How can creativity be an attorney’s secret weapon for success and growth? More so, how can individuals train their minds to think creatively? Find answers to these questions and more here.
Lawyers aren’t necessarily thought of as those who practice the art of being “creative,” but that’s far from the truth! If we think about it, the business of law requires virtually non-stop creative thinking. For example, lawyers must have an in-depth understanding of the rules and how to apply them; however, they must also find innovative solutions that aren’t found in legal textbooks or previous cases.
Lawyers do not simply read and interpret the law; they must also find novel ways to work around any legal framework and case. In addition, attorneys in court rely on their legal storytelling abilities when disclosing their client’s points of view in an impactful way. These abilities, combined with social skills, critical thinking skills, problem-solving skills, listening, and reasoning, require an attorney to be an extremely creative individual.
Today, the most prominent entrepreneurs and businesses are focusing on finding creative talent. Research shows that creativity is now one of the most sought-after skills in the market, and compared to 2015, the jump is clear. Take a look:
By tapping into our innermost creative minds, we can find solutions to problems that seem impossible to resolve, both personally and professionally.
So, what is creative thinking? As cliche as it sounds, “thinking outside the box” seems to be the best description. Essentially, it means stepping out of automatic habituated patterns and generating unusual and original ideas.
With that said, it seems as if creativity is fleeting, and in the random moments we connect with it, we want to use it immediately, but is there a way lawyers can generate creativity on demand? The answer is…absolutely!
We’ll expand on what you can do to get the creative wheels rolling. Let’s begin with…
How Law Firms Can Boost their Creative Thinking (According to Science)
Creative breakthroughs don’t happen overnight, and they aren’t limited to a personality type. Instead, rather like physical training, our brains can be trained to be more creative. Psychological studies suggest that so-called creative ‘breakthroughs’ are often the result of hard work and dedication, and there is one trait that applies to all creative skills:
Although no two individuals are alike, the APA (American Psychological Association) shows that doing the following things can stimulate your brain’s frontal lobe, which is associated with creative thinking:
1. Step away from your desk and take a walk. Literally.
Adam Green, Ph.D., a cognitive neuroscientist at Georgetown University and founder of the Society for the Neuroscience of Creativity, says that cubicles are the worst place for creative thinking. An experiment showed that most of the participants’ “aha” moments came to those who were more likely to go for walks, especially in large, expansive environments. For most of us, it may be difficult to get out of the cubicle; however, here is some mental health advice:
2. Prioritize sleep.
Say it with us: exhaustion and working until your breaking point is not a badge of honor you should carry. While attorneys deal with very stressful and complex legal situations, as well as clients who come in with all-time highs of stress, it’s important to prioritize sleep. Studies show that sleep helps us process our problem-solving and helps build connections between disparate ideas.
3. Daydream–yes you read that right!
Daydream with purpose. Is there a problem that’s been bugging you lately? Have your clients mentioned anything they wish they could see more of? Less of? You don’t necessarily need to come up with the most revolutionary idea. Sometimes a series of minor improvements end up helping businesses grow into more extensive methods and strategies.
4. Write down your thoughts and revisit them.
Creative thoughts are often fleeting and may be difficult to recall at a later time. For this, the best suggestion is to write them all down. That way, you’ll be able to revisit, critique, and tweak those thoughts as you move forward.
How Law Firms Can Boost their Creative Thinking (According to Field Experts)
Now let’s look at what the field experts have to say on the subject. To begin with, the top 3 driving motivators around business innovation today are enhancing customer experience (53%), driving revenue growth (53%), and developing new services and products (45%).
Drew McLellan is the founder of Agency Management Institute and has over 30+ years of working in the advertising market, a sector that requires the utmost imagination. He sat down with the National Law Review and suggested firms can boost innovative thinking in the following ways:
1. Allow time for sharing ideas at meetings
Time is money, but by scheduling a mere 15 minutes extra for regular meetings to allow for creative thinking, you may generate some of the best ideas. If this isn’t possible, McLellan suggests scheduling one agenda-less meeting per week and allow room for ideas.
2. Support all team members’ growth
This is related to what science has to say about building the creative muscle. By supporting your staff’s passions outside work and pushing healthier work-life boundaries, e.g., getting enough sleep, your team might propel 2X forward.
3. Suggest 1 reasonable and 1 risky idea
Problems and challenges constantly arise as a business grows, but when brainstorming ideas, try to come up with 1 safe, practical solution and 1 that may be riskier. This could be the case for law firms investing in creative platforms like social media and digital advertising – is there anything you’ve been wanting to try that others aren’t necessarily doing?
4. Build a partnership with creative experts
Business is all about people, and relationships are key. For example, more firms are investing in creative digital marketing strategies like social media, digital advertising, YouTube, podcasts, etc. These places are havens for building on originality!
By tapping and building a relationship with creative experts such as Consultwebs, law firms can let their ideas run free and have creativity on demand.
Don’t forget your ABCs: Always Be Creative
More than anything, creativity can help you get the most out of all your investments. For example, are you investing in social media platforms? What about advertising through channels like YouTube, Google, Facebook, and Instagram?
Whether you’ve been trying to nourish your personal or professional ingenious side, by exercising your mind, you can flourish in the competitive profession that is law, where most clients are demanding that their legal counsel thinks outside the box.