Fostering creativity isn’t as difficult as you think, but as so with anything, you still have to work at it if you really want to excel. Here are some suggestions for getting creative now:

Read magazines and trade journals outside your area of expertise. Try to import one thing you learned into the way you view your job.

Invite someone you never included before to a meeting where you are solving a problem or searching for a new opportunity. Try a supplier or a friend who works in a different field. Including points of view never considered before can help you envision many new opportunities.

How do you spark good ideas in your organization? Start an Idea Club. When you — or a co-worker — go to conferences, trade shows, or other companies, bring back one idea to discuss and implement in your business.

Get a room with a view: Redesign your work environment to stimulate your thinking. This doesn’t have to cost a bundle in remodeling or redecorating costs. Instead, introduce items from nature, add color, and place inspirational objects or quotes in your work space. A creative environment boosts creative thinking.

Lisa Gundry, PhD Professor of Management and Director Leo V. Ryan Center for Creativity and Innovation DePaul University

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