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  • Writer's pictureCindy McGrath

5 Strategies for sparking creativity and innovation

Spark your creativity

Fueling your creativity and staying current is essential for effective marketing communications. The field and industry in which you work are in constant flux, and it's crucial to evolve alongside them to ensure peak performance. Whether your goal is to convey a story in various ways, captivate an audience, even with a seemingly dry topic, or develop novel approaches to advance a mission, employing a range of strategies is key to generating innovative ideas.

Here are five tried-and-true recommendations for igniting creativity and fostering innovation in communications:

Read a variety of materials
  1. Diversify your reading: Reading is pivotal for generating fresh ideas and writing proficiently. Stay informed by keeping an eye on what's new, changing, or trending in news, industry publications, and blogs. For leisure, delve into fiction and mystery stories to balance the intake of dense information with entertaining storytelling concepts.

  2. Listen to a variety of podcasts: Given the constraints of a busy workday, finding time for extensive reading can be challenging. Podcasts offer a valuable complement, as you can listen to them while commuting, cooking, or completing household chores. I enjoy a variety of podcast genres, from news and industry updates to marketing, science, and popular cultural discussions, all of which help to stimulate my creativity.

  3. Seek diverse perspectives: Develop comprehensive communication campaigns by adopting a multidisciplinary approach. Employees from various departments within an organization offer unique insights on what should be emphasized in a communication program. For instance, when I conducted interviews with hospital leaders from diverse disciplines for a software change communications series, each individual's perspective contributed to a more multifaceted narrative.

Seek diverse perspectives

If you're within an organization, engage in collaboration with colleagues from different departments. During my tenure at the Group Insurance Commission, daily interactions with leaders in operations, policy, IT, human resources, customer service, and legal departments allowed us to address their concerns and integrate their viewpoints, resulting in effective communication of complex programs in a clear, engaging, and accurate manner.

4. Embrace the outdoors: Some of my best ideas emerge while I'm exercising, especially outdoors. When faced with a creative block or a lingering problem, taking a step away from the computer and engaging in physical activity often leads to breakthroughs. Despite unfavorable weather and foot injuries, I've managed to adapt by using rain gear and watching “hurt foot” videos to stay active. These adaptations have worked wonders for reinvigorating my creativity.

Step away from the computer

5. Engage with the community: While virtual meetings are convenient, in-person gatherings are unmatched in their effectiveness. Networking with colleagues and participating in forums provide a multi-sensory experience that enhances understanding and sparks interest. Recently, I attended NEEBC's Women in Benefits Breakfast, where industry executives discussed the impact of Artificial Intelligence on HR. AI is rapidly changing every industry, and hearing from academic and HR professionals provided me with a fresh perspective on the evolving landscape. Best of all was reconnecting with colleagues—always effective in igniting my creativity.

Connect with colleagues

Cynthia McGrath helps businesses connect with their employees and customers through strategic marketing communications.


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