Raiders of the Lost Art: Childish Creativity … in Business?

By Casper Nielsen
Creative Copycat at Frankly

Do your business a favour, get back in touch with your childlike playfulness.

At some point, we see ourselves standing in front of a mirror saying: “I’m not creative. I can’t even draw a stick figure right”. But that’s not what we said when we were in kindergarten, right?

As children, we were wildly creative. Always playing, experimenting, imagining, and fooling around. We could literally play around with a bucket for hours trying to figure out new ways to use it.

So, what changed? A dominant factor is age. Age itself can cause us to become more risk-averse and forget that creative drive and instinct we had as kids. Back when almost any little thing peaked our curiosity and interest.

But the answer is much more nuanced than that. An unfortunate exposure to uniformity and standardization in the educational system is another important factor. And when we later become professionals and experts within a certain area or industry, we tend to settle into entrenched habits and mind-sets. We lose our creative soul and that open and foolish sense of play in our lives – as we become victims of that dreaded phrase, “we’ve always done it this way”.

“…Creativity might be the single greatest buzzword of the 21st century”

But, why do we need creativity in our lives at a?

Creativity might be the single greatest buzzword of the 21st century. Especially in a business and marketing context. But for good reasons. Creative thinking is not only good for company culture and values. It also aids productivity and helps to solve problems. Creativity allows you to go beyond conventional thinking and become truly innovative. It’s a weapon to uncover new, different, and competitive business opportunities.

Take a look at Tom Hanks for instance Did he succeed with his childlike approach in an adult world in the 1988 fantasy rom-com “Big”? He most certainly did. While this tale obviously is a figment of someone’s imagination, it actually relays a very powerful life lesson. Not only is it teaching us to take a step back and realize how much we should appreciate our youth. It also intelligently turns on the notion that there’s a hidden child in each of us – and that we can achieve great things by embracing our inner child and address problems with a childlike faith and curiosity.

(I guess my message here is, be like Tom Hanks.).


How to light that creative spark

Albert Einstein famously said it: “To stimulate creativity, one must develop the childlike inclination for play”. Creativity naturally involves a playful attitude to problem-solving and a willingness to explore multiple solutions.

You don’t need to be an artist to be creative. Creativity comes from within. And everyone can be creative. Everyone can find their back to that creative spirit. Creativity is like a muscle. It might get weak if not exercised properly and regularly. But it can get back into shape.

You can stimulate your creative muscle by finding inspiration in other industries, or by taking risks and challenging yourself and your beliefs. Even little things like re-arranging your office desk or scrolling randomly though the www can provoke creative ideas. Simple actions that will make your brain go, “hmm, wait a minute … this is out of the ordinary”.

Research shows that when people try to think more creatively, they almost always can – and the effects are both significant and repeatable.