the recipe for creativity in the workplace

Posted & filed under Culture.

There is a tragic contrast that continues to prevail in our world: There are creative endeavors, like painting, dance or polka, and then there is gray-suit, comb-over, colorless business. Just consider every Pixar-type movie you’ve ever seen and the presence of suit-touting villains. When did business become the enemy of creativity?

On the contrary, the corporate world is the product of creativity in the workplace. Corporations are layers of solutions woven together, amounting to a layered team of problem-solvers.

Of course, calling on the right-side brain in your everyday, corporate life takes many forms: Creating new processes, optimizing those processes, solving customer issues, and losing your scissors in a new location every week requires thinking outside of the box. But how do you step outside of the box in the first place?

Fortunately, there is a recipe for creativity in the workplace. Like blueberry pie or any other superior dessert, elements of the creative process can be brought together for a creation worth savoring.

Without further ado, here is the…


Recipe for Workplace Creativity


1. Warm-up your mind with inspiration.

Just as if you were to neglect warming-up your oven, it’s tough to get good ideas cooking when there’s nothing to bring to them together.

Before you start every workday, take time (5-10 minutes is plenty) to get inspired. The American Psychology Association reports that interesting content, “stimulates new thinking.[1]

Choose to view or listen to content that inspires you. Inspiration is like the yeast of creativity: With it, all good ideas rise to the top.


2. Make sure you’ve got the best ingredients.

Every dish is only as good as its ingredients, and every idea is only as good as what you know.

Before offering solutions to a problem, research the issue thoroughly. Knowledge acquaints you with every element of the problem. When you know what’s broke, only then can you fix it.

Robert Epstein, PhD and researcher of creativity, observes, “[Research] makes more diverse knowledge available for interconnection… which is the basis for all creative thought.”


3. Add a different flavor.

If you’ve bitten off more than you can chew, collaborate with a friend to investigate new solutions.

Collaboration is the ultimate catalyst of creativity. With twice, or thrice, the computing power, solutions are drastically increased.


4. Chew it over.

If an idea refuses to make a same-day debut, don’t hesitate to sleep on it.

Research has consistently demonstrated strong ties between creativity and sleep. [2]

Aside from improved cognitive ability, our neurochemistry behaves differently when we dream, even resulting in solutions while we dream.[3]

So, for a dream-come-true idea, get plenty of rest.


5. Repetition is key.

Interestingly, there seems to be a tie between repetitive tasks, (like cooking, for example), and creative thinking.

Science has verified that when we’re bored, we do our best day-dreaming. [4] Day-dreaming often results in abstract thinking, which is the home to creative problem-solving.

Next time your job gets little drab, keep a pen and paper nearby—you may just catch your next big idea while organizing your pencil drawer.


Creativity is the spice of the workplace. If you’re looking to bring home the bacon, inject some needed creativity into your career with our recipe.

Or at least it makes for some interesting food for thought.



[1] Novotney, A. (n.d.). The science of creativity. Retrieved April 13, 2021, from

[2] Home, J.A. (1988) Sleep loss and “divergent” thinking ability. Sleep: Journal of Sleep Research & Sleep Medicine 11;6, pp. 528–536.

[3] “The science of creativity”

[4] Mann, D. (2013, March 12). Does boredom bring out our creative flair? Retrieved April 13, 2021, from