5 Easy Ways to Improve Creativity in the Workplace
In order for an idea to be considered as creative, it must be unique and applicable to the solution at hand. If you want to increase your workplace creativity, you need to do more than just talk about it.
Creative thinking is incredibly useful in everyday life and business situations. It shines a new way of doing things.
Some organisations have the facade of being creative. They throw away the dress-code book and haul in a brightly coloured ping pong table, all with the hopes of instilling creativity. Creativity goes much deeper than surface appearances.
If you want to instil creativity within your workplace, you must embed it within the depths of your organisational philosophy and structure.
1. Allow Time Off for Incubation
Creativity arrives on its own accord. Sometimes doing absolutely nothing but think is the biggest magnet for reeling in innovation.
Yet, it is tremendously challenging to be idle judiciously, especially in a work setting where productivity and money are stakeholders.
In fact, doing ‘nothing’ is referred to as ‘incubation’ by psychologists who study the creative process. Incubation comes after you have done your research. You let the ideas simmer in your subconscious and you turn your attention elsewhere, away from the problem and work.
2. Understand the Deeper Mechanics at Play
Randomness is an occasional factor, but mostly, creativity is about finding associations and striking a balance between them. There is a fine line between innovation and outlandishness.
Much of success depends upon balancing the need for innovation while remaining realistic. Interestingly enough, multiple brain regions work in parallel to accomplish this phenomenon.
A recent study noted that the strength of originality correlates with the cooperation between these brain regions. The greater connection between the associative and conservative regions, the more original the idea.
Conservative thinking, such as the understanding of social ties and rules, has a purpose in fostering creativity. Having a touch of conservative thinking shows awareness of how systems work and is important in adding relevance to your solution.
3. Have the Right Mentality
Businesses and leaders that value creativity have a particular way of looking at things. People who value and embrace creative practice know that:
- Risks and uncertainty are calculatingly welcomed. Creative people know that the unknown is the breeding ground for creativity.
- Failure is an occasional by-product, not something that is feared. At the drawing table, ideas are just ideas. No extra weight is placed during the brainstorming stage.
- Open communication is appreciated. In fact, there is no other way. Honesty and directness are important to creativity. By being welcoming, employees will feel like they can be themselves around you.
Many people struggle with fear of acceptance and isolation. If you can help your employees work past this, they will bring the best version of themselves everyday to work. Non-conformity and creativity will show up, too. There’s nothing as inspiring as being accepted for who you are.
4. Create a Warm, Positive Atmosphere
The environment always has an impact. If you influence the environment, you are indirectly effecting employee creativity.
You can create a positive environment by doing small things that add up overtime. For example,
Add a whiteboard. A big one. A large canvas invites people to write, draw, and leave their mark. Ideas will quickly grow. If not, people will have fun and bond. Whiteboards are also great surfaces for graphic facilitation. You can represent your meeting ideas with visual imagery. Visually representing complex concepts will inspire your employees.
Add colour: Think about colour psychology. It’s a real thing. Grey and beige offices are associated with depression. Blues and greens are associated with bringing deeper focus and happiness. Save the splash of red for a particular section where you want to draw attention. An entire office space covered in red can be pretty jarring, causing eye-strain in the long run.
5.Get a Hold of Interpersonal Relations
Sometimes, creativity stalls when friction exists amongst employees. Not seeing eye to eye is a natural part of life and a conflict is bound to spur somewhere along the way.
Knowing how to handle these moments of dissent while knowing how to cultivate authenticity and warmth amongst employees will help increase creativity and teamwork within your workplace. Start building positive interpersonal relations and creativity will skyrocket.
You can foster creativity and teamwork simultaneously through team building activities.
Cultivating creativity is an art that takes a lot of discipline. With enough practice, prioritising creativity will become second nature to you.
It is important to have environments that draw out creativity in various situations. Sometimes breakthroughs are encountered individualistically, other times within a team setting. You must encourage both forms.
Remember that creativity is a core value and must be present within daily interactions. Plenty of opportunities exist for embedding creativity into your workplace culture, from refreshening your interior design to strengthening interpersonal relations.