Industry standards today require an incredible amount of creativity to stay alive and viable in the 21st century global marketplace. Whether you are a global business or a local coffee shop, for profit or not-for-profit, times are a changin'. I want to spend a minute sharing some of my thoughts specifically for people and leaders who are not extremely creative but need creativity to generate new business, rebrand, and/or change the world.
I've had so many people tell me, "I'm just not creative like that." I always have the same response, "Yes, you are. You just don't know how to organize and communicate it."
It's true, some people are just naturally more creative. Its genetic. Its how our brains work. I'm not saying everyone is creative or should even attempt to be creative. What I am saying is creativity is subjective art. (read my post on (You're an art critic and didn't know it ). This means that as a leader you have to learn to communicate what you think is good and bad art, creativity at work.
3 Tips for the Right Brain Leader
1. Know when to use specifics and when to leave a blank canvas. In working with graphic designers over the years I have learned this fine art. I used to give too many details that would box a true artist in so much that they couldn't create anything that they would actually like. With creatives, share as few as words as possible to provide clarity. This means you better think through your words wisely!
2. Give hard deadlines with ample time to create. Creativity takes time. If you are going to have a creative strategizing session, give an agenda several days in advance. Let it simmer. Let people think about it in the shower and on the way home from work. That's where the good ideas usually come from anyway. Don't throw a topic on the table and talk for twenty minutes and expect that to be the best idea your team can offer. You sell your possibilities way short by doing this. Let it boil in the pot for a while but like pasta, there is a small window to bring it home with a hard deadline.
3. Trust instincts. Both yours and theirs! A lot of right-brain leaders either trust their own or their teams instincts exclusively. Don't be so prideful that you have to squash every idea that isn't yours. And don't be so lazy and spineless that you won't speak up and go with your gut.
Whatever your business/organization setup is, make time and processes that the get the most out of your team. I wonder how many great ideas have been lost out there?