In this article, you understand how you can maximize your creative potential with just ten steps. Access and understand how to have more creativity!

Certainly creativity is one of the main differentials of advertising professionals. However, the potential for creative ideas  needs to be constantly stimulated.

If this does not happen, a professional’s ability to create may be limited and he will replicate what has already been created. Of course there are naturally creative people, but ideas don’t always come at the right time, do they?

The good news is that there are good practices for waking up the creative side of you. And that’s exactly what we’ll talk about in this article! Check out more about creativity and how to boost your creative potential in 10 steps!

What is creativity?

Creativity is the act of turning new and original ideas into reality. It is characterized by one’s ability to see the world in new ways, to identify hidden patterns, to establish new connections between seemingly unconnected phenomena, and to generate solutions.

This ability has two processes: thinking and production. That is, if you have ideas but don’t act on them, you are just imaginative and not creative.

According to existentialist psychologist Rollo May , “Creativity is the process of bringing something really new to reality. It requires passion and commitment and brings to our consciousness what was previously hidden and points to a new life. The experience is that of expanded consciousness: ecstasy. ”

The three points of creativity

We can divide creativity into three points:

  • It’s a skill : running several miles, performing calculations, and reciting a Shakespeare sonnet are also skills. So creativity is an intrinsic ability to an individual. For some people, it can come naturally, but anyone can develop any skill with time and effort. That is, creativity is a skill that can be acquired.
  • transcends traditional ways of thinking and acting : transcending means going further and higher. It is recognizing the limitations of what currently exists and trying to improve that reality.
  • develops new and original things : the word “develop” has a strong force in this phrase. Creativity goes beyond just imagining because, as stated above, it needs concreteness. If you come up with an idea, try it out; but if it’s a new process, see if it works; If it is a new object, build it.

According to the inventor of the famous flow concept (also known as the recipe for happiness), Hungarian psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, when someone is completely engaged in creating something new, such as composing songs , she doesn’t even pay attention to body sensations and personal problems. . It is in the state of flow.

Referring to a person in the midst of the creative process, Csikszentmihalyi says: “She doesn’t even feel hungry or tired, her body disappears and her identity disappears from her consciousness because there is not enough attention in either of us to do anything really. good and requires a lot of concentration while feeling alive. ” To create something is to externalize one’s existence.

The 5 Elements of Creativity

Creativity is not a gift with which people are born. According to Jeff Dyer, Clayton M. Christense and Hal Gregersen, authors of The Innovator’s DNA , 25 to 40 percent of creativity is genetically related, and the rest comes from a basic roadmap. .

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After interviewing the founders and CEOs of a number of successful companies, such as Amazon, Apple, Skype, and Google, the authors pointed out that the behavior of the world’s most innovative people is linked to 5 skills that are key to differentiating innovators from ordinary professionals. Check below what they are.

1. Ability to associate

It is regarded as the most important feature of innovators. Associations occur when our brain tries to process information in sequence, giving it logic and coherence. Given this, it is possible to discover connections between issues that seem isolated.

According to the book, innovative thinkers relate ideas to which other individuals see no relation. The other skills of innovators are that they are able to trigger associative thinking, as this increases their repertoire, from which new ideas can emerge.

2. Questioning

Generally, innovators let no doubt go blank. They have a habit of questioning everything so as to challenge the status quo and not accept easy formulas.

It is quite common for these individuals to use the phrase ” What would happen if we changed that? ‘ This kind of questioning helps you understand how things are, why they are this way, and how they can be changed. Yours bring ideas that move society towards innovation.

3. Observation

The innovator is always watching things. It has an observer and detail profile, and everyone is the target of this process, such as products, consumers, technologies, structures and services.

Such observations are the fuel for exploring ideas and new parameters for doing things. Steve Jobs, Apple’s founder, developed the Macintosh operating system after visiting and viewing the Xerox innovation center.

4. Networking

In their day to day, innovators use their time and energy to test ideas from a wide network of contacts, who present different cultural backgrounds and perspectives.

