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A Discussion on Digital Media & Communication Trends

Fun is Key to Preventing Creative Fatigue

In a creative field it is difficult to always be on the spot. However, this is an often felt, little discussed, reality of marketing departments and agencies. When given the space and creative freedom campaigns can be amazing. However, if not careful the ‘creative factory’ mentality can mean that your ideas miss the mark. Some people even believe you can harvest creativity.

But in all seriousness, how can you prevent creative fatigue and encourage spontaneity in your team. I think the answer lies in giving them the freedom and ability to have fun.

I recently had the pleasure of attending a meeting of the Brewpub Poet’s Society. It is a little known organization in Charlotte, NC. (read some of BPS poetry here)

They are professionals: marketers, writers, actors, photographers, entrepreneurs. All of them have very fantastic careers. They use the society as a way to laugh and enjoy the world in light verse. They all come prepared having penned a poem or two and they spend an hour or so enjoying the company of other witty and creative people. The energy is so contagious I wanted to bottle it up and take it back to my team.

How do you think you can encourage fun, spontaneity and excitement in an office environment? Is it only something that can be generated away from work? Does your employer give you the freedom to create interesting and engaging ideas? Would love to learn from you…

11 comments on “Fun is Key to Preventing Creative Fatigue

  1. jcshoff
    June 8, 2011

    I will say I always tried to keep it light in an otherwise fast-paced and aggressive work environment. I used to buy ice cream bars and even laughed last night when describing an interview where the interviewee and I ate popcicles. It is so hard not to take yourself or othes too seriously when in an environment when everyone was trying to climb over others to get somewhere. Ahhh! maybe thats why I don’t do it anymore.

    • kbconway
      June 8, 2011

      I love it! You are so correct. You can’t take yourself too seriously. What a great comment. I’ll remember next time Popsicles 🙂

  2. Jen
    June 9, 2011

    Love this post – so true! You absolutely cannot force creativity, despite all of the misguided ‘off-sites’ and creativity factories. I’ve never worked in the industy, but I can only imagine how difficult it must be to have a constant stream of ideas. Personally, I like the idea of switching work environments – moving cubes, offices, whatever. I have better ideas whenever I write in different locations.

    • kbconway
      June 9, 2011

      Thanks for the insight. Writing in different areas is a great idea! I try to have meetings and work sessions in different places. Wouldn’t Area 15 be a fabulous place to spark some creativity?

  3. kenyonstanley
    June 9, 2011

    I think that holding special events (awarts and recognition ceremonies) are a great way to keep morale up and give work teams a break from the day-to-day routines that can lul even the most inspired and creative people. One time our staff held an office roast where we were all on the hot seat. Proboably wouldn’t work with teams that lack cohesion. But for tight knot groups, laughter can work wonders.

    • kbconway
      June 9, 2011

      Thanks for sharing. I like it! Laughter + fun = creativity

  4. Catherine Whittaker
    June 9, 2011

    I think a lot of company’s view ‘spontaneity’ and ‘excitement’ as the opposite of what they want to encourage! Instead favoring evaluation and process. A few of my good friends work for ad agencies, and these seem to do a great job of creating environments conducive to this… Open cubes, informal structure, social events during the work day.

    One friend even had her office sponsor a fair where employees brought in outside-of-work creative endeavors like paintings, baked goods, or handmade jewelry. I loved the idea!

    • kbconway
      June 9, 2011

      What a great idea! I will have to try that one out. Thanks for the feedback.

  5. Pingback: I’m drunk and I’m horny and my wife is out of town « A King's Ramblings

  6. Jeff King
    June 10, 2011

    Coming from a company that crushed all spontaneity and creativity (You know who you are DSG) it was always a challenge to keep 100+ employees motivated. Dealing with the public allowed us thousands of opportunities a day to be creative and just have fun. I always encouraged the staff to enjoy themselves with their customers. Tying balloons to an employees belt so you could find them anywhere in the store (A real life version of the Sims) received crazy looks and laughter from customers. Having an employee who was shy and quiet dance while he talked to customers improves the experience for all involved. Having all employees wear cheesy chrome plated Aviator sunglasses also got the buzz going in the store. It resulted in several write ups for me but was well worth it to see staff and customers enjoying themselves.

    • kbconway
      June 10, 2011

      Way to go Jeff! You sound like an awesome manager. I say the write ups were well worth it. Cheers to having fun and the creativity that comes from it.

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