Structure and creativity are often seen as enemies. And most people love either one or the other.
Creativity might scream chaos at you. Structure might look like a straight jacket. But what we can all learn from successful writers, humorists and any other creators is this:
Structure enables creativity.
Run your own experiment:
Set aside time each day to create 10 ideas for a new product or service that will bring you new customers. Or 10 ideas that solve any challenge you have right now. At first, you might find this really hard, and likely will come up with ideas that you immediately will want to throw away. But don’t give up! Having to come up with ideas every day at the same time primes your brain, and soon enough you’ll find yourself looking at the world with fresh eyes. You’ll look at everything around you in an unconscious search for a great idea that could give your business a boost.
You’ve just created a creative filter through which to look at the world.
Likewise in a group: Being asked to come up with ideas out of the blue can create painful silence in the best of teams. However, setting aside a few minutes for bouncing ideas around a shared problem at the beginning of every meeting has the potential of coming up with something useful whilst being short enough to be easy going and playful. What’s more, it builds a muscle, and it gets everyone’s creative juices flowing. It will set up everyone for a work day with a creative mindset. Chance is that outside of the meeting more than one person will start coming up with ideas around how to turn your challenge into a great business opportunity.
This is how structure – a daily routine – increases our creativity and sets us up for having great ideas.