I’m in Cedar Rapids, IA today to be a keynote speaker at CreativeBloc 2011. It’s a wonderful opportunity to speak about both dealing with organizational innovation barriers and personal creative blocks. One way for adults to attack creative blocks or improve creativity in general is to revert to doing what kids – who are often at the creative pinnacles of their lives – do naturally. These 10 creativity-inducing ideas (which all started life as tweets one night last week under the #KidCreativity4Adults hashtag) are great ways for adults to take a more creative and fun approach to our oh-so-serious work lives:

  • Always have a sweet box of Crayola crayons around so you can color a picture and put it on the fridge.
  • Do something every day that will make you giggle. Better yet, do it multiple times daily.
  • Take something with you when you’re in public to occupy yourself creatively in case you get bored and cranky.
  • If you don’t know the answer to a problem, take a guess. Or copy off the person sitting next to you.
  • Draw your ideas, even if the lines are crooked or it’s tough to tell exactly what it is. And don’t call it an infographic!
  • If something isn’t making sense, be sure to scrunch your face so it’s apparent to everybody!
  • Get everybody together for a meeting in the cafeteria and serve ice cream cones.
  • Don’t wait to raise your hand; just start talking when an idea occurs to you.
  • Always have toys in plain view in your office. Don’t be reluctant to play with them during boring meetings.
  • Forget to bring your homework home with you at day’s end. Work on it tomorrow between meetings. It will probably be better anyway.

The fun part of tweeting the forerunners of these ideas was when other tweeters jumped in to contribute to this friendsourced post. @SBarton1220 recommended including a Magic 8 ball and a “Jump to Conclusions” mat (from “Office Space”) in the toy mix. She said she uses Magic 8 balls to help clarify the outcome she really wants by shaking it until the “right” answer appears. @EastRidgePrint suggested her favorite: “Silly putty. Best. Invention. Ever.”

What other ideas do you have to add to #KidCreativity4Adults?– Mike Brown

For an additional creative boost, download the free Brainzooming ebook, “Taking the NO Out of InNOvation” to enhance your creative perspective! For an organizational boost, contact The Brainzooming Group to help your team be more successful by rapidly expanding strategic options and creating innovative plans to efficiently implement. Email us at brainzooming@gmail.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can deliver these benefits for you.

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Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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11 Responses to “Kids, Creative Blocks, and Adult Creativity”

  1. Jim Joseph says:

    I always recommend snack food. The crunching and the chewing and the salty sweetness does it for me …. gets the creativity flowing. And if that doesn’t work, then a glass of wine or a margarita.

    • Anonymous says:

      I can definitely make the connections to snacks and kids, Jim. Wine or a margarita? Definitely effective for adult creativity. Not sure about the kids though!

  2. Worlding says:

    yes ! And as I’ve studied kids creativity, find the right age, ’cause there’re not always so naturally creative… for instance, i’ve tried to put it in a positive way but couldn’t make : “don’t try to please the adult in front of you with a so-called-right anser” (because that’s waht kids do also, and that’s what adults do with their bosses and that is a NO in InNOvation…).

    • Anonymous says:

      There’s definitely a pattern that develops as kids know or suspect more of the right answers in life, those are the ones they are going to naturally give. That’s the behavior we reward in school and in life. It’s knowing and having the freedom to not give the right answer when there’s a better or more productive one lurking!

  3. Lisavieta Andrade says:

    Great post!
    I work with people with disability, and have discovered, with them, wonderful ways to beat stress and creative blocks, such as:
    1. Always have a jigsaw puzzle near you. Sometimes, all we need in 20 minutes working on them to calm down and reliad our strength
    2. Music, music, music. If possible, dance!

  4. What about crying when someone doesn’t like your idea?


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