When was the last time you were truly creative? And we’re not talking about how you were able to embed your Twitter feed on a website page. When did you last have that breakthrough, new idea that became reality and helped transform the way you do business?

Most industrial marketers are probably saying, “who has the time to be that creative?” We may focus more on the day-to-day tasks – posting our blog entries to Facebook, proofreading our latest press release and scheduling our next email campaign. Often, we’ll make small changes. We send our press releases at a different time to get more pick-ups, tweak our email subject lines for a higher open rate and change how we phrase of our social media entries to be more engaging.

But where is that new discovery or innovation?

Tina Seelig is the author of inGenius: A Crash Course on Creativity and holds a Ph.D. in neuroscience from Stanford University Medical School. She recently gave a brief Q&A to Dan Scawbel of Forbes and addressed the creativity issue.

Generating fresh ideas is actually quite challenging because most people find it difficult to get beyond obvious, incremental solutions. True creativity requires the ability to break new ground, opening up a world of possibilities.

The good news is that Seelig believes that you can develop your creative abilities just like you can take lessons to dance more gracefully or practice shooting a basketball more accurately. While creative skills can be mastered, Seelig says your surrounding work environment, including your colleagues, also plays a significant role.

Creativity needs to develop from the bottom up and from the top down in organizations because it is a characteristic of individuals, small teams, and large groups. Each person needs the knowledge, skills, and attitudes required to generate new ideas. And, individuals need to be embedded in teams and organizations that support, encourage, and foster creative problem solving. Without a creative culture, individual creativity withers. And, without creative individuals, a creative culture can’t thrive.

Do you feel creativity thrives in your workplace? How do you foster a creative culture at work? Read the article and let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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