How to Supercharge Your Creativity as a CEO

Many consider CEOs to be the brains of a company – the passionate, logistics-obsessed executives who are always thinking ten steps ahead and finding new ways to make the company more successful.

But what happens when CEOs are overwhelmed by the day-to-day pressures of leadership? How can they keep their creativity and keep coming up with innovative ideas?

The challenges of running a business are many and can leave even the most imaginative CEO feeling creatively drained. From setting an institutional vision to managing day-to-day operations, it can be difficult to find time and energy for more innovative activities.

Additionally, the high stakes of being a CEO often result in a risk-averse mindset that can further stifle creativity. And when business is booming, it can be tempting to just stick with what works rather than look for ways to improve.

So how can CEOs increase their creativity and keep coming up with fresh ideas? Here are four handy techniques that can help:

  1. Create diverse feedback loops
  2. Encourage and reward creativity
  3. Take time to think and learn
  4. Be open to new ideas and ways of thinking

Each of these techniques can help CEOs unleash their creativity and come up with innovative ideas that will help their business thrive.

  1. Create diverse feedback loops
    CEOs often find themselves isolated from the rest of their organization and often only receive information from a small group of direct reports, who then absorb information further down the chain. This can lead to tunnel vision and a lack of creativity.

    To avoid this, CEOs should take care to create diverse feedback loops that give them insights from different sources. This can be done by speaking to employees at all levels of the company, getting customer feedback, or even speaking to people outside of the company.

    Diversity can play a role in creativity, so if you expose yourself to different perspectives, you’re more likely to come up with new ideas. And if you’re not the only one with ideas, you can avoid getting bogged down in the details and focus on the big picture.

    And don’t be afraid to hire people who may be better educated in certain areas of the business than you are – these “extra arms” can help you broaden your vision and see the bigger picture.

  2. Encourage and reward creativity
    If you want your team to be creative, you need to make it clear that creativity is valued in the company. This means creating an environment where new ideas are encouraged and rewarded.

    One way to do this is to schedule time for brainstorming sessions, where employees are free to share any ideas, no matter how far-fetched they may seem. These sessions should be fun and collaborative, with a focus on generating as many ideas as possible.

    Another way to encourage creativity is to give yourself and your team permission to experiment. That means trying new things and taking risks, even if they don’t always work out. It is important to create an environment where failure is viewed as an opportunity to learn and not as a reason for punishment.

  3. Take time to think and learn
    In a fast-paced business world, it’s easy to get caught up in the routine and forget to step back and think about what’s working and what’s not. But reflection is essential for creativity because it allows you to step back and see the big picture.

    Remember former US President Harry S. Truman’s quote: “Not all readers are leaders—but all leaders are readers.” The same goes for CEOs—not all of them will have creative ideas, but those who take the time will take, read and learn will be better able to do so.

    There are many opportunities for CEOs to reflect and learn, including reading books, attending conferences, and even listening to podcasts. By taking the time to learn from others, CEOs can gain fresh perspectives and fresh ideas that can help them think creatively.

  4. Put (and keep) the right people in the right positions
    How many times have you hired someone for a specific role only to find that they shift their focus to other tasks the moment calls for? And once these people move from their intended roles to irrelevant tasks, it can be difficult to get them back on board.

    As in life, so in business, the tyranny of the urgent can lead qualified individuals to focus their precious creative energies on the wrong things. This can lead to dispassionate work and burnout – a recipe for disaster in a company that needs the best from its employees.

    Just as you wouldn’t expect a flower to thrive on dry, cracked ground, don’t expect people to give you their best creative output when placed in the wrong spot. Learn which “ground” works best for each team member, then outfit them to pursue their passion. The combination of skills and passion in your people will breathe new life into your creative pursuits.

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Avoid lack thinking and invest in creativity

CEOs are under a lot of pressure to be creative – our world exists in a scarcity mentality where there are only a finite number of “good ideas”.

The reality is that creativity doesn’t work that way. There are endless good ideas out there, but it’s up to us to find them.

Luckily, there are a number of things CEOs can do to boost their creativity. By following the tips in this article, CEOs can create an environment that encourages creativity and sparks fresh ideas.

When leaders can increase their creativity, they are able to bring new solutions to the table – which always benefits industries and markets.


Written by Hussein Almosawi.
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