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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

How today’s young creative professionals stay fresh and come up with new ideas

How can you nurture yourself so that you bring out your best side and your best work? Here are some tried and tested ways that have helped me and many of my friends:

Provide Lots of Free Time to Think

I've begun meeting every week with friends who I consider big dreamers. We gather for an hour to simply talk about the big ideas we have and how some of all of them might come to pass. This chance to bounce stuff off one another is quickly becoming one of my favorite times of the week. Even if it looks like it's just a bunch of talking, it is really the stirrings of the next important idea.

Creativity is a difficult thing to force. While young professionals have always faced the challenge of coming up with fresh new ideas, the time crush in today’s hectic business world makes it even tougher.

So what do you do if you’re stuck for an idea for that next campaign? The hustle and bustle of work have to be balanced with some quality downtime if you want higher-quality creative output when the clock is ticking. That’s why you’re going to the café next door for a quick cup of coffee…

Encourage Risky Behavior

Every year, the company BrightHouse holds an event known as March Fourth. On that date, each employee is encouraged to do something -- jump from a plane, scuba-dive, start writing a novel -- he or she has never attempted. "If we're known for anything, it's possibilitarianism," says CEO Reiman. Maddock Douglas, meanwhile, gives an annual Fail Forward award, which is designed to celebrate endeavors both ambitious and disastrous.

Think about it, starting a business or coming up with a new fresh idea IS risky. However the dividends are phenomenal. Bill Gates is a perfect example. Twenty years ago, nobody really owned computers. When they were first invented I'm pretty sure that the concept caught a lot of controversy. Now, every single household owns a computer, probably more than one. You can't even run a business effectively without a computer.

Hire Smart

Creative folks enjoy applying their talents to noble causes -- and, increasingly, their employers keep them happy by providing opportunities to do so. Rewarding people for thinking outside the box truly brings value back to the business. To promote creativity it's better to reward people not for the hours they put in but for the size of their hearts.
As an entrepreneur, finding someone who thinks like you isn't easy, so when you do, make sure you involve them in every aspect of your business. I follow what I call the "hit by a bus" philosophy. Imagine you got hit by a bus. Would there be someone there to take over the business while you recovered? There should be. Thinking about it this way will force you to mold a person to handle even bigger responsibilities, once again freeing you up to tackle the future.

Most entrepreneurs, innovators, inventors and the like aren't born business people. They are born to create. The problem is that their business can sometimes get in the way.

So make it your business to not let it.

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