However, it is not about conventional networking. This is because they preferentially talk to those who disagree with their ideas.

Rather than making social contact, they aim for fresh ideas, give preference to bold thoughts, unconventional minds, and concepts that are out of step with today’s established standards.

5. Experimentation

The last skill is experimentation, as innovators constantly experiment with their ideals , exploring the world in a sensory and intellectual way. They have no convictions about anything and always think of new hypotheses.

Experimenting also includes visiting new places, searching for new things, and learning something different every day. Diving into these experiences provides new ideas.

Together, these 5 skills help compose the innovator’s DNA, the roadmap for creating business ideas that stand out in the marketplace.

The relationship between creativity and innovation

Innovation is the implementation of a new or significantly improved product, service or process, creating value for a business, government or society.

Some people say that creativity has nothing to do with innovation, concluding that this is a discipline and creativity is not. Well, not quite out there. Creativity is also a discipline and is an important part of innovation. That is, there is no innovation without creativity.

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What are the characteristics of a creative person?

First of all: anyone can be creative. If you paint casually, you are no less creative than someone who lives on it. While creativity has been set aside by the Industrial Revolution, it is coming back with millennial now in the information age.

Creative people have certain skills and traits . They are always asking questions, coming up with creative solutions to a problem and displaying more playful behavior. They have a great emotional sensitivity, are never conformed to a certain situation and are not afraid of being seen as different or displaying unusual thoughts. Still according to Csikszentmihalyi (in the book Creativity – Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention ), there are 10 characteristics of a creative personality, which are:

  1. they have a lot of energy, but they are also generally quiet and peaceful;
  2. they tend to be clever but naive at the same time;
  3. they have a combination of playfulness and discipline, or responsibility and irresponsibility;
  4. alternate between imagination and fantasy on the one hand, and sense of reality on the other;
  5. they seem to embrace the opposite tendencies between extroversion and introversion;
  6. they are remarkably humble and proud at the same time;
  7. to some extent they escape rigid gender stereotypes and have a tendency to androgyny;
  8. they are usually thought of as rebellious and independent ;
  9. most are passionate about work, but can be extremely objective about it as well;
  10. The openness and sensitivity of creative individuals often expose them to suffering, but also to a great deal of satisfaction and joy.

The George Land Test

Some studies prove that non-creative behavior can be learned over time. According to a creativity test by scientist George Land, young children are creative geniuses, and they become less fertile as they get older. This study was conducted with a group of 1,600 5-year-olds and 98% were thought to be geniuses, thinking in inventive ways in a similar way to Picasso, Mozart, Einstein, and other personalities.

Land retested them at the age of 10 and the number dropped to 30%. Another test was done at age 15 and the results decreased to 12%. Finally, he gave the same rating to 280,000 adults and he found only 2% of creative geniuses.

The good news is that if you consider yourself as less creative as an adult, you can re-educate yourself to have a whole new mind (at least in the realm of creativity) and get in the habit of practicing creativity and innovation again.

In addition to doing things like traveling to a new place, taking a walk and engaging in a new hobby, you can also train yourself to do something new and become an expert at it. It is already quite clear that creativity in a given area comes with a lot of practice.

You also need to always be open to new possibilities , remain curious about the world and easily overcome mistakes.

Forget the right and left brain litany

Like the persistent myth of “ we only use 10% of the brain, ” the concept of left side = creativity vs. Right side = rational analysis is totally pseudoscience .

Yes, of course there are parts of our brains linked to specific functions, but it is the connections between these areas and the subsequent networks that they produce that are responsible for cognition.

For example, if you are trying to balance on rocks to cross a river, you are probably inciting the connections that link the parts of your brain responsible for image processing to motor coordination. If you are explaining to a friend how you can cross the river, add parts of the brain related to language control.

When it comes to creativity, there are three major networks in the brain that are important:

  •  the executive attention network helps to be alert and focused;
  •  the imaginative allows one to “daydream” and imagine oneself in the other’s place;
  •  The network of importance allows you to identify things that are in your memory and unconscious and that are important in the world around you.

