Imagination Grows Businesses
Albert Einstein is credited with saying “Imagination is more important than knowledge”.
The Small Business Imagination Creativity combination will help your business meet your customer where it matters most, in their imagination.
It’s possible to experience a whole world inside your mind using your imagination. Take a look at any situation from a different view and you will strengthen your creativity. Explore places you have never been, listen to sounds as if for the first time, all because of the magic of imagination.
Do you wonder what use imagination or creativity are to your employees. It’s a common question many small businesses ask themselves. Sure you don’t want an employee sitting around thinking about how to make the business grow while at the same time not doing their tasks. But like most small businesses you want your employees to be invested in their job and the product or service they are presenting to your clients.
Encouraging employees at all levels to think about how to do things better, about new products and services will create value for your business.You want your employees to have a stake in growth and successes and to this end I encourage you to implement ways they can manifest their imaginations and explore their creative sides.
No matter how great your ideas are or how little competition you have you will be challenged in your niche and your successful business model will be copied. New thinkers are constantly searching out for ways to create success and cannibalizing your ideas and methods is one way your competition can speed up their success and lower both the cost of entry into your field and the length of the industry learning curve.
No Matter If It’s Inside Or Outside The Box
Find Innovative Ways to Bring out your Staff’s Creativity
Is it time to ramp up the imagination and creativity in your marketing and creative departments? Are you ready to find new and exciting ideas hiding in plain site? Well then, it’s time for guerrilla imagination!
There’s something about stepping outside of your comfort zone within a group of people that allows you to think more freely and share your ideas. In a true team environment there is no such thing as a bad idea, and often the wackiest ideas develop into innovative solutions to your challenges.
Guerrilla Imagination is about experiencing fun and adventurous activities leading your team to a new and exciting level of trust and creativity.
Seek Out Adventure
Want your employees to think fast? Then start by letting them go fast at a nearby racetrack. Most speedways offer packages that allow visitors to be a driver for a day, and the experience will be just what your employees need to get their blood pumping and their creativity flowing. Plan brainstorming activities for immediately after the driving experience to encourage employees to take their business imagination to 120 miles per hour.
If your goal is to help your staff overcome their fears and feel confident as they contribute to your team, rock climbing may be just the activity for you. Rock climbing requires strenuous, high-stakes effort with amazing rewards, and that’s exactly the experience you want to mimic in your team’s creative meetings. The experience of pushing yourself beyond your limits to achieve unfathomable heights is what rock climbing is all about. Once your staff knows what that feels like, you’re one step closer to unparalleled small business imagination and creativity
Monotony is the enemy of creativity, and as your business grows, it is easy for your staff to become bogged down in the day-to-day grind of just getting things done. If your office has become a dull, cumbersome place, then it’s time to get out of the office and get into the water. Think of the fun your employees will have if their day at the office includes boating, parasailing, and jet skiing. The opportunity to bond as a team without the pressure of reports due and clients to satisfy creates just the environment for Guerrilla Imagination. If you throw camping into your outdoor adventure, you can spend the day in the water and the evening by the camp fire soliciting out-of-the-box marketing ideas for your organization. Providing a non-threatening environment for your staff to innovate is one key to the creative marketing and promotional ideas you’re looking for.
Get Creative to Breed Innovation
The Small Business Imagination Creativity combination is essential in planning new marketing and innovation strategies. And in contrast boring staff meetings are rarely conducive to creative thought. Guerilla Imagination techniques will turn those meetings into exciting and innovative experiences.
Imagine if your staff walked into a meeting to find ice cream and every imaginable topping for the perfect sundae. Using each of the toppings as a part of a process or idea suddenly turns a complex marketing plan into a hands-on, interactive encounter. As the employees create and enjoy their tasty treats, they can relate the whipped cream, nuts, chocolate sauce, and cherry on top to the steps along your company’s path to growth. Who says work can’t be fun (and delicious, too)?
Business Imagination needs an appropriate outlet so employees can feel comfortable contributing every idea that comes to them. Fear of looking silly can prevent some people from contributing their creative ideas, so providing a silly way to participate in brainstorming could remove that fear. Try implementing whimsical writing days, like “Haiku Mondays” or “Limerick Wednesdays.” Using your email groups or a company message board, your team could submit their marketing or promotional ideas in the form of a quirky poem. The extra focus needed to fit ideas into the poem’s format will transfer to focus on the project, and the outlandish idea of a limerick itself will remove any fear of contributing silly ideas because the sillier they are, the better. Of course, you could create competition by giving prizes to your best authors each week.
