Creative Inspiration For The Workplace
by Liz Glover Wilson
Monday, June 20, 2011

There is no doubt that creativity is the most important human resource of all. Without creativity, there would be no progress, and we would be forever repeating the same patterns.” — Edward de Bono

I saw Elvis last week in New York City. While admittedly I had my doubts due to his height and Latin flavored skin-tone, it was his presence that was undeniable. He stood in a doorway, gently leaning on the door post puffing on an early morning cigarette. His eyes set off in the distance; a steady gaze at the traffic or perhaps somewhere else. Nonetheless, I felt inspired with such an encounter as I jumped on my uptown bus.

A hot cup of coffee in my hands, my thoughts were still on Elvis and his impeccable hair, when a child-like squeal got my attention. Across from me sat a little girl with strawberry blonde hair. She sat in sideways on her dad’s lap with her feet swinging rhythmically as she excitedly told him a story. Her profile shadowed by such a big bunch of curls, I could not see her facial expressions but only hear her small voice. Her father listened and laughed in delight; playing with the tips of her hair. At the next stop, her father gently interrupted her to remind her that it was their turn to get off. She bounced off his lap and looked right at me; a small pale angelic face with big brown eyes and light pink lips, smiled shyly and ran off.

Later that morning I sat in a meeting with a non-profit client still drinking my - now room temperature - cup of coffee. There was a real issue regarding a project and everyone was at a complete standstill. Suddenly, I felt a surge of fresh ideas and ultimately was able to lead the team to a swift and successful conclusion. I sat back satisfied. I smiled to myself and quietly thanked Elvis and the little redhead for their creative inspiration.

It is not that they did anything in particular to influence my recommendation to my client, but more their very presence in my day had allowed me to start my morning with openness to the true diversity in our city; the texture of the many lives that comprise this metropolis. It is from that diversity that so much creativity can be drawn.

Each day, all around us is creative inspiration for us to draw upon. This city is full of rich colors, unique architecture, cultural diversity, art, and amazing sunsets (and fierce rainstorms). Creative inspiration is all around you. It is up to you to grasp it and let it take you to a new place in your workspace, to bring you to a fresh concept and new perspective. It is up to you.

  • Trust your personal creative inspirations. You never know how they will impact your day.
  • Take a risk, take a plunge. Don’t be afraid to be wrong.
  • Be true to your authentic creativity. Each of us is unique in how we see the world.
  • Contribute your creativity to your professional field. Contribute in an authentic way.

As a previously trained artist making the transition into the corporate world, I found it hard to understand how I was to take creativity into the new phase of my life. Wasn’t my day to day work going to be more technical; a set of rules and procedures to be followed? Trading in paintbrush and studio for a pen in the board room seemed like the final departure from the creative into the “structured” world.

However, after nearly 16 years as a professional I can say that I rely on creative inspirations around me for all I do and to help find new solutions for my clients; it has been the energy for my business for many years.

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