5 Ways to Foster Creativity in the Workplace

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Creativity is the best way for your company to be more innovative. Innovation is what makes your company get the competitive edge in the business world. It will give an advantage for businesses not only in product development but also because it improves problem-solving skills that can help to make your business even smarter. Smarter businesses make more profits, keep employees engaged and happy, even improve employee health as a result. These are reasons why you need to foster creativity in the workplace. By reading on, you will learn how to foster creativity in the workplace to make your business even better.

Encourage Brainstorming Sessions

Everyone has their own way of looking at a problem, so it can be incredibly beneficial for everyone to get together as a group regularly. During these sessions, give everyone the opportunity to give their input on how to solve a problem. After everyone has stated their opinion on a topic, have a productive discussion among the group about which of the ideas are the best and can be accomplished by your company.

Take the ideas and group them into categories. You will actually find that there are groupings of ideas that go together. Then you can vote on each group and select the path forward as a group. Group selection creates group ownership. This is a powerful source of added accountability that stems from supporting what you yourself were a part of creating.

Celebrate and Activate Diversity

It can be a great idea to get a diverse group of people together when working on a project or problem. Be sure to mix up groups regularly to ensure that people who don’t normally get to work together to get some fresh ideas. Putting together people who think alike will not foster innovation or creativity in the workplace.

Get people started by discussing books in a book club, or party planning ideas, or any other random non-work related topic to get them comfortable to share their ideas. On important element is that there is no judgment, Just brainstorming, and open discussion. Judgment will shut down the creative process and people will be afraid to share their ideas and be put down if they feel stupid. It is often a good idea to set ground rules to support the process.

Sharing ideas will get things going and create a greater connection between the diverse group and will crush it with solving business problems together from that point forward.

Optimize the Workspace

There are things that you can do within the workplace that can make it more conducive for creativity. Create workspaces that are open and clutter free for your employees to stretch out and be comfortable, which is important to the creative process. You are not going to get as much of a freedom for creativity if you stick your employees in a cubicle by themselves for the entire workday.

You might think these young companies that have ping pong tables for their staff is crazy. They are just playing and not working. They may be playing but they are also working. It boosts their level of creativity, rejuvenates their energy and often they discuss business ideas while they are playing. Haven’t you ever had a great idea for something you were working on while you went biking, were in the shower or driving somewhere. The creativity comes out when you are more relaxed and not working so hard to make it happen.

Be Supportive

As a manager, it is crucial that you are supportive of your employees if they are thinking outside of the box. This creative thinking is what will make your company stand out from the competition. Do not be judgmental or dismissive, otherwise, your employees will be too intimidated to share their ideas and creatively participate in the problem solving. Encourage your employees to be creative.

Also, make sure you allow them the time for innovation. Great companies such as Google, Microsoft, and apple appreciate the value of fostering creativity and innovation in the company and provide time and space for this to occur. If people are overloaded with project work and don’t have dedicated time to be creative, they won’t be. It is that simple.

Reward Creativity

Employees ultimately need to be offered incentives for their hard work and creativity. When an employee has solved a problem through their creativity, give them a reward that fits within the budget of your company and be sure to recognize the person and the idea across the company. This could be something as simple as a small gift card or tickets to a local event.

Daniel Pink in his book Drive talks about the drivers of motivation. He says that motivation works the opposite of what we think about compensation for non-menial tasks. Often monetary incentives for problem-solving can be counterproductive to their level of creativity. People want to solve problems. Perhaps the financial part is just a token but the real reward may be in giving them greater responsibility or a bigger role in further problem solving.

Here are some creativity quotes

  • Henry Mintzberg: “Management is, above all, a practice where art, science, and craft meet.” As a manager, it is your responsibility to create an environment where creativity is encouraged and supported.
  • Maya Angelou:  “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”
  • Steve Jobs:  “Creativity is just connecting things.”
  • Danielle LaPorte: “Doubt is part of the creative process.”
  • Erwin Raphael McManis “True Creativity does not come easy, it is born out of risk and refined from failure
  • Pablo Picasso: “The chief enemy of creativity is good sense;”
  • Sylvia Plath: “The worst enemy of creativity is self-doubt”
  • Peter Drucker: “The best way to predict the future is to create it.”
  • Einstein: “Creativty is seeing what everyone else has seen, and thinking what no one else has thought.”

These creativity quotes are just a few that represent what it takes to create innovation. A good manager understands that their employees have valuable ideas that can only make their company more innovative. Innovation is what makes a business thrive because they offer unique solutions to their customers’ problems. By following these tips, you will be able to foster creativity in the workplace.

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