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The Fast Company Executive Board is a private, fee-based network of influential leaders, experts, executives, and entrepreneurs who share their insights with our audience.

Eight unconventional ways to stoke creativity in the workplace

Inspiring yourself and the people around you isn’t always easy, but it is always possible—and more importantly, worth it.

Eight unconventional ways to stoke creativity in the workplace
[Monkey Business / adobestock]

As an entrepreneur, it’s important to constantly look for ways to break the mold with your creativity. When working with a team, it’s also important to find ways to stoke their creativity as well as your own. A creative administrative team can help set an example for the rest of the organization to follow and let everyone know that as a company, you are always seeking out new perspectives.

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Here are eight unconventional ways you can stoke creativity on your team:

1. BRING IN AN OFFICE DOG

Some work days drag on, especially when your best friend is stuck at home! Dogs can be the perfect injection of life that your workspace needs. Speaking from experience, the members of my team look forward to the days my dog, Polo, comes to visit the office.

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When you offer a change of pace that everyone can be excited about, the good vibes in the office can result in a more productive and laid-back work environment that also feeds creativity for those within your team. Giving your team an opportunity to see your softer side is never a bad thing, either.

2. GO TO A SHOW

Team outings are the perfect way to stoke creativity, especially when the outing is creative in nature. Treat your team to a night out, perhaps at a comedy or music club. Creativity, regardless of how it’s expressed, is infectious. Surrounding your team with other creative minds can help inspire them while also bringing you closer together.

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3. MAKE CHANGES TO YOUR WORKSPACE

For entrepreneurs, all workspaces should exist as living, ever-changing organisms. If you’re looking to change things up within your company, changing your office around is a great way to get yourself and your team in a new, creative mindset. Your surroundings often play a more crucial role in your mental headspace than you may think. Give everyone a change of scenery—the result may surprise you!

4. SPEND TIME IN NATURE

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Throughout human history, the world has found inspiration in the beauty of nature. When looking to reinvigorate your creativity, be it on a personal level or a professional level, spending time outside can be just what you need. A hike, a bike ride, or even just a simple walk around the block can give you and your team the opportunity to clear your minds and allow inspiration to strike.

5. CREATE A MOTIVATIONAL MURAL

Looking to inspire yourself and your team on a regular basis? Work together to create a motivational mural or vision board to look to in times of creative crisis. Write reminders to yourself and your team, words of encouragement, jokes—anything to get everyone’s confidence and mood boosted. More often than not, creativity strikes when a person feels at ease and confident. A motivational mural can be the perfect kickstart to a new project!

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6. REVISIT YOUR PAST WORK

If you find yourself struggling to start a creative project, try revisiting your past work. Reminding yourself of your past work, whether you like it or not, can help get you in the right frame of mind to start creating again. It might sound self-involved, but being inspired by yourself can help you continue to create. The more you examine your past, the more room you create for yourself to grow and branch out creatively.

7. LEARN ABOUT CREATIVES YOU RESPECT

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Many creative humans love to talk about themselves and their work. If you find yourself struggling to find inspiration, seek out other creatives. Odds are, they’ve shared their methods with other creators in the past and will be happy to do so again.

If talking to the creator directly is not an option, read about their work! Reading up on your favorite artists is often rewarding and can lead to new concepts and methods that you may have not considered otherwise. More than anything, creativity is borne out of sharing. If you share yourself with other creatives, they may share themselves with you!

8. FIND NEW MUSIC

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This may seem like a simple one, but it can help! When starting a new creative project, seek out new music to listen to while you sift through the beginning stages of your process. Music stimulates our brains, and therefore, our creative output.

Finding the right music to create to may result in a sort of trial-and-error stage. Don’t let this stop you! Once you find the right new music, your unfamiliarity with the artist and the excitement of finding a new personal jam can mesh together, putting you in the perfect spot to create something new of your own.

If only we could schedule our own creative outbursts. More often than not, finding new ways to reinvent our creative selves can become frustrating and disheartening. In times like these, we must be kind to ourselves and not beat ourselves up, as that never aids the creative process. Instead, we can find new, inventive ways to keep our creative juices invigorated and expanding.

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Seeking out new forms of inspiration helps reinforce the idea that we as creatives must always be looking for new ways to branch out and grow, especially if we are leading a team of our own. Inspiring yourself and the people around you isn’t always easy, but it is always possible—and more importantly, worth it.


Brandon Pena is the CEO of 787 Coffee & BrandON Media. An award-winner social-media marketer with a focus in the humanization of brands.

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