Fuel INjected In-house: Stuck in familiar creative territory? Take a hike.

Is your creativity stuck on the OK Plateau?

by Sam Harrison

In a recent New York Times piece, writer Joshua Foer mentions the OK Plateau, that place where we feel we’re as good as we need to be for a particular task or skill – where we’re basically running on autopilot.

The OK Plateau is the enemy of soaring imagination and top performance. It tells us what we’re doing is sufficient, which, of course, heads straight down the road to sameness.

Have you or your team reached the OK Plateau when it comes to creativity? Do you find yourself operating on autopilot, relying on the same sources, techniques and processes?

If so, grab manual controls and rise above the OK Plateau.

Get off the beaten path. Reorganize teams. Switch around projects. Change workflow. Swap artwork. Rearrange furniture. Revamp creative networks. Introduce new brainstorming tools. Shake things up.

Open the doors. Take field trips to museums, galleries and retailers.  Screen documentaries on artists, architects and inventors. Order recent books. Visit unusual blogs. Listen to different music. Eat at unfamiliar restaurants. Bring in inspiring speakers. Get off the beaten path.

Beg for the feedback. Ask co-workers and clients how you’re doing. Solicit advice from trusted vendors. Tour other firms and agencies. Give past projects honest self-evaluations. Act on what you learn.

Sam Harrison is a speaker, workshop leader and writer on creativity-related topics. His latest book, IdeaSelling: Successfully pitch your creative ideas to bosses, clients and other decision makers, was recently released by HOW Books. He is also the author of IdeaSpotting: How to find your next great idea, and Zing!: Five steps and 101 tips for creativity on command. Find him at www.zingzone.com