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Unleash the Power of Your Imagination

Todd Cooley, APRBy Sara Peary

Last month, OCPRSA was lucky enough to have Todd Cooley, APR, to discuss the crucial role of creativity — which he considers “The 21st century skill.” After examining the neurobiological underpinnings of creativity and discussing how we unintentionally inhibit creative thinking in ourselves and others, here are top takeaways from his insightful talk.

5 Creativity Myths Debunked:
• Creativity is an innate ability.
• Creativity is limited to “creative types”
• Creativity is enhanced by stress
• Creativity is fueled by financial incentives
• Creativity comes as a flash of inspiration

All of these are FALSE. As we conform, become more socialized, and gain more responsibility from childhood into adulthood, creativity significantly diminishes.

While all industries should consider creativity a priority, according to a 2012 Holmes Report, 70% of PR agencies say clients are demanding greater creativity and consider it a fundamental for current employees and future prospects.

Todd shared the following tips to exploit our brain networks and increase our neuroplasticity to boost the release of natural growth factors and positively influence neurotransmitters.

Top ways to elevate our creative abilities:
Puzzles, games, brainteasers. It is recommended to enhance your cognitive function by engaging in these throughout your life
New unusual experiences. Try going to a new museum or a concert with a music type you might have never attended before.
Day dreaming – highly encouraged to unleash the imagination.
Mindfulness, meditation. Whether it is through daily practice of yoga or downloading a mindfulness app on your phone, being present is key to unleash your inner creativity.
Physical exercise. Those healthy endorphins released from a morning walk or spin session allow those genius ideas to come rolling in clear as day.

For those looking for more reading inspiration, here are 25 ways Inc. offers to further develop your creativity.

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