Return to Childhood Imagination
Have you ever wondered how children can have such vivid imaginations and why they lose their imaginations as they get older? While the answer likely includes many factors, you should consider helping your employees return to their childhood imaginations by having fun like a kid. Consider a day trip to your local pizza joint/arcade. Your staff could enjoy pizza from the buffet, kill zombies in arcade games, and even test their skills in skee-ball or air hockey. After the fun, your marketing strategy session could begin with how you would market each of the games that were played that day. Then those ideas could be adapted to your product or service, creating a new and innovative marketing approach. You could even reserve a birthday party room for the day to use for your regular staff meeting.
Children are constantly active, running and jumping and playing until their heart’s content. As adults, we must recognize that the correlation between physical activity and clarity of thought is undeniable. So maybe it’s time for you to get your staff up and moving with an old-fashioned field day. Different departments could team up to compete against one another in three-legged races, tug-of-wars, kickball games and other events. Team-building fun would then foster the safe, creative environment that produces exceptional business imagination. Photos and memories from the day should adorn the walls of your brainstorming sessions, or you could even hold your meetings right on the field. Encouraging your staff to return to the imagination and creativity of childhood will bring about the guerilla imagination your business needs.
Often the very ideas you’re looking for are right at your fingertips. With guerrilla imagination, you can help your team develop innovative marketing and promotional ideas that will push your business ahead of the competition.
6 Common Roadblocks That Derail Creativity
1) A Locked Box
When it comes to exploring new ideas in marketing, customer support and product development many small businesses cling to doing things as they’ve always done. Taking risks and indeed even talking about exploring new ideas is often quickly dismissed and shut down. We often hear phrases such as “it’s our tradition,” “it’s always worked before, and “we don’t do things like that.” And let our least favorite is the “no comment” that so often derails a discussion.
The things that worked in the past are valuable, but limiting new ideas and new ways of seeing things is a guaranteed way of taking the air out of your most creative employees and stifling innovative ideas from even being looked at.
2) Restrict Hiring
Growing imagination in small business is a bit like growing crops on a farm. If you only grow one type of crop you risk depleting the soil of needed nutrients as well as making it less likely that one type will survive a virus. Planting and rotating different types of crops will refresh the soil and allow for healthier overall farm.
Hiring employees with different experiences and backgrounds will help create an environment that nurtures imagination and encourages creativity. People who bring different views and ideas to a small business will spark innovation and not create an echo chamber where everyone is think the same thoughts.
3)No Praise Only Fault
If you want to strip people of any creativity, passion or drive, micromanage them. Control every aspect of a project, over involve yourself in projects and ensure all sign off for decisions is through you. Micromanagement will kill morale and imagination.
We want environments that foster imaginative thinkers, to find new ways to find solutions to problems and nourish both themselves and the business. Be the leader that embodies the qualities that you want your team to act on.
4)Thinking Your Customers Are Monolithic
Research supports that diverse groups are more creative. Expanding the boundaries by accessing wisdom from other industry disruptors, fosters new relationships, expanding unfamiliar zones and increases the likelihood that this idea will translate into a reality.
When bringing groups together with intention of listening to feedback, kill the moment by tapping into titles and seniority. Dismantle the notion that all are equal and design different rules for hierarchical positions. The notion that contribution is nurtured will foster a space of trust, honesty and safety for all involved.
6)A Stopwatch Mentality
In 2015, the average human being attention span was 8 seconds. The average attention span of a goldfish, 9 seconds. Creativity requires space and when we isolate, remove any movement we inhibit the free-flowing insights. When you limit yourself to new experiences, environments or spaces, you remove the potential for creativity to foster the ability to turn insights into products or services. Research has supported that meditation or mindfulness increases focus, attention span and creativity. Meditation encourages possibility for coming up with the greatest number of possible solutions to a problem. Invest in low intensity activities, taking a walk to free your mind and create.
Nothing is sure to shut down the engine of innovation faster than leaders who eliminate opportunities for creativity to be nurtured than developing a mindset that creativity is another buzz word or another item on their checklist.
Blastoff Into A Creative Culture
If a challenge arises, let’s not disown the problems. Let’s flip the switch and collectively take ownership. No one should sit alone. Build a team that can experiment and take risks. When you instill a belief that that there is always a choice and solution, the lens we look through provides a very different picture. Creating an environment where all contribute to change, is the platform for people going home satisfied. Ignite the collective to have impactful conversations, develop solutions and create conditions conducive for co-creation to allow people and business to flourish. We want our potential customers seeing our work to come away
with something of lasting value, so we must tune into a deeper creativity
than what our competitors and peers are tuning into.
Creative Blogging is an avenue filled with opportunities for business.
And check out What is Creativity for more insights.