Forcing creativity rarely works. Staring at a blank page will not only stress you out, but it's highly likely that you won't be able to come up with anything useful. Nothing special comes out of forcing creativity.
When you're so focused on creating, it's difficult to be imaginative. You can't put people in a room and miraculously expect them to be creative within a short time frame.
Creativity is not a task to be completed and abandoned. Or a problem to be solved immediately. You can't be creative on command. It takes time. A long time to nurture and grow creative expression. Creativity takes hold naturally and progressively when embraced into your way of work.
You could argue that you can force creativity to some extent but the results of your work will always be lesser than if it were to come naturally and allowed to grow freely in an environment that embraces and cultivates it. Your brain can't be forced to focus, or cooperate within a specific time. But you can do better in a comfortable space where you are allowed to creativity express yourself without fear.
Give yourself every opportunity for creativity to flourish
Forcing yourself to come up with innovative ideas under pressure can most likely backfire. It will be a waste of your productive time. Artists don't force themselves to paint in a day. It takes months, sometimes even years to get it right. There is no way around it. Creative work takes effort and time.
Creative people enjoy their work. It should be a fun process otherwise it can be hindered. They make it more about exploration, discovery and learning. They tackle problems from an entirely different perspective. Mozart once said "When I am ... completely myself, entirely alone... or during the night when I cannot sleep, it is on such occasions that my ideas flow best and most abundantly."
Mozart clearly never forced himself to do great work but made time for it when he was in the "flow". Creativity does not keep office hours. The flow state has been described by many of the world's greatest thinkers as the most productive and creative state of mind in which to work. And it can happen at different times of the day. Dr. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Ph.D.-argues that it is the state of heightened focus and immersion in activities such as art, play and work.
Innovative companies embrace creativity as a business process
The most remarkable companies today are the creative ones. The companies that are destined to change the future are the ones that have embraced creativity and innovation over a long period of time. Every other company that treats creativity as an emergency is bound to struggle in the future. You either embrace the long process of innovation as a business process or risk the slow decline of business growth.
Thinking clearly in any field requires openness to new experiences or stimulation at any stage of the creative process. The opportunity to experiment cannot be over emphasised. Creative people need the best space for ideas to incubate over a period of time. They need the ability to take action and evolve their ideas in a comfortable environment.
They create a company culture that actively promotes experimentation
The most innovative companies in the world hire smart and give their creative teams the environment and space to do what they do best; to create and do great work. You can't micro manage creative teams.
And what the best companies do is to provide creative offices that are designed to shape the way employees think and feel. And the most importantly, provide the culture that actively promotes exploration, experimentation and embrace the pursuit of ideas.
You can provide the best office space but if you don't go a step further to allow people to explore, experiment and discover new ideas, you will lose your creative talent. Remarkable companies allow their employees to explore every possibility that can be used to improve or enhance products and services.
It might sound like waiting around for serendipity to strike, but it's a more deliberate process that allow ideas to flourish. Pushing people to be creative when they are not in that state of mind puts them in a box and limits what they can do and achieve.
Truly innovative companies today treat innovation as a continuous process. They continuously identify opportunities for improvement and act on them. Teach your employees to think like innovators and your company will be better positioned to change where necessary. In a world of constant change, its the only way to survive.