Let’s get creative

Creativity is the added value ingredient that marks out the best in PR, whilst also ensuring you or your clients are known, at the front-of-mind, trusted, liked, and being talked about. Yet what gets in the way of outstanding creative performance?andygreen2 No time? Failure to spot or seize opportunities? Lack of confidence? Uncertainty about what it is you’re really trying to do? The list goes on. Yet one of the big creative shortcomings of PR people is the ‘pedestal syndrome’ - putting the very task of being creative on a pedestal, where it somehow has to be a special task, conducted in ‘brainstorms’, ‘blue sky thinking sessions’ and the like. Creativity however is a 24/7 activity. It needs to be a habit rather than a specific task. Outstanding creative practitioners use great ‘exaptation’ - when you transfer an idea from one situation and apply it to another. It’s at the heart of what is called your ‘sagacity’, your opportunity spotting skills. And perhaps your best opportunity for exercising your sagacity is an unsung part of your day: your journey to and from work. Your travel presents what is your dialogically richest part of your day - where you are exposed and immersed in rich stimuli to take your thinking, questioning and ideas into completely different directions and new dimensions. It is on your journeys where you need to engage your ‘creative ears’ - your faculty for taking on board, looking and listening with benign scepticism. One simple sagacity work-out for gathering and harvesting potential good ideas around you is to look out for three good things and three bad things in your area of work. And don’t just say ‘that’s good’ or ‘that’s bad’, but deconstruct why it is good or bad and gain wisdom from your insights. Also, train your mind to be pro-active, and receptive to exaptation possibilities. You are never more than 12 feet from an opportunity. Every work day you are in a Creativity Library, Laboratory or Classroom where usually for up to 2 hours you have the opportunity to think up new ideas, be stimulated by new things in your life, where you are literally on a journey. Yet most of us fluff or fail to take any advantage of the opportunity. Your daily commute – in an age of shrinking thinking time, growing hyper-attention and with lower boredom thresholds – represents a brilliant untapped opportunity to transform your ideas and your situation by building your creative talents and instilling profound creative habits. Your commute offers an extremely abundant experience, potent in its variety, multiplicity of details, and back-story. Tube journeys for example have the 150 year history and story of the Underground to provide new prompts to stimulate your thinking. Importantly, it is often an increasingly rare communal experience in your daily schedule, where you are alongside people outside of your primary social networks, where when traveling by train for example, you are sharing a common fate. Rather than moan or be anxious about your creative performance, recognise the untapped potential in your daily schedule. Your journeys will never be the same again! Andy Green, Ideas Expert Tubespiration! Tours use the London Underground as a creativity classroom. For further details of Tubespiration Tours on ‘Thinking Thursdays’ of November 21st and December 5th - and other dates available on request - contact Don’t Panic Events at www.dontpanicevents.co.uk or visit www.tubespiration.com