The more active these networks are in your brain and the more they work together, the more creative you will be.

How can the environment influence creativity?

The environment you are in significantly influences your ability to be creative. Participating in a workplace that gives your employees freedom to fully express themselves without barriers is essential to unleashing their creativity.

In this sense, there are companies, such as Google, that create receptive spaces for their employees to play and have fun doing activities that go beyond their routine at work.

These organizations provide a carefree environment for the employee to relax, as it is during these times of relaxation that the creative process begins to work.

How to increase creativity in 10 steps

Knowing that creativity must be worked to expand, here are 10 essential tips for getting more creative, follow up!

1. Feed on information constantly

As Lavoisier said, “Nothing is created, everything is transformed.” With creativity is no different. During the college of Advertising, many teachers are heard repeating “innovations are old related ideas.” This means that a creative idea is the mix of things that already exist. 

As much as taking inspiration from old ideas is a great way to stimulate creativity, having external references can be a good choice. In this sense, it is interesting that content consumption – whatever it may be – becomes a constant practice in your daily life.

Therefore, for a professional to enhance their creative capacity, their cultural background must be constantly fed.

So read lots of  books , watch movies ,  series , catch up with current news and newspapers, play video games , listen to music and feed your brain so you can make the most connections between ideas ever exist.

2. Have a good brainstorming

The brainstorming is a crucial time in the agencies. This is where all the ideas will come together so that the best ones are chosen to bring a campaign to life. And what other opportunity would be more appropriate for exercising creativity if not at brainstorming meetings? This is because in these meetings the important thing is the volume of ideas and not the quality of them.

In that case, that sense of not contributing relevant information is behind us, giving way to a host of new possibilities. The idea is that you make the most of this moment, even if the ideas seem meaningless or totally out of the box. And if you are interested in understanding how to optimize brainstorming in your agency, we recommend you read our exclusive material on this topic. There, we present the key techniques for making these meetings more productive.

3. Connect different ideas

Believe me, looking for similarities in elements that at first look different can help you come up with new ideas. To prove this, neuroscience Paul Howard-Jones in a recent study brought together two groups of people with one goal: to create stories from just three words.

In the first group, Jones defined three related words, such as “bed,” “pillow,” and “sleep.” In the second, the words were unrelated, for example “door”, “plant” and “cat”. The result? The most creative stories came from the group that received unrelated words.

4. Ask questions

Surely you’ve been stuck with a problem for a long time, right? The feeling that no solution can solve it is exhausting and often makes us abandon the situation. Did you know that you may be just answering the wrong question? That’s right.

In his book  Zigzag: The Surprising Path to Greater Creativity , Keith Sawyer points out that, “Thinking new things requires asking new questions, not answering the same questions better or in different ways. The best answers come after redefining the question. ” And you, what do you think about this for your creativity?

5. Care less about third party opinion

Clearly, advertisers create for third parties. However, at the time of brainstorming this concern should not exist. This is because this importance can make it impossible to come up with great ideas.

In brainstorm, then, don’t mind third parties. Care to have a good amount of ideas. After all, one way to get a good idea is to have many, and then choose which one is best.

6. Practice art activities

Artistic activities – such as drawing, painting, dancing, among others – stimulate the brain to work. Do you know that person who is attending a call and is drawing “squares” and “emoticons” on a piece of paper? Yes, she is encouraging, even unconsciously, her brain to work faster.

7. Put your ideas on paper

Consider the following situation: You are sitting at your desk creating a campaign for that over-demanding client. The ideas insist on not appearing, the deadline is almost over and nothing has been done. You decide to drop the job and do other things.

When you get home during the shower, a brilliant idea comes up suddenly. Have you been through this? Here for us, probably many ideas have already been forgotten like this, right? We know it’s hard to have a role at hand at these times, but making a little effort not to forget them and write them down is never too much to stimulate creativity and use those ideas later!

