Some people might think it’s crazy that Google created a 20% program that allows its developers to spend 20% of their workday on a creative project of their own —but, not me. I’m a huge believer in encouraging and rewarding team member creativity!
In fact, I recently read a piece that said a whopping 80% of US and UK residents feel pressure to be productive vs. creative at work. Think about that for a second … we’re so focused on productivity and results that we’re creating a culture where productivity is praised and creativity is often stifled.
At the same time, over 60% of CEOs agree that creativity was the most important skill to have in a leadership role — followed by integrity and global thinking.
What are we doing? How can we create a culture in our businesses that promote creativity? That’s not to say that productivity should be thrown out the window — we still need to be productive — but, I’d venture to say that fostering creativity, in the end, actually brings about projects that people are passionate about. And, guess what happens then? Productivity increases!
With that said … I wanted to look at some of the best tips for fostering creativity in the workplace. Here’s what I found:
#1. Encourage Collaboration
When we encourage collaboration among team members, we can often be surprised by the results. It’s amazing what can happen when we meet in a relaxed setting to riff off each others’ ideas and there are no pressures to produce a tactical solution or product — to simply just create what excites us.
#2. Get New Perspectives
When’s the last time the marketing department met with the sales department? Cross-department meetings and sync-ups can create an opportunity for new perspectives. If you’ve ever felt like you can’t see the forest for the trees — bring in team members from different departments to get their opinions. Having that new perspective can be all that’s needed to spark creativity.
#3. Create a Positive Work Environment
There’s something to be said about how your team members feel in their workplace. We’ve seen all the talk lately about creating office spaces that work for the way your team works. But, outside of the actual physical space, what is the vibe (or the culture) in your office? Are you really encouraging creativity? Are you encouraging team building? Comradare?
#4. Don’t Micromanage
I repeat: Don’t Micromanage.
Give your team members the flexibility and freedom to use their creativity for good. When we micromanage or spell out the specific way a task or project needs to be executed – we’re instantly knifing creativity. Let your team explore. Let them try. Let them fail. Let them try again. It’s through these processes that creativity can flourish.
What are some of the ways that you’re fostering creativity in your office? Or, better yet, leave a comment and tag the person who supports YOUR creativity the most.