Creative thinking for procurement professionals


Creative thinking for procurement professionals

By Alison Smith |

What’s your creative muscle memory like?

I remember seeing the ropes in the gym and saying to my personal trainer “I’d love to climb the rope one day” and him replying “well the only way to do that is to climb the rope”.

That is, I wasn’t going to be able to learn to climb ropes by just doing push ups or bicep curls.

I certainly wasn’t going to climb ropes by doing plank or kick boxing.

I needed to train the muscles I was going to use to climb the rope by climbing the rope!

When you want to climb the rope you just need to practice climbing the rope

This would be accomplished by:

  • Increasing the number of repetitions
  • Having patience
  • Allowing time for recovery

Our minds are much the same.

If you want to solve problems creatively or identify innovative opportunities you can certainly try using your logical thinking muscle but that’s not really best suited to creative thinking.

That’s what your creative thinking muscle is for.

The challenge is it’s too easy to forget to apply the theory you know works on your physical muscles to your thinking muscles meaning they’re not available for use when you need them.

At times of stress, such as the unprecedented recent months, it’s even more important to have access to these muscles because our logical thinking is nowhere to be seen.

What are you doing to develop your creative thinking muscles?

  • Stress the creative thinking muscle – dial down your logical thinking to achieve this
  • Do this repetitively and increase the number of repetitions
  • Having patience this like anything else takes time to master
  • Allowing time for recovery

Creative thinking is already an element of the category strategy development workshops we deliver.

Alison Smith

About Alison Smith

Principal Consultant

After 15 years in Procurement in organisations, Alison decided that she wanted to expand that pattern observation, exploration, and problem-solving to help others solve their problems in life and to help them get back on track. Combining her unique experience as a procurement expert and a coach she offers a refreshing approach to personal development for Procurement Professionals.