Being Creative in Constraints

We are all “a creative” in some way or another.  Creative problem solving is a skill that will get you far, and we learned even more about that this week from Hien Lam, co-owner of Huck Finch.  One of the things that Hien mentioned that really stuck with me was the phrase be creative in constraints. 

Working in start up culture, we all know that rolling with the punches is just a part of the gig.  As an intern, there are constraints.  Hien shared some helpful insight when it comes to using those set backs to turn into major come backs. “Let your problems be differentiators,” he mentioned.  Taking problems at surface level and giving up is so easy, but to become great at what you do, it takes some innovative thinking.

I decided to share some of the things I took from Hien’s chat with us, and how I think it can help students not just now, but in their career (and personal) development for years to come.

1) Collaboration is your friend.  As much as I love to do things myself, putting many minds together can often result in magic.  Tackle a problem with some coworkers, or have a fresh set of eyes look at it.  Sometimes you can be staring at a solution and not even realize it.

2) Think outside the box.  Problems are going to arise in any job, especially working with start ups.  None of us have it figured out, so this is a perfect way to show your leaders what you’ve got and make the most of a set back.  Brainstorming is a great way to think about your ideal scenario in a new light.  What is something you could do to make it happen in an untraditional manner?  Sometimes, these end up being the best ideas yet!

3) Pursue problems positively.  It’s amazing what can get done when you have a positive attitude.  Dropping the word “problem” and switching it with “opportunity” can make a world of difference.  When you are thinking of opportunities for improvement, that shows that you are pursuing greatness, instead of just defining something as it is.

While Hien was able to share a wealth of knowledge, I hope this shed a little light on how to think creatively within the constraints you may be facing.  The last thing I want to leave you all with is a quote from Hien that I loved; Be Bold, Be Italic, but never regular.

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