4 Ways to Encourage Creative Thinking at Your Organization
We all have goals we want to accomplish with our clients.
We need to achieve those goals in order for our business to thrive—and we can find ways to do that through creative thinking and innovation. Finding time to be creative in this rapid-fire world can be a challenge, but the potential results are worth every minute spent. With that in mind, here are some suggestions for making time for innovation in your schedule.
Narrow your focus
Every client presents their own unique challenge. So rather than trying to create solutions for multiple clients at once, or trying to create one sweeping “cure-all” solution, pick just one client to focus on at a time. Allow yourself a week to devote to that client only. Then, start by asking yourself what you need to accomplish with him or her, and why it hasn’t happened yet. Key questions to consider include:
- What is the background of this relationship or situation?
- Is this a sales opportunity?
- What would I really like to accomplish with this client?
- What’s getting in my way?
Now that you’ve analyzed the situation, take three or four ten-minute time slots and generate some ideas to solve whatever your problem with that client may be. Your ideas could be practical, absurd, wishful, or even half-baked. The point of this step is just to generate ideas, not create a solution. Get all of your ideas out of your head and written down. There will be time to evaluate them later.
Evaluate and finalize
In these thirty to forty minutes of brainstorming, you will typically generate about 20–25 ideas. Only three to five of them will likely be worth pursuing. Once you’ve identified those, work on them to make them actionable. Once you’ve devoted some time to this, by the end of the week you should have some new approaches to use with your chosen client or prospect. Then develop a corresponding action plan and you will be ready to go.
Make it a routine
If you do this every other week and account for time off, by the end of the year you will have hopefully developed creative ideas for 20 clients and prospects. It all starts with those three to four ten-minute time slots that were dedicated to nothing else but thinking about a single account.
We are often just too focused on doing and not focused enough on thinking. Allowing ourselves to think more often results in more creativity, more innovation, and more new approaches to build business. We encourage you to give it a try—the results will speak for themselves.
Has creative thinking ever helped you come up with a winning solution? Share the story with us in a comment.