Creativity is perceived as a group activity, especially in an organizational context. We tie creativity at work together with collaboration, and we do that for a good reason. When fusing two or more minds, each with their own experiences, knowledge, and insights, the result is beyond imagination.
But creativity starts at the personal level. Building your creative muscles and creating a personal creative setup is no less important than being able to co-create with others.
In this issue, we play with three activities for practicing the Experience, Observe, and Wonder functions of your Creativity Operating System. Their strength lies in doing them alone and creating a space for personal creative growth.
Take a walk in city alone. Don’t walk with your phone in your hand, don’t listen to your favorite podcast, and don’t plan your route.
Observe the people, the buildings, the interactions, and the dynamics. Don’t think; absorb. Notice things you didn’t expect to see or sense. Take mental pictures of them so you can recall and reflect on them later.
Don’t rush it. Walk slowly. Feel free to stand in one place every now and then and let the city surround you.
A Night Out
Going out to see a movie or a play at the theatre is perceived as a social activity. We usually share these experiences with others, which turns doing them alone into a powerful experience.
Watch a movie or a play by yourself. Not on Netflix, but in an actual brick-and-mortar cinema or theatre. Be there before the show starts. Explore the venue. Watch the people. Then, when it’s curtain time, forget everything else and immerse yourself in what happens on stage or the screen.
Try to notice more than just the main events and characters. Observe the set and the props, listen to the soundtrack, notice the movement. Watch the movie or the play at different levels in parallel.
Go out for a hike in nature. Find a spot you can spend some time at. Do nothing but observe, listen, smell, and sense.
Don’t look for anything concrete. Watch how things you initially thought to be still change with time. Find patterns where you thought there was only randomness. Look for colors and shapes you don’t usually see.
Imagine what you see in front of you is the entire world.