How to Seize the Opportunity to be Creative
It happens to all of us…at different points in our careers, we feel our creativity is stifled.
It’s happened to me, and it’s happened to people on my team. In fact, I’ve had project managers seriously questioning their career choice, since they were so stifled creatively. When dealing with project issues, budgets, and deadlines, I totally understand how this can happen.
Here’s the bottom-line: You don’t need to be on the “creative” team, be a “creative director,” or be a “designer” to be a creative person. The opportunity to be creative is right “under your nose” every single day!
Here are my top 3 ways to seize the opportunity to be creative!
#1: Get Creative when Reporting Metrics
- Many of us manage and launch projects to meet a company’s goal: more leads, more sales, more interactions with the brand, etc. Every single time you give an update on a project’s metrics, you have the opportunity to be creative.
- Think about it:the people who are reading your update (probably an email) are senior leaders in your organization who care about such results. You have their attention! Use this to your advantage. As Avinash Kaushik says, “don’t puke data out.” Always intepret what you think is happening in the data you are providing. And go beyond that: propose new ideas based on what the numbers are telling you.
- Your leaders want you to step up, they want you to “read between the lines,” they want your new ideas! Get creative and drive your new ideas to fruition!
#2: Get Creative with Your Communication
- From Tip #1, and my previous post on telling your story, you already know you should be thinking about your “message” when giving project updates. But have you ever really pushed the boundaries of what you can do? As Picasso said: “I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.” Be sure to check out The Positivity Blog for Picasso’s Top 7 Tips for Creating an Exciting Life.
- Here are just a few real-world examples to spark your creativity for giving a project update (I’ve seen people do each of these, and yes, I know some of these are a bit crazy!):
- Shoot a video: with video cameras and editing software within reach of everyone, use that to your advantage! Shoot a video telling your story and send it to your team, leaders, Clients, etc. Make it fun and engaging – people will remember it!
- Create your own soapbox: literally take a box you can stand on into a meeting, group of people, etc. and deliver your update “town crier” style! Again, people will not forget it, or you!
- Write a song or rap: Write your own song or rap about your project, and deliver your update that way. Some of the most memorable ones I have seen spoofed popular songs/raps people know. Combine this with video, post it on YouTube, and send the link to your entire team!
#3: Get Creative with Your Project Management
- When you manage a project, are you being productive or active? Just because you’re active, it doesn’t mean your being productive.
- Look critically at what you are doing: are you procrastinating and not dealing with an issue by staying active? Have you fallen into the “old ways” of doing things and not realized it? Challenge yourself to be better than that!
- Are you defining the world around you in such a way that you either: have a negative view? can’t see ways to get things done? or disregard new ideas? Be very careful of this trap! By doing so, you not only limit what you can accomplish, you limit what your project team can do too. If you’ve fallen into this way of thinking, you probably cannot see new opportunities to get things done.
I hope these ideas help you get creative, think differently, and manage projects more successfully!