The world today is very different from what it was 20… or 10…no 5…hmm actually, even 1 year ago right? The technologically advanced world we are living in today is changing on a daily basis. Creativity too has undergone a perceptible change. On a positive note, in many ways, it has become easier to bring ideas closer together without the constraint of space.
So how can you harness this creativity in the digital world of today?
COVID-19 has changed our habits and created so many new opportunities in such a short time. Here are a few tips on how to be more creative in the digital world that we live in.
Adapt your thinking style
In life, a lot of lessons are learnt while we interact with our children. I am no exception. During one of my many discussions with my daughter, she complained about the current state of affairs where students can not get together with her classmates and work on creative projects and assignments. The charm of sitting together with your group and ideating has been replaced by the virtual world where kids have to sit in their own houses and complete a group project. Her take was very similar to what I think and have been talking about for a while – there is no replacement for human interaction! However, like the rest of us, she is forced to adapt.
This is temporary; but we have no choice but to adapt our thinking style to suit the times and be creative even with the distances that separate us. We have now learnt a new way of collaborating using technology. At work, this has actually opened up new avenues of thinking. It is an untried path, but today it has become an option and for many, a very viable one at that.
Set aside time for learning
Over the years, one lesson that I’ve learnt is that learning never stops. The minute it does, your growth ceases too. They say people are born creative, but as a leader, if you want to continue to be creative, you need to continue to learn as well. A new book, a course, or even interacting with an expert are all ways of harnessing creativity. In fact, creativity itself stems from the experiences you have as well as the knowledge you have attained over time. It is only via learning, that one can widen their scope. Being open minded to new learning is key…
Develop a creative working process
Often times, creative people get so consumed by the work that they are doing, the outside world ceases to exist for them. It’s important to compartmentalize the creative process so it becomes more effective. One could use the concept of a certain space they work in only for creative projects, it could even be certain times in the day. We all have different styles and needs; one needs to figure out what works for them.
Virtual simulation could be another way to do this. In order to understand global complexity and to be creative at work, one can use virtual reality and modelling applications that simulate real-world experiences. The gap between real and reel have shortened thanks to digital. You can now test theories within the four falls of your own private space.
Considering the times, we have no choice but to experiment. In many ways, we cannot focus on what we originally perceived to be the end. Because, most likely that end itself has undergone changes and is probably beyond recognition. One must be open to this change and this can be done only if we can experiment more. What this brings to my mind is how we need to be experimenting and trying out more even when things are back to normal. We can save so much of time and effort already since we have adapted to the digital world.
We are now at a stage when we are breaking away from social interaction that used to feed the creative process for all of us. While many people have embraced the remote work, many are left craving the human interaction that helps spur their creative juices. While on one hand, creativity builds off human interaction, technology certainly provides the much-needed time advantage and also the ability to reach out to wider audiences. What is the formula to perfectly balance the digital and the physical world? Is there one really?? We need to acknowledge that in whatever manner, human interaction is the key and that needs to happen even digitally.