What Does Creativity Have To Do With Collaboration?

What Does Creativity Have To Do With Collaboration?

When we think of creativity, we tend to think of the arts don’t we? But creativity is about more than being artistic. 

In fact, creativity really has very little to do with art.

Creativity is the act of turning new ideas into reality and it is characterised by the ability to perceive what’s in front of us in new and imaginative ways, to transcend traditional ideas or rules and patterns, to make connections between seemingly unrelated things and to establish meaningful new interpretations.

Most importantly though, creativity is about output.

Without an output, what you have is imagination, not creativity.

In this modern business world where customers are increasingly demanding and competitors increasingly innovative, businesses need to be more creative.  In order to remain competitive and lucrative, they need to stay on top of new product development, their intellectual property and their operational integrity.  And in knowledge-based industries where people are required (and paid!) to use their brain, the best ideas tend to come from the people at the customer face.

Have you ever worked on an issue or problem only to find the more you work on it, and the harder you think about it, the more you keep going over the same thought patterns and getting the same result? There is a biological reason for this.

As you repeat your thought process, you strengthen the neurological pathways in your brain, making it physiologically easier to follow the same route next time.  This is really useful when the brain is learning things to create unconscious competence (like learning to drive) but it’s not very useful when you are seeking to be innovative!  Finding new ways of looking at or doing things, or designing new products or procedures requires the creation of new neurological pathways.

The solution is Collaboration!

When you work with someone else on the problem, their knowledge (or lack of!) and experience, and the differing perspective that they have on the issue as a result leads to assumptions being challenged, inconsistencies being worked through and seeds of ideas being taken to the next level.  This often works in an escalating fashion as each contribution from each party creates new creative pathways in the other and this is simply not possible to do on your own.

So, next time you have an issue in your business, or you’re reviewing your product or service, coming up with a new route to market, or want to create an entire new offering, team up with someone else (and ideally more than one person) and use the power of collaboration to get creative!

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What Would You Need To BELIEVE?

What Would You Need To BELIEVE?

What Would You Need To BELIEVE?

This week we are focused on Mindset.  

Mindset essentially refers to our predominant mental attitude and it plays an essential role in business success.

When we FEEL positive, we perceive and expect positive outcomes and this results in the outcomes we expect. However, equally, when we FEEL negative, we perceive negative outcomes which results in the outcomes we expect

So, today, ask yourself what three things you would need to believe 100% in order to create the business results you want and write them down.

Then create three statements beginning with the words “I believe…” and say them to yourself daily …starting today.

You’ll be surprised what a difference this small mindset shifting technique can make!

I will be in touch on Friday as normal so, in the meantime, have a great week and why not come and share your “I believe…” statement in The Business enACTers Group on Facebook?

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Be Careful What You Say!

Be Careful What You Say!

I recently tweeted: “If you have a business goal, but you’re not achieving it, the chances are you have a belief that is in conflict with it.”

It led to a number of people asking how to find out what the belief is and then importantly, how to change it!

The best indicator of the beliefs we hold is the thoughts that we have – in other words, our ‘Self-talk’. Self-talk is the dialogue we have inside our own head. Many people are barely aware of their self-talk and others are acutely aware of it.

Now, you may be thinking: “What’s she on about? I don’t have voices in my head!”


Yes You Do!  That was one right there!

I often ask audiences to raise their hand if they know what I mean when I say ‘self talk’ and whilst half the room will raise their hand, many will sit looking at me and others will shake their head. I will almost be able to ‘see’ the internal dialogue going on: “I have no idea what she’s talking about”, “I don’t talk to myself”, “I’m not admitting that, that’d make me look crazy”. At this point I’ll say “for those of you without your hands up, thinking ‘I don’t have self-talk’… it’s that thought right there!!”

Everyone Has Self-Talk

Self-talk is not only normal, it is an essential part of the process of evaluating and processing information. Each and every day, our mind is bombarded with suggestion: the things we do, see, hear, taste and touch: the people we interact with and the things they do and say: the stuff we read etc. Our mind has to disseminate that information and make sense of it and our thoughts are part of that process.

So, the only difference between those who say they don’t have self-talk and those who say they do, is that those who say they don’t are unaware of theirs. And whilst the extent to which you are aware of your self-talk has no bearing on the impact it has, awareness is important, because once you start to become aware of what you are saying to yourself, you begin to have a better understanding of the belief systems you hold and once you know what they are, you can then choose which ones to keep and which ones to lose.

Tune Into It!

The key to becoming aware of your belief systems is to intentionally tune into your internal voice and be aware of what it is saying to you and the feelings it generates. Admittedly, this is easier for some than others, but most people find that when they apply themselves consciously to listening for their internal dialogue, they start to become aware of it almost immediately.

The times when you are most likely to be aware of your self-talk are times when you are on auto-pilot. You know, those times when you are just ‘doing’ without thinking. Like showering, or driving, or sitting on the loo! When I first started to become aware of my self-talk, I would notice it when I was waiting for the kettle to boil, or listening to ‘on hold’ music on the phone, or waiting for a bus. This is because the conscious mind is not ‘doing’ anything and so your mind is in what’s known as an ‘altered state’. It’s in this state that your self-talk is most evident.

Your self-talk can be like a helpful coach who believes in you: supporting and encouraging you, inspiring affirmative feelings in you and resulting in positive action. Or, it can be like a bully: undermining and criticising you, resulting in demotivation and self-destructive behaviour.

Some people are not surprised by what they discover when they tune into their self-talk, whilst others are very surprised. Whatever the case, having this awareness is crucial as it provides an essential explanation for the things we currently have in our life.

There’s a saying: ‘What you think about, you bring about. What this means is that your thoughts literally become things. This is because thoughts generate feelings and both are responsible for behaviour. As I said in my tweet, if you have goals, but you’re not achieving them, the chances are you have beliefs that are in conflict with them, and this will inevitably be showing up as negative self-talk.

Negative self-talk is essentially thoughts that lead you to feel negative. That’s because negative thoughts create stress.  For example, if you tell yourself that something you need to deal with will be ‘difficult’, then your body responds to that thought with the appropriate feelings, as the body starts to prepare itself for difficulty. Whilst the good news is that this means that your body is working properly (it is providing you with the resources you need to deal with the situation), it is responding to a perceived threat that is not real.

Change Your Perspective!

If you were to view the same situation as a ‘positive challenge’ or ‘an opportunity for learning’ for instance, then your body would respond to that thought with feelings that are appropriate to dealing with that. Whilst still preparing you, it is preparing you with the resources that will enable you to deal with a challenge or an opportunity, as opposed to facing difficulty.

The difference may seem subtle, but the impact is significant. Negative thoughts that are left to run their course manifest in negative outcomes because when we perceive that something is going to be a certain way, we prepare physiologically for that outcome and we are likely to manifest it. Self-talk is self-fulfilling – always.

So, what are YOU saying to yourself? And how is that showing up in your life?

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