– Don’t fear rejection or position.
– Don’t accept less or nothing at all just because you are afraid to ask.
4. Value diversity
People with different backgrounds can offer the kind of experiences needed to reap innovative ideas. Exposing yourself to diverse thinking can help you develop the kind of creative mind needed to tackle some of the most complex problems.
Creativity is a mindset to be developed. Don’t sell yourself short thinking it’s a trait people acquire at birth.