Familiarity is a comfortable concept, yet it lacks a sense of growth. When you become accustomed to a certain mode of existence or a state of being and create walls of comfort around that particular space, you hesitate to venture out of it. Change is a fearsome thing, after all. It thrusts you into the unknown where a single misstep might elevate you or lead you to your doom. However, such a rise and fall teaches you something new, and it is this new, ‘out-of-the-box’ wisdom which we’re after and which, ultimately, creates greatness.
Same goes for commerce. Businesses that still prefer to follow traditional modalities often find themselves smothered by sparky new startups that risk it all over a visionary pursuit of original, raw ideas. Their light-bulb moments enable them to discover new grounds and sprinkle a bit of perfection in the over-exhausted business niche. Once caught on by the waves of popularity, their organization sees a boost unlike ever before. Conversely, if you wish to unlock the creative potential of your own firm on a large scale, then read the following tips which will help you do just that.
Let ‘em Relax and Unwind
“A happy worker is a productive worker.” This is an established principle, keeping which in mind, you should transform your organization into an employee-friendly place. Do away with the old restricted ‘cubicle’ mentality and introduce flexibility in your policies. Take the example of Google. According to Insider, Google employees are offered free meals, team bonding cooking classes, talks with their favorite celebrity speakers, on-site gyms and workout classes, massage therapy, free transport shuttle service on campus etc. If not these, you could at least dedicate a separate relaxation room for your team having beanbag chairs, foosball tables and/or entertainment units hooked with the amazing FiOS TV packages. Just let them unwind, and work in an environment that boosts their creativity.
Get Infrastructure for Execution
There is a difference between fiction and fact. One has the support of fantasy; the other has the element of practicality. Standalone creative brainstorming without the respective organizational infrastructure to ‘actually execute’ the innovative ideas is just an imaginary thing. In other words, if you wish to promote creativity within your team, then you need to have the corresponding resources at hand to act upon it and give it the shape of reality. Remove any barriers in the way of this implementation and allow efficiency to flow through the new creative system.
Set Titillating Incentives
The rewards system is another great way to introduce creativity into your organization’s setup. People work with a greater motivation when they can visualize the end, or what benefits they shall entail by putting in their efforts. Once you magnify these ‘rewards’ for creative inputs, in the form of small-scale incentives such as recognition or monetary privileges, you will be surprised to see the workers taking your creativity-unlocking initiative seriously.
Fix Proper Brainstorming Sessions
There are particular time slots in a day, like from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (post-breakfast) or from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. (post lunch), when the mind is at its most activated state and ready to deal with new challenges. As an organizational leader, you should take advantage of these prime hours to unlock your team’s collective creativity. It can be best executed through proper brainstorming sessions, made almost mandatory for every individual on the workforce three to five times a week. People with varied profiles, natures, and thinking capabilities could put their heads together to solve a problem or bring something new to the table. With such a practice in place, the overall mundane nature of the regular repetitive work would be kept in check, and employees would be saved from losing their creative potential to rust.
Record Absolutely Everything
Some of the best ideas about something that has been preoccupying your mind magically conjure up when you are least expecting them to. For me, it is in the showers. So, what I do is that I keep a notepad on me 24/7, which I review later on. For greater convenience and collaboration, you could make use of cloud-based virtual platforms for jotting down and discussing creative ideas that occur to anyone from your team at any time. This way upon recording, you or your team could collectively revisit the entries, discuss their potential and create something completely new out of the chaos.
Implement a Judgement-Free Culture
Most of the time people don’t speak out because they’re afraid others will judge them for it. No matter how brilliant and innovate their ideas are, they remain in the dark because of such ‘dissing’ and ‘personal attacking’ possibilities. This sort of negativity is precisely what you should curtail when it comes to your corporation’s culture. Tell your team that when they enter the ‘creativity-unleashing’ room, they are entering a non-judgmental, cooperative and most importantly, a safe space. Once they feel secure, they will be eager to partake.
Promote Idea Association
Looking at dull and monotonous data sheets for nine hours straight can hardly inspire innovation in anyone, right? Therefore, in order to help your team think outside the box, you should convert that dry information into sensually appealing graphics. Aids like real-time dashboards, trendy videos or virtual pie charts could possibly open the vision of your workforce, enable them to digest the complex data in a short amount of time, and connect the dots by means of idea association, leading to the breaking of new grounds and discovery of unheard of solutions.
Therefore, by implementing the aforementioned steps towards harnessing workplace creativity, you could actually pave the way for the future stability of your organization.