Jan 12, 201511:09 AMMind Your Business
with Corey Chambas
A blog about creativity (this is my least creative blog title ever)
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You may not have noticed, but I fell off the blogging grid for a while. A little over a month ago when my last blog was due, my dad passed away unexpectedly. It has been very hard for me. I became inwardly focused, and it totally sapped my creative energy. Ironically, over the past month I listened to a book called Imagine by John Lehrer that is all about creativity — the thing I was lacking. It’s a great book and I would highly recommend it.
The book covers many aspects of how and why creativity happens: how the brain actually works related to creative thinking, and how new experiences and ideas spark creative thinking. An example I liked was how you can derive creative benefits when traveling, not just by being in a foreign land but also by immersing yourself in the foreign culture. The “strangeness” of the new experiences opens up your mind to new possibilities.
The book also talks about how a physical environment influences creativity. For instance, when it comes to patents, there is a multiplier effect that emerges with the increasing size of a city, because living in a larger city and interacting with a lot of different people, often from different cultures, spurs new and evolving ideas. Similarly, a physical work environment with centralized space (like lunchrooms, bathrooms, mailrooms, or specific collaboration space) can provide opportunities to bump into and interact with different people from different disciplines, thus enhancing creative thought and collaboration.
If you think about your company and its network of clients, vendors, and other business partners, you may have an opportunity to benefit from this. For example, one of the enlightening things about the commercial banking business is that we have the chance to interact with a lot of different businesses and businesspeople. This creates the opportunity to be exposed to different ways of thinking and operating across a variety of industries.
Even back in our formative years in the early ’90s, we were able to pick up sales strategies from an insurance industry client that allowed us to be an early adopter of a contact management system (ACT!, if you are old enough to remember that), and we also got ideas on how to automate the scheduling of routes for our courier service from a vending company prospect. This ability to learn from others has been a huge advantage in gathering best practices and new ideas and then bringing them back and applying them to our business.