You face the blank screen, fingers curved over the keyboard, preparing to put new words on a new page; you are on the brink of creative action.
Then you stop, distracted by the default option. Tradition. Templates. Best practices. “We’ve always done it that way”–and for good reason, right?
So you copy and paste slides from one deck to another. Lift language from an internal document to use in a message for customers. Quote the CEO instead of the frontline associate, because … sure.
You think you’re following orders, or saving time, or demonstrating your intelligence. Actually, you’re avoiding creativity-and missing opportunities to improve your communications, your business, and your professional reputation.
You’re not alone. When I talk with businesspeople about what keeps them from taking creative chances at work, I get three answers:
Lies, all lies. Let’s turn those lies into truths.
The lie: I’m not creative.
Why would you lie about your creativity? Well, long ago, maybe a parent or teacher or coach dubbed you “not good” at writing or painting or dancing or singing or coloring within the lines.