Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Be more creative...do something different

A light snow got me thinking about creativity today. If every snowflake is unique, then people who live by their creativity—and everyone else who uses their brain for a living—should be different every day as well.

In countless brainstorm sessions I’ve led, one sure way to energize rusty brain cells and bump them out of their rut is to invite the team to put themselves in a fresh frame of mind. Try this yourself on the way into the office tomorrow.

Do something different.

If fact, do several things different. If you take public transportation, then walk or ride your bike. If you must drive, then take a different route. If you’ve got a choice, take the more fuel efficient car…“Honey, I’m taking the hybrid today…please.” Go the wrong way if you have time. Get up 15 minutes earlier and make the time.

Work downtown? Cut through a different building. Eat breakfast if you never do. Eat lunch someplace brand new. Cut them some slack and enjoy the way the servers are learning their way around a new menu and a new system.

Listen to a different radio station. Or borrow someone else’s iPod. Ask first! Put away your laptop and Blackberry and read a newspaper. Read a book by a friend’s favorite author. Take your camera along...and take a picure. Shovel your neighbor’s walk before you shovel your own. Switch from coffee to tea, diet to water, red wine to white. Kiss your sweetheart with your eyes open instead of closed.

Doesn’t matter what you do that’s different. The idea is to break your routine. Form new connections in your brain. Open yourself to the unexpected. Tune your brain to be that much more responsive to new concepts.

Who knows, you might find that you like hip hop. Or free jazz. Or opera, for that matter. You might discover a new short cut. Or reconnect with a fabulous architectural inspiration, as I did recently when I cut through the lobby of Chicago’s Rookery Building.

By the way, doing things different is habit forming.

Photo: (c)2003 Paul J. Hydzik ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


Paul Hydzik grows brand value. As a brand marketer and award-winning creative leader, Paul has more than 15 years of experience driving business success from start-ups to blue chips. His strategic resume covers all aspects of B2B and B2C branding from go-to-market to consumer insight to identity development and all forms of marketing communication.

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