In this case, the tip is: always have a pad in the bag or the headboard. If you want to make this process even simpler, there are apps like Google Keep, a tool that records any information you want: ideas, lists, photos, etc. What’s cool is that it is compatible with your smartphone, tablet or computer, allowing you to sync your account across different devices.

8. Always Question

As convenient as it may seem to always solve situations in the same way, this practice is not the best way to get the creative out of you. After all, why is this the best way to solve a problem? Has the methodology, in fact, worked? Getting out of the ordinary can be the best way to get better results, and therefore exercise creativity.

9. Take risks

As much as the decisions you make on a daily basis do not put you at extreme risk, seizing these opportunities to motivate creative thinking is critical.

Often the fear of making a mistake is much greater than the willingness to risk, which can end up creating a block and causing some insecurity. It is therefore necessary to “take another way home” whenever you realize that your creativity is not being challenged.

If there are no challenges, create them. If possible, start an activity in a whole new area, preferably over something you don’t master, this will help you better handle unexpected situations and think in other ways.

10. Enjoy old ideas

This tip is almost a complement to item 4: The more ideas you come up with, the more baggage you’ll have when the creative lock knocks on the door. And this is not only limited to those ideas that have not yet been exposed to the world. Take advantage of using campaigns that have good results as a reference, this is an extremely functional practice when it comes to generating interesting insights for a new project.

What is the routine of creative people like?

In addition to practicing the above tips, creative people often have a different routine, maintaining habits that stimulate their brains to come up with new ideas. Find out what are the habits of innovators:

  • waking up early: this avoids distractions and allows you to enjoy the day better;
  • Exercise regularly: Exercise brings a sense of well-being. Not to mention that by getting well physically, your mood improves and it is easier to focus and be productive;
  • Following an agenda: Many people think that creative people can’t fit in environments with the least amount of pressure. But in fact, they also organize to meet deadlines, making room on the agenda to work on the activities of their interest;
  • Work anywhere, anytime: A good idea can come at any time. This is why creative individuals can work from anywhere, always taking notes that may help their activities;
  • Stay active: Downtime is one of the biggest enemies for those who need to create. To stimulate your creativity you need to move on, looking for new experiences, allowing you to come up with new ideas.

How does the creative process usually take place?

Before coming up with an innovative idea, the creator usually goes through several processes that help sharpen an insight until it becomes the final product. Find out what the creative processes are.


It is the preparation of the ” work ” itself. The stage consists of common activities considered repetitive. Many professionals fail to consider mechanical tasks in their creative process, but they are the embryo for the end result.


This is when the two brain networks connect and give rise to the idea. Several connections are made and ideas need to be filtered. Incubation can be negatively impacted by immediate daily tasks. Due to so many worries and distractions, the creative process is interrupted.


The kick that starts the innovation of the creative process. Basically, it’s the idea that comes up when you’re least expecting it. It takes shape and its implementation begins to be structured.


In this phase, people can see the professional realizing the idea. This is when the writing of an advertising piece is being done, for example.

As is the last step, there is confusion about the external view of the creative process. It is normal for many people not to recognize or imagine the path that has been taken to conceive and realize the idea.

In the work environment, this can translate into unrealistic deadlines or not understanding the entire creative process.

What are the obstacles to creativity?

Throughout the process various obstacles may arise, such as distractions that hinder the expansion of our creativity. Some of the most common barriers are:

  • Lack of organization: During the moment of enlightenment it is necessary to have organized goals. Therefore, it is recommended to write them with the possible ways of executing them;
  • Fear of criticism: Professionals always aim to be accepted by their colleagues, leaders and clients . This creates the fear that your ideas will be rejected and criticized, causing you to make choices that do not innovate;
  • fear of making mistakes: this fear is not specifically about the failure itself, but about anticipating it. Fearing the negative outcome undermines the creative process, making it more error prone;
  • Do not seek knowledge in different places: If you stay in your comfort zone without seeking new references, you will hardly have innovative insight . Therefore, it is recommended to create the habit of seeking knowledge from diverse sources, such as books, movies , games and fine arts, for example.


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