#Creativity in a Workplace – Why and How?
#Apple is considered to be synonymous with #creativity. With its “Think Different” ideology, it has nudged others, including its competitors, to do the same. While the #Apple logo oozes #creativity, its actions too are in sync with its #creativity ideology.
#Apple’s belief in #creativity has reached such proportions that it has topped the list of “Most Innovative Companies” published by #Boston Consulting Group 11 years in a row! #Apple is known more for its innovation and design than for its technology.
Another inspiring case is that of #Google. By inviting speakers ranging from authors to musicians like #Lady Gaga, #Google Talks exhibits that it has realized the importance of #creativity in workplace. These speakers are not from the technology field, nor do they know what is #Google currently working on. But they have a clear aim in mind – instill the spark of #creativity in the team’s mind, thus encouraging them to think differently.
Even #IMB, which is considered as one of the most conventional and traditional company, sees merit in brainstorming and also knows the advantages of #creativity in a business environment. The company hosts jam events for its employees, where they are encouraged to present their creative ideas. #IBM’s belief in the such sessions is so strong that it once conducted a mega-brainstorming session for over 150,000 people across 100 countries.
Bozeman, MT based pet product maker #West Paw encourages all its employees to participate in designing prototypes for its new products. Under its Ambassador Program, every year for a period of three months 3Ziba sends its employees to different ‘tribes’ (teams) to understand specialties of all the team members. They get to experience different kind of work and new skills. They believe that diversity brings in a different perspective. This enables the team to understand the various elements of the business in a better way.
Steve Jobs once said “#Creativity is just connecting things, this is mostly right. However, If I had to iterate on this (as many designers are known to), I would say that ‘#Creativity is connecting the ‘right’ things’”.
Today’s organisations value the importance of collaboration and understand the importance of #creativity at a workplace. While there are those business owners and managers who offer ‘thinking out of the box’. For some it is mere lip service, it still remains as a popular fact of life. For the rest, ‘thinking out of the box’ is one of the basic reasons for their success.
However, understanding this fact and fostering it are two different things.
Value of #creativity in workplace from Award Winning Companies
- If #creativity is fostered, employees feel that their voices are heard and not silenced under the guise of policy or management. Infact, increased freedom and empowerment increases employee confidence and morale greatly.
- The sense of safety and well-being in employees improves.
- Cohesion in teams improves morale, making the culture more fun, happy and relaxed for employees.
- #Creativity fosters the spirit to seek multiple options, in the employee’s mind and encourages them to search for better business solutions.
- Successful cultures result in successful businesses. In order to flourish, it also requires creative evolution that grows with the business. With #creativity in its culture, no business will fail.
- No sooner the brain starts to think outside the box, the possibilities are limitless.
While maximum productivity is obtained in a business by building certain level of built-in routine, this in no way is an excuse for not fostering creative fun at work. Tech giant Hewlett-Packard, has roped in Trey McIntyre Project, a dance troupe to perform and then interact with the HP employees, as per CNN business. Peter Drucker once said “The business enterprise has two—and only two—basic functions: marketing and innovation.” So where does #creativity come into this? It is right there, when you get rid of all the bells and whistles, ‘innovation is the real #creativity.’
Innovation enables organizations to survive by providing agility and flexibility. The question now is, how can one increase innovation in an organization?
Ideas to extract advantages of #creativity in business by nurturing creative thinking at an individual employee level and also across the organization.
- Inculcate a culture of continuous learning. If the creative levels are not refilled continuously, the pool will dry out. Organisations must encourage its employees to search for newer ways of doing their work, search for new information and knowledge on a continuous basis.
- Develop a habit of encouraging multiple options and never be happy with just one.
- Don’t reach conclusions immediately. Discuss ideas.
- Encourage smaller groups to engage in creative thinking, during lunch breaks or on weekly / monthly basis.
- Help employees stationed at one place for a longer period, due to their nature of work to meet employees.
- Take breaks at regular intervals. Human brain is one of the most active organs. Just like machine parts, brain too needs some off time too. Thus, avoiding breakdowns. This will boost productivity, energy levels and foster #creativity.
- Work on the culture. Various studies indicate that the environment that is most conducive to #creativity is where fun, playfulness, humor and spontaneity thrive.
Through this piece, I would like to tell you the story of a small organization, our organization! I personally believe that the work atmosphere should be such that employees feel empowered and liberated all the time. While there are certain conditions that hold us back, but wherever possible, we try and let the employees take a call on issues that trouble them. We at Litmus, realize the importance of #creativity in workplace. We have still not reached our destination. We are sincerely trying to walk towards that direction. As an organization we are growing in number, expanding our scale, launching new projects, conducting various experiments. The set of our satisfied clients is increasing steadily and so is their business. All these are signs, that we are on the right track and the destination is getting nearer each day.