Where I get my best ideas: The pub in my garden shed

FirmDecisions’ global CEO Federica Bowman finds creativity easier when she can step away from her home (and into her own makeshift bar).

Some people find their best ideas come in a specific situation or activity - walking through the forest, jetting off to someplace new or sweating it out in a spin class.

But regrettably for creativity, being in (another) lockdown means that many of these activities are currently banned.

For Federica, the most creative conversations always happened over a quiet pint. So when Downing Street's stay-at-home order was issued, she decided that if she couldn't go to the pub, she'd have to make the pub come to her.

"We have an old garden house which historically was home to things we thought we might use but never actually did. So my husband (the creative one) and I spent the late summer months during the initial lockdown cleaning it out and getting rid of things.

"A couple of tactical purchases later - fake beer pumps to rest on top of the bar, some spill mats and old school bacon and scampi fries - the room now resembles a pub. It even includes a mixed track of background pub noises like general chitchat and the clinking of glasses.

"Even though it’s only in the garden, it feels like a completely different place, away from the house. When you’re confined within the same four walls constantly, just having a different view and a different ambience makes a huge difference. It’s escapism.

"Going there has the same effect as if you were going off to the real pub. While chatting over a drink we talk about our working day and with that comes the ability to see things differently and consider things from a different perspective.

"We don’t solve world issues there, but it really helps to take ourselves out of the monotony of lockdown."


Featured in Management Today.