Organisations increasingly report that creativity is an essential part of creating and maintaining a competitive advantage. Innovation starts with creativity.
However, harnessing creativity is not a skill that can be automatically and quickly performed anytime, anywhere. In order to be creative at work, you need to have the right workplace environment, structure and mindset. Workplace creativity requires a conscious shift to a more open way of thinking where everyone is entitled and expected to contribute.
Workplace pressures affect creativity – it is hard to feel creative with we have to stay on budget, on schedule and provide the results our leaders expect from us. But, there are ways to redress the balance. It is easier to be more creative when you are surrounded by diversity in the workplace. People with different experiences, goals and ambitions can help you to see things you may have overlooked and broaden your view by providing challenges and insights that might never occur to you otherwise.
10 ways to encourage creativity and innovation to flourish
Hire the best people for the jobs. Attract and recruit the right talent and retain it. Through interviews and assessments such as McQuaig you will be able to recognise the traits you are looking for in candidates, and how to develop them further.
Recruit staff who fit in with your organisation’s vision and goals. You should recruit staff who are not only a great ‘job fit’, but also be a great ‘company fit’ in order to thrive and be creative within their role. flowprofiler® excels in measuring emotional intelligence in your teams and individuals, and how they perform both day-to-day and under pressure.
Provide a positive work environment that encourages creativity. This could be meeting areas accessible to all, quiet areas for reflection and tools such as white boards etc to facilitate the thinking process. A shift in perspective can boost creativity and unlock new ways of thinking.
Encourage employees to look for look for solutions themselves and to take ownership of problems that need some creative thinking to resolve them. This gives them a degree of autonomy to take decisions and run with them
Wellbeing at work is essential to creativity. A happy, motivated staff are likely to rise to challenges and find workable solutions to move forward.
Provide some time and resources for creativity – whether this is making time for discussion and brainstorming on a regular basis or as part of meetings. It provides an opportunity to give employees a voice and demonstrates your organisation’s commitment to embracing and implementing changes.
Encouraging self-belief is really important in stimulating creativity. Harness the innovation potential within a team with initiatives that not only increase confidence but provide support and recognition for innovative ideas. A fresh perspective can be hugely motivating.
The workplace is great for sharing knowledge. Developing everyone’s emotional and social intelligence in the workplace is as important as IQ for success in the workplace. Learning, and just as importantly sharing, new skills and knowledge helps to spark new creative ideas that can be applied within their role.
Teams with a diverse make-up will have individuals who approach tasks from different viewpoint, and therefore generate a diverse range of new ideas.
Encourage a mindset of continuous learning by encouraging your staff to seek new knowledge and ways of doing things. Provide them with the skills to not be afraid of new ways of thinking and to harness their creativity for the good of the company. This can be through attending meetings and conferences and through training.
The more opportunities that can be provided for creative thinking then the better you become at it. Ideas produce more ideas. Harnessing that inspiration and then taking action to commit to the idea and implement it produces the motivation for more creativity.
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® romand Chalmers International that will get your teams, leaders and individual contributors to think differently and successfully.