Creativity pioneers the workplace. The heart of any business lies in its ability to differentiate itself from those around it, be it through unique ideas or refined business operations. Bosses know this. Some choose to throw money at it, others have their own techniques. Creativity is a finicky process, but with some proper thought from a leader, it can flourish. Here are some things you can try in order to facilitate creativity in the workplace.
Creativity in the Workplace
1) Skip the meetings
This isn’t to say that meetings are absolutely useless; they have their place when it comes to organizing things and keeping tabs on employees. However, if you plan to use meetings as a means to accrue new ideas, keep dreaming (if you haven’t already dozed of mid-meeting). Meetings may be useful when it comes to an exchange of ideas, but sitting everyone down and expecting them to brainstorm isn’t actually brainstorming. Creativity can’t be crammed into a meeting, nor can it be forced by bosses. The process isn’t that simplistic and one-dimensional.
2) Get ready to fail
Uncertainty is inevitable in every new idea. When creativity sparks, the ideas it forms are just that –sparks. As a leader, it would be best to recognize that ideas are never created in a full package. They need to be tinkered with. Employees have to experiment and see if that creative spark is truly effective for the workplace. Experimentation implies a risk of failure –that’s something you have to accept.
When failure does happen, don’t shove the blame on the idea. Acknowledge the uncertainty creativity generates. Similarly, be ready to face the effects of failure. Think of it as a necessary part of the workplace. If you meet failure with harshness, you’ll get what you want: less failure. But is that what you really need?
3) Stop the overload
Creativity usually occurs when the mind has the chance to wander. When employees are barraged with information from all sides and dozens of pressuring tasks, the mind cannot do so. Instead, it focuses on coping with the problems at hand. Information and tasks are inevitable; it’s about the degree of information and tasks that an employee has to process in the workplace. A certain leeway should be provided to allow employees to explore outside the confines of the problems they face in their job.
This is a no-brainer, but a necessary point to make. If new ideas are met with apathy, there is no reason for an employee to present them to you. Appreciate suggestions; welcome them. They may not always be great, but each opinion has its value waiting to be discovered by an insightful leader. Sometimes, leaders may unintentionally appear apathetic; for that, care must be taken as to not appear as a leader who doesn’t appreciate creativity.
Appreciation is a form of motivation in itself. Acceptance feels good, and you as a leader have the power to give it to others competing for your feedback.