Creativity is like a muscle. It must be stretched and challenged or it’s in danger of becoming flabby! Here are seven ways you can dramatically shape up your creativity.

Learn Through Collaboration

Collaborating with and learning from others may be just what you need to give your creativity a boost. Countless studies have proven that innovation happens when content expertise is matched with creative, nonlinear thinking. Working in silos or even alone simply limits the number of ways you can view a problem or look for possible solutions.

“Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life.” – Amy Poehler

Find Inspiration from Other Industries

Who is out there doing a great job? Which companies do you follow and admire? Is there potential to transfer what’s worked for businesses outside your industry to your own market? Maybe you can even improve on these ideas. 

Taking inspiration from other industries is just another avenue to look at a creative challenge from a fresh perspective.


According to neuroscientists, overwork makes your brain “dull” in the sense of being the opposite of “sharp.” Overwork, in other words, kills your creativity.

Scientists studying brain scans recently discovered that moments of creativity take place when the mind is at rest rather than working on something.

As Alan Cohen wrote, “There is virtue in work and there is virtue in rest. Use both and overlook neither.”

Take a walk

Public Health England has raised the issue of chronic sedentarism in the workplace and sitting has been referred to as the “new smoking” by health experts. 

Championed by everyone from Aristotle to Sigmund Freud to Steve Jobs, working and walking has long been a route to creative thinking. That said not just any walk will do. 

A study published in Frontiers in Psychology suggest if your task requires creative thought, then you need to take a leisurely, meandering and self-generated walk.

Use the Six Thinking Hats Technique

Sometimes to find a creative solution you need to look at a creative challenge in a new way. Designed by Edward de Bono, the six hat’s technique allows you to separate thinking into six clear functions and roles. 

Each thinking role is identified with a coloured symbolic “thinking hat”. 

By mentally wearing and switching “hats”, you can easily focus or redirect thoughts and conversations to help inspire lateral thinking.

Ask your Peers

From mastermind groups to group mentoring even finding the right Slack channel, seeking support from your peers has never been more popular. 

Often there simply aren’t the right people within your business to talk to so a challenging yet supportive peer group could help unearth the answers you’ve been looking for. “No matter how brilliant your mind or strategy, if you’re playing a solo game, you’ll always lose out to a team.” – Reid Hoffman.


We know that some of the UK’s most talented digital & creative businesses call Derby and Derbyshire home. 

Mainframe is a community of those people, sharing their talent, knowledge and inspiration. Based at QUAD and funded via the European Regional Development Fund and Art’s Council England; we host free monthly meetup’s covering topics from the inspirational, to business growth to the downright futuristic and forward thinking. 

Mainframe is part of the Big House, a collaboration providing sector specific support; making it easier for digital & creative businesses to understand and access the free help available in our region.

Looking for digital & creative jobs in Derby and Debyshire? Head to the new Mainframe jobsboard at