Staying inspired and creatively charged five days a week can be a hard task. It’s easy for teams to get bogged down in the daily ‘to do’ list, become stuck in an idea rut and simply play it safe, fearing failure or criticism.
As a creative agency we have our own methods of keeping brains fresh and active. But given we work in one of the most creative cities in the UK, we thought it would be worth asking the wider Bristol business community for some thoughts as well.
Here’s a short list of the best tips from Bristol’s creative businesses on how to keep inspiration flowing on both a personal and a company-wide level (including a few of our own!).
- Collaboration – Too many meetings might be seen as a time drain by some, but collaboration could avoid ideas becoming too formulaic. Don’t be afraid to get the team working together whenever possible.
- Freedom – Encouraging your team to try things out, it sounds obvious but working in restricted teams doesn’t often lead to great work. When developing online content Coca-Cola have been known to work to a 70/20/10 rule where 70% of ideas are tried and tested, 20% an innovation on the first 70%, and 10% are high risk ideas.
- Take A Break – Get away from the desk and find interesting things to see and do that aren’t necessarily the exact discipline you work in, some examples: writing music, watching films, reading, seeing an exhibition.
- Mix It Up – Mixing together people with different disciplines, skills and experience always gives good results.
- Brainstorming – Every week, or at least once a month, it’s good to get together with a big flip board and write a load of ideas down. This session doesn’t have to be guided by a purpose (i.e. the purpose is to generate ideas, whatever they may be!)
- Clear Your Mind – Completely forgetting about the problem or issue, and getting some fresh air always leads to a solution.
- Be Visual – Sat in front of a monitor isn’t necessarily the best way to solidify your creative thought. Whether you are developing the next marketing idea or thinking about a better way to make the tea, try pushing the keyboard away and picking up a pencil – start with a sketch or a doodle.
- Environment – Being pent up in a cramped office environment with clutter and blank walls certainly won’t help ignite creativity. Working in an open space with some visual stimulation on the walls will naturally encourage interaction and innovation.
- Seek Inspiration – Keep your eyes, ears and minds open and seek out other creative people to take inspiration from.
- Stay Motivated – A desire to make your next project or job even better will naturally make you more inclined to be creative.
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By Jon Mowat