Do you consider yourself to be in possession of a creative mind?  Or do you consider yourself lacking creativity?  In either case, a creative mind needs to be exercised if one wants to be able to easily tap into it when needed.  It is like conditioning your body for a 20 mile bike ride – if you haven’t ridden your bike in 6 months and hop on it for a 20 mile ride, it will be a struggle.  Here is what you can do to get your creative mind going and keep it agile …

  1. Determine where you are the most creative.  Put yourself in that place when you need to get your creative juices flowing.  (For me it is in the car.  When I am in the car my mind wanders, imagines, wonders, and plays.  To make sure I don’t lose any ideas, I keep paper and pen close.)
  2. Do it differently than you have always done it.  Change things up to prevent brain stagnation.   If you put the left shoe on first, put the right shoe on first instead.  Run a meeting backwards.  Take a different route to work.
  3. Embarrass yourself.  We free ourselves of inhibitions when we are willing to risk embarrassment.
  4. Be a kid again.  Channel your inner child – the one that sees possibilities!
  5. Try to fail.  Don’t be too afraid to fail.  As Thomas Edison said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
  6. Creativity breeds creativity.  Get around other people who are creative and will encourage your creativity.
  7. Uncover by asking questions.  Ask why?  How?  What if?  Be curious.
  8. Be eternally optimistic.  If you keep telling yourself it won’t work, it won’t.  Do the opposite and approach problems, situations, and challenges with optimism.  Answers and solutions are there, you just have to be willing to explore them.
  9. Break out the crayons.  Skip the ballpoint pens in lieu of a box of crayons.  Using crayons helps tap into your inner child.
  10. Reverse argue.  When you have an idea, argue the reverse of that idea and discover what you may have missed.  (This is especially helpful when you find yourself so married to an idea that you become rigid.)
  11. Look for problems.  Practice by finding problems that require creative solutions.
  12. Repeat to yourself “I am creative.  I am creative.  I am creative.”


You have a marketing budget of $1,000 to promote your department, business, or product.  How can you get the best return on your investment?