It doesn’t matter what type of industry or business you’re in: if you want to be competitive in this global and digital world, your venture must continually look for ways to innovate so that you stay ahead of the competition. As a result, creativity needs to be a part of your team’s everyday process.
Coming up with new ideas, or interesting combinations of ideas, will not only help you to create bestselling products or services, but also to grow your brand more quickly, find investors, land lots of new customers, encourage referrals, engage your staff members, and help you to keep attracting top talent to your team.
While most leaders understand that they need to have a focus on innovation in the workplace, many don’t know how to go about fostering creativity on the job and how to help employees continually find new ways of thinking about, and completing, tasks as they work together as a team.
If you’re after some helpful tips, read on for three ways you can help your team to work their creativity “muscles” more effectively today, and consequently come up with innovations that will launch your venture into bigger and better things in the future.
One of the most important things you can do to rev up creativity in the workplace is to ensure that all team members feel supported, no matter where they might be located around the world. Workers need to feel safe in voicing their creative ideas, and know that their thoughts will be listened to, encouraged, and even rewarded.
They should know, too, that there won’t be any penalties for trying new things or for thinking differently. After all, if staff members don’t feel safe enough to take some risks in how they think and in what suggestions they put forward, they won’t ever contribute meaningful and innovative ideas. Managers should understand that risk-taking is a much-needed element of creativity, and not expect all ideas to pan out.
To help encourage creativity, the CEO and all other managers must show staff members that they’re a valuable part of the team and that there is no need to feel concerned about suggestions being rebuked. It pays to reward innovative thinking with:
Recognition in front of others
Bonuses, freebies, or awards
Other types of relevant rewards
If leaders struggle to do this, it is a good idea to use outsourced HR services for comprehensive management training.
Implement Creativity Techniques
There are many different helpful creativity techniques which can be implemented at work to assist teams to come up with innovative solutions to problems or opportunities. A great example is brainstorming.
Teams should regularly get together in groups of two or more people to bounce ideas off each other and look for new ways of combining thoughts and processes. Participants should be instructed that there are no silly ideas in these sessions, but rather that the goal of the time is to be as creative and “out of the box” as possible.
To make brainstorming sessions highly effective, some limits should be put in place to foster innovation. Constraints, after all, typically help people to think more laterally and to ultimately come up with more creative ideas.
If, for example, the brainstorming panel is getting together to think of new product ideas, they should be given one or more constraints to work within. These could include instructions such as products must:
Weigh less than an empty bucket
Be made only from recycled or sustainable materials
Be manufactured in half the current price
Make Use of Helpful Work Practices
Lastly, you will also draw more creativity out of your staff members if you incorporate some helpful work practices into the workplace. There are various options to try here, but consider things such as:
Having teams do their work in different locations, to help put them in a new frame of mind
Get people to work with employees from different parts of the company or from another industry or firm all together
Creating diverse teams made up of people who have different strengths and weaknesses, and who come from numerous backgrounds, industries, or parts of the business, will spark innovative ideas more quickly. This is due to the fact that the disparate knowledge, experience and skills sets of such a team will help members to see things from a fresh perspective and to combine thoughts in a fresh way.