The first step to leading ourselves and others better through a time of change is to know more clearly what matters most to us. Inner Leadership recommends three ways of achieving this: creativity, exercise, and meditation.
Now this recent article in Entrepreneur magazine is recommending those same three activities as ways to enhance our very practical capacities at creative problem-solving and innovation.
Pursuing Diverse (Creative) Interests:
Leaders can enhance their creativity, the article says, by pursuing diverse creative interests, even when there is no immediate practical benefit. Steve Jobs, for example, took classes in calligraphy that did not pay back financially until years later when he was developing the Macintosh. Then they made a huge difference.
Jobs said that “Creativity is just connecting things.” The ability to ‘think outside the box’ is enhanced when we have more boxes to draw from. Pursuing different interests brings us those boxes.
Friedrich Nietzsche once said:
“All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking.”
Recent research at Stanford university has found that walking, alone or in groups, can boost creative output by 60 percent. Apparently it works whether you walk indoors or out, quickly or slowly (aerobic or anaerobic), and the benefits continue to flow for some time after we stop walking. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has taken to holding some meetings on foot. And of course walking also makes us healthier.
Finally, the article also recommends mediation. Steve Jobs told his biographer that after practicing meditation for a while “your intuition starts to blossom and you start to see things more clearly and be in the present more.” Meditation enabled Jobs to see things from the customers’ point of view, understand more clearly what they needed, and to come up with more options for achieving that (using divergent thinking).
“Enhancing creativity,” the article tells us, “is especially important in today’s dynamic technological world. A company that fails to continuously innovate will quickly become obsolete. Creativity is essential … to guard against disruption and maintain relevance.”
These three simple activities will enhance your creativity. By practicing them you will also come you know yourself and your priorities better, which is also increasingly essential for leading ourselves and others through this time of change.