10 Ways Nonprofit CEOs Get Creative

Image courtesy of Dieste.com Image courtesy of Dieste.com

What does the word innovation mean to you? Does it mean driving sweeping changes in a completely new business model? Changing the way the entire Earth’s population consumes a service or product?


While both of these are great, it might be a good idea to start thinking of innovation on a micro scale.


Innovation can be as simple as changing the content in you internal newsletter. Or buying the office coffee once a month.


Here are ten simple ways nonprofit executives, or employees, can get more creative at work.

  1. Get visual

    There are those that learn by doing. And there are those that learn by seeing.


    It is the latter that are often ignored. By creating stimulating visuals that will help your team better process and understand information is a great way to shake things up. Those who might not have been benefitting from your meetings before might all of a sudden become more vocal and engaged because you are now catering to their learning style.


  2. Bend the rules

    The next time you and your team sits down to brain storm ideas, let them know before you start that “nothing is out of line.” Free your team from the normal corporate restraints and let the ideas flow. The results might just surprise you.


  3. Work backward

    Where do you want your nonprofit to be in 10-15 years? If you don’t have a concrete answer to this question, spend the rest of your commute coming up with an answer.


    Do not worry about the “who, why, or what.” It is simply important that you have a goal and are actively working to achieve it.


  4. Make it a game

    Get everyone out of their daily routine by making it fun. Propose an interesting caveat to your normal meeting routine by swapping roles, having people work in teams to accomplish a common goal. Just make sure there is a winner and a lower.


    Pitting teams and people against each other is a great way to get the creative and competitive juices flowing.


  5. Write down every little thing

    Ideas are like building blocks. They all start with one block. That first block could lead to the next phase of your nonprofit, which could start with just one word, or phrase. But you wont know unless you write it down.


    Nothing is too far “out there” or “ridiculous.” The act of pulling a thought out of your brain and making it physical and tactile could be just the beginning of something astounding.


  6. Take a few mental breaks

    Sometimes, closing your eyes, taking a step back and a deep breath is all you need to get the job done. Your brain is working a million miles per second from the time you wake up to the time you fall asleep planning for the next day.


    Make it a point to give your brain two to three 10 minute breaks throughout the day.


  7. Happy hour after work can help productivity at work

    It has been proven that having even a small amount of alcohol can significantly change the way your brain comes to conclusions. It works differently than other drugs, like caffeine, and can assist you in coming up with that next ground breaking idea.


  8. Get physical

    Work out before work. Do pushups after work. Take a walk on your lunch break, and eat at your desk while you respond to emails. Getting your heart rate up is a great way to take you out of your daily grind, and to help yourself get creative.


  9. Play to your strengths

    This one might sound obvious, but too often people think being creative means doing things you’ve never done before. Knowing yourself and your strengths is often times the best way to make change in a new or innovative way.


  10. Get the words out

    Getting the ball rolling is often times the hardest part. This is why writing things down, or reassuring the room that nothing is off-limits is so important. Try to keep a non-stop dialogue going the next time you have a brain storm session, or have a 10 minute writing session to get things kicked off. Once the ball starts rolling, there’s no telling how far it can go.


Topics: Industry News, Leadership, nonprofit technology, nonprofit

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