Keep Your Creativity Buzzing In The Workplace

Monday, July 16, 2012

Keep Your Creativity Buzzing In The Workplace

Creativity in the workplace is the holy grail of any corporate business. Innovation is frequently cited as being the critical factor in growth, development and business success. Much time is spent discussing the subject of creativity and what it looks like in the workplace, and yet most people are hard pushed to describe truly creative practices that occur in their offices.

The challenges of big corporate

So how do we ensure that our staff members are working in a creative fashion? Do we automatically need to outsource our innovative work to agencies, or can we foster a sense of creativity within our own teams? Actually, who cares anyway? Well, it's only through innovation and new ways of doing things that businesses develop and launch new products or services, find new and better ways of running themselves, invent new things, cut costs in better ways or even entirely disrupt the market with a new technology or launch. Therefore, corporate boards realise the monetary value of ideas.

But staffs are bogged down with day to day realities of working in large corporate, whether that's dealing with large amount of administration, complex and heavyweight hierarchies, slow and convoluted decision-making processes and an all-encompassing focus on process compliances such as IR35 compliance . All these are certainly necessary but require different skills to innovate.

Allow staff to create

To stimulate creativity, staffs need to be allowed to create. This means removing stifling processes and weighty sign-off systems and allowing teams to come together to try doing things in a new way. Many organisations set up hub areas, where staff can experiment with new ideas and fresh thoughts away from the constraints of their everyday jobs. This means coming away from the desks for a time, going to a new environment, changing the working day around and allowing different people to interact with each other in a stimulating environment.

Teams can be formed that are different in personality, temperament and background, to look at a particular problem or opportunity. Management can adopt looser and more flexible ways of managing these teams, delegating levels of responsibility downwards and fostering a culture where mistakes are allowed to happen and actively encouraged if it means that innovation is taking place.

Communication and an open culture of exchanging ideas and curiosity need to be fostered. Ideas need to be celebrated for their own sake and allowed to develop and refine, without being immediately stamped down or marked against corporate commercials.

Many academic thinkers believe that every individual has a great capacity for creativity. For the corporation, this means setting up a culture and framework that allows individuals to feel supported enough to develop these skills and start to develop themselves. By implication, the culture must be fun, forward thinking, supportive, energetic and informal to a certain degree. Such a culture is reinforcing. Creativity grows and engenders further and greater creativity. If managers can feel empowered and confident enough to build such cultures and embrace their teams into working in new ways, then the results will be clearly visible.

About the author:

My name is Zoe and I'm a freelance writer and business blogger.

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