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How to spark creativity when you’re in a rut?

creativity, insight, coaching, art, paolo scheggi, innovation
Paolo SCHEGGI – Zone riflesse, 1963 – Acrylique blanc sur trois couches de toile, 80,5 x 80,5 x 5,5 cm


Priscillia Claman from Career Strategies Inc. presents five questions to identify if you are in a creativity-destroying rut and four strategies to be back on track.

  • Is there a recurring pattern to your workdays — what you do, whom you meet with?
  • Do you feel it is important to agree with your colleagues and bosses in order to get along?
  • Do you see obstacles everywhere to new ideas and new ways of doing things?
  • Do you find yourself saying, “That won’t work. It’s been tried too many times before.”
  • Do you think, “It doesn’t matter what I do, really. They don’t care.” Even when you’re not sure who “they” are.

 Answering ‘yes’ to the above questions highlights a situation where your creativity is undermined. 

Here are the work-related she suggests to let innovation flourish and your creativity raise again:

  • Think new. Meet new colleagues. Talk to new clients. Ask for new assignments. Explore something new — a new program, a new product, a new process. This is not just adding something to your CV; you will reinvent yourself.
  • Look for intersections. A lot of creativity occurs at the crossroads of different people and different ideas. Look for places where your department intersects with other departments. What do they do that helps your department? That gets in the way? Volunteer for any cross-functional activity you can. This will also enlarge your network.
  • Capitalize on obstacles as every obstacle is an opportunity for research, analysis and growth. Why is it there? Whom does it serve? What are its effects? What are other ways of getting the results you’re looking for? Start by selecting obstacles you can change, and move on from there. Then pick up obstacles which are in your influence zone and do the same.
  • Share what you know. Nothing makes you clarify your thoughts like sharing what you know, as a trainer, a mentor or just through daily working sessions. These opportunities are highly engaging and will fulfill you at an emotional level too.


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