Creativity is essential for every organisation to keep moving forward. Support and develop open-mindedness, hold regular idea generation sessions and provide an inspirational work environment to help individuals to relax and spark their creative thinking.
Being given the opportunity to think creatively helps to generate excitement and engagement at work. It encourages greater collaboration between individuals and teams to develop new ideas and solutions by working more closely together. By listening and supporting staff to use their imaginations you help to give them space to create ideas that not only improve the workplace environment but drive their desire to learn and solve problems.
Developing a creative culture at work requires leaders and managers to become more open-minded. When you can cultivate and use the creative abilities of your teams, you can produce a good selection of ideas and solutions to problems and issues.
Define your Creative Strategy
A creative strategy is essential to innovate new products, services and processes. It provides a clear approach to getting the most innovative work done. A customised creative approach is one that results in creative development, meeting the needs across the business. Remember that any creative strategy needs to be relevant to be engaging.
- Know what result you are looking for, all the while considering the needs and goals of the organisation.
- Be informed, aware and do your research. Understand what the changes are in your industry, the new technologies on the horizon, what is happening in digital and social media, etc.
- Consider the issue from all viewpoints. By including a diverse group in any brainstorming, you will subsequently get a variety of solutions to consider. For ideas to flourish, the whole group needs to embrace the options available.
- Identify the obstacles you face and how you will resolve them. Have clear steps to follow so that everyone in the organisation clearly understands the creative strategy moving forward.
- Define the desired course of action and allocate appropriate resources to achieve the objectives.
If the conditions are right, meaningful change can evolve from the smallest seed of inspiration. It is a matter of reflecting differently, questioning previous decisions, collaborating, challenging and thinking creatively. Agile organisations understand that the key to successful problem-solving and innovation involves strategic creativity.
10 Ways to Encourage Creative Thinking in the Workplace
Creative thinking is different to just problem-solving. It is about generating new ideas and solutions through imagination rather than logic. Creative thinking leads to the implementation of innovative ideas and this ultimately is what sets your organisation apart from others. Involving the whole team and channelling everyone’s creativity, and their diverse skill sets, can really help your organisation to prosper.
- Make time. Away from day-to-day work, allocate time to allow individuals to reflect on their work and to come together to brainstorm ideas.
- Foster an open and collaborative environment. Employees need to feel confident about proposing ideas. A positive work environment where leaders are open and transparent helps to inspire creativity.
- Encouragement. It’s great to bounce ideas off one another so encourage your staff to work together and share ideas.
- Allow for failure. Employees need to be allowed to come up with ideas that may go awry, but without any negative consequences – mistakes can be learnt from.
- Training. Help to develop your employee’s skills by providing sessions in creativity training and Lateral Thinking from Dr Edward de Bono.
- Support. Support all ideas positively – creating the right mindset even for failure is essential for individual development.
- Diversity. One of the best strategies for creativity is to build a team that has a variety of different skills and strengths. This unique mix provides a healthy environment for sharing ideas and debate.
- Let them be. Don’t micromanage a situation, empower individuals/teams by giving them autonomy to run with their ideas and express their creativity appropriately. Delegation provides a degree of thinking autonomy.
- Provide challenges. Employees appreciate the value of working together to resolve a challenge. A personal challenge at work is also a great way to encourage individuals to think critically and creatively to find solutions.
- Follow through. Encouraging creativity is only worthwhile if it results in the development and implementation of these ideas.
Encouraging creativity and innovation into the workplace is advantageous for everyone. It allows you to come together as a team, increases employee engagement and interaction and boosts morale. Allowing employees to find creative solutions to problems is empowering and will contribute to the overall productivity of the company.
How do you Inspire Others at Work?
- Lead by example and demonstrate how you are prepared to take risks, be flexible and remain authentic in everything you do. If you show you are energised and inspired, and demonstrate your commitment and passion, then you will have a significant impact on those around you.
- Set expectations that are inspirational. Show how you strive to be exceptional in all you do, and in your expectations for the organisation. Setting high yet achievable goals for your staff whilst remaining open to feedback is hugely motivating.
- When you take the time to listen, demonstrate your empathy and desire to include employees, you allow them to feel connected to your organisation. Their ideas can help to form the goals and vision of your organisation both at project level and above.
- Honesty and integrity are essential when inspiring others. Your staff need to believe your integrity and see it in action, and it is important to show that you care and act with compassion.
- Make everyone feel valued and appreciated. Appreciating the work of team members will foster a positive environment and inspire staff to keep working hard towards your business goals.
- Establish an effective workplace environment that strives for improvement, and where leaders guide their employee’s development and growth.
The Creative Series from Holst
Anyone can learn to be a creative thinker and find the business solutions that will create future growth and success in your organisation. The Holst Creative Series includes a range of workshops from de Bono Thinking Systems® and Chalmers International that will get your teams, leaders and individual contributors to think differently and successfully.