Many of us (especially if we’re working in any kind of corporate role) wrongly assume that to be creative, means to be artistic.
In fact, creativity involves using our imagination or original ideas to create something. It’s about being inventive. That means we all have an inner creative, whether we’re working the reception or are the top dog, running the show.
Here are 3 ways to foster a creative culture in your team, and what happens when you do.
A culture of creativity isn’t about bringing together hipsters in pimped-up rooms with ping-pong tables. It is about creating safe spaces in which everyone can be heard, and ideas shared and implemented through solid leadership.
If people always see that their ideas are shut down and not listened to, acknowledged or even worse, if they are agreed to and then they don’t happen, then those people will stop coming forward and they’ll eventually move to a company where they feel their contribution is making a difference.
Remember, the loudest voice is not always the best solution!
In Sir Ken Robinson’s 2006 Ted Talk, ‘Do schools kill creativity?’, he says: “If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original.”
By the time children reach adulthood, Robinson explains that they are fearful of making mistakes. This carries over into the workplace and stifles the very generation of ideas.
Coming up with creative ideas is a process. It involves brainstorming and adding to each other’s suggestions – it’s rarely an ‘Aha’ moment that gets picked, pitched and implemented straight away.
As Jacob Morgan, Head of The Future Organization, says: “If you don’t have an organization where people feel the ability to be vulnerable, to be empathetic, to be themselves, then you are not going to have collaboration.”
Whenever we have the opportunity to be creative with our teams, employees or customers, we must remember we’re connecting human to human. It’s not about showing off or only talking about the positives.
What is the situation right now? How are people feeling and what challenges is everyone facing?
Don’t hide any bad news. Lying or covering up the truth only makes things worse. But make sure you move to the solutions, show the future opportunity that everyone, and every idea, can be a part of.
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Emma’s earlier article full of great ideas for How to Kick Start Your Inner Creative.