Unlock Your Team’s Creativity

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Gone are the days where business owners would reach out to PR agencies just to assist with traditional media relations campaigns, whilst other agencies/ departments managed additional communications needs. Today, more than ever before, businesses of all shapes and sizes are seeking holistic communication and marketing solutions in one streamlined place.

At P4 Group, we pride ourselves on being able to deliver a multidisciplinary approach to our clients, with services spanning traditional PR, social media, marketing, sponsorship, stakeholder engagement and more. And with such a variety of service offerings and skills within the organisation, unlocking and harnessing creativity in the workplace has never been more valuable… but how do we do it?!

Below are my top four tips for encouraging creativity and nourishing it into being more than just an idea.

Challenge the concept

Over the last eight years, I have sat in on hundreds of brainstorms that consist of a group of talented professionals throwing ideas around like it’s nobody’s business. If you asked me if the ideas are good, I would say mostly, yes, however for a good idea to be great, I truly believe you need to dig deeper and ask questions that might challenge, or inspire, further thinking.

Some thought-starter questions to stimulate conversation amongst the group might include;

  • OK, the foundation is there, but how would we execute this?
  • Can we explore this further?
  • How could we amplify this idea across a number of communications platforms?
  • Which of the clients audiences do you see this engaging?
  • Is this an idea you would confidently pitch to the client? Why?

Take your brainstorm out of its normal habitat

Don’t underestimate the power of a change of scenery. If you’re anything like me, you probably feel like you are constantly on the go, finishing one task only to start another, and when a brainstorming session appears in your diary, it immediately falls somewhere between ‘finishing a six-month strategy’ and ‘pitching in a media angle’ on your to-do list, rather than you allowing some time beforehand to start the creative juices flowing.

For lack of a better word, it can become like clockwork – show up, produce ideas, leave.

Shake off that ‘stale’ feeling and take a new approach to your next brainstorm by taking the team outdoors and into nature for a pow-wow. This will allow busy minds the opportunity to do something different and completely switch off ‘office mode’ – leaving the phone lines, email notifications and other interruptions behind – whilst unlocking the creative space in their minds.

Try something left of field

In the late 1990s, Robert Rasmussen, was asked by then-LEGO Group CEO, Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, to explore how LEGO could help play a role in harnessing a companies strategic planning, communication, and creative thinking. What evolved from his research was a concept that has since gone on to feature in the boardrooms of leading companies across the globe including Coca-Cola, Toyota, Google and NASA – the LEGO Serious Play (LSP) methodology.

So what is this methodology and how does it work? In laymen’s terms, it is essentially the concept of using ‘play’ to stimulate creative thinking in a new way – in this case, asking your team a variety of questions and having them use LEGO to communicate their response, whislt unlocking their subconscious mind. Read more here.

Now, I’m not suggesting we all go and purchase a set of LEGO for our office, however I am suggesting we take a step back and look at approaching thinking via ways that gives creativity the opportunity to run free – PLAY!

Another, more simple ‘game,’ could be word association or a drawing exercise (i.e. in 30 seconds, draw your interpretation of X).

Don’t be afraid to regroup

The first brainstorm doesn’t have to be the only opportunity for staff to put forward their creative ideas, it really should just be the beginning of the process.

Instead of booking a brainstorm the day before the concepts are due to begin, give the team two opportunities to bring their ideas to the table – one a week out, followed up by another brainstorming session three days later. This extra time to digest the brief and refine their ideas will ultimately produce a more developed concept and save you time having to go fishing for it yourself!

How do you unlock creativity?

I’d love to know how you unlock creativity as an individual or organisation. Do you have more examples of play that have been successful for you, or do you have a tip you can share with me to take back to the team at P4 Group? Please comment below or connect with me on LinkedIn – I’d love to hear from you! We’d love to have a go at coming up with a creative idea for your business, so please give us a call on (07) 3854 1455 or fill in our contact form.

Did you know: A 15-country study by academic Kobus Neethling showed that children aged three to five exhibit 98 per cent creative behaviour, however when looking at adults aged 35 and over this reduced dramatically to just two per cent.