Before introducing innovation at work, first thing you need to do is finding creativity fans hidden in your company! The problem is that they are not easy to identify at first sight. We have an idea. You are about to discover 5 ways to recognize any creativity fans around you!

« Fan is a person with a liking and enthusiasm for something, such as a band or a sports team. It comes from the Modern Latin fanaticus, meaning “insanely but divinely inspired.” » (wikipedia)

It is easy to spot fans, if you know what clues to look for. Think about ‘Star Wars’ fans, ‘FC Barcelona’ fans, ‘Lady Gaga’ fans, ‘Call of Duty’ fans, ‘Ferrari’ fans, ‘Chanel’ fans or ‘Apple’ fans. They express their enthusiasm and support their idols in many different ways, for example by:

– using a coded language
– worshiping idol’s work and results
– having an extensive knowledge in the domain
– wearing special clothes and accessories
– attending fan events, creating clubs
– and being proud about it!

Here is the list of 5 different ways to identify all creativity fans living and working around you:

1. SPY WAY: when a spy needs to identify another spy, he never met before, he uses a coded language. Creativity fans reveal their identity as soon as they hear someone else speaking their language. There is a long list of codes that ‘creativity spies’ would spot right away even without saying word “creative”! Try some of them when talking to others and observe their reaction:

“imagine, pioneer, dream, differently, unusual, innovation, original, outside the box, Bono, 6 hats, SCAMPER, lateral thinking, analogy, novelty, trying new things, inspiring, doodling, visual thinking, right brain, game storming, idea, risk taking, TED, crowdsourcing, 9 dots, vision board, Michalko, CPSI, etc.”

2. ARTIST WAY: creative people tend to admire artistic work of others or even create something themselves (often outside of their work!). To discover ‘artists’ among your colleagues or friends, propose them going for a cocktail in a new gallery, visiting a museum exhibition or going for a new product launch show. Check if there is any left-handed person in your team. Find out if anyone is doodling in his or her notebook during the meetings. Ask if anyone writes a blog, takes photos or makes videos in his or her free time.

3. DIAMOND WAY: diamonds are rare and unique. Just like creativity fans that like to be different from the others. They like to rebel against rules, desire to create something new, they push the limits of current reality. ‘Diamonds’ don’t like when someone else in the team is doing the same job. Try to think about people invented a new job role, or simply people who came to you and proposed something new in last 6 months.

4. SCIENTIST WAY: scientists are constantly looking for new solutions and all they do is thinking up new ideas and then experimenting. The same happens with creativity fans, they like trying new things. ‘Scientists’ in your company could be very calm people who like discovering things alone or in small team. Try to find out who likes going to new restaurants, traveling, meeting new people, discovering new music bands, trying new hobbies, cooking new meals, etc.

5. VISIONARY WAY: people with a vision certainly belong to creativity fans. They like to imagine the future, fantasize about impossible things or think about a purpose or big picture behind everything they do. To identify ‘visionary people‘ you just need to let your team members dream during a day. You can ask ‘what if questions’, you can create a ‘vision board’ with your team, you can bring visionary speaker to annual meeting and find out who was inspired, etc.

Creativity fans are everywhere around us but as they don’t wear T-shirts with sign “I am creative”, we need to discover their hidden talent and enable them to apply it everyday. If you have more ideas how to spot creativity fans, share them with us here.