Why use a ladder to reach the shelf when each step of the ladder itself can hold a drawer of your shelf ? So basically your ladder itself becomes your shelf.
Dr Teresa Amabile from Harvard Business School could not have made it simpler, when she defined creativity as the process of doing something differently that works. The definition is enough to squeeze out that dormant creativity waiting to ooze out. There is always a process which leads to a product; and most of the times in order to meet deadlines and complete targets the approach at work is more product oriented than process oriented.
Let’s make the journey fun, so that though we’ve been to that destination more than once, we still want to revisit !
Creativity can be chaotic, colourful, can flourish amidst nature and comes alive in a space of free expression. Get your office walls to become colourful canvasses to ideas, photographs, suggestions, even office trivia! Basically anything which can get someone to laugh, someone’s attention, someone’s emotion. From colourful post-its to growing plants in the office to even having colourful furniture; get your employees to engage with not just the work but the workplace too So they feel- Yes! This is the place where I can be free to explore myself and my work.
Let them know it’s fine to share new ideas, irrespective of whether they are taken or not. In order to reassure them that they are a part of this creative fit, allow them the privilege of anonymity. Let them, san inhibitions, take a step forward towards nudging the right part of their brains. Suggestion boxes or idea jars which allow to keep one’s identity discreet may act as welcoming platforms for creative spurts.
Creativity makes way for innovation and an innovation is a hit only if its inclusive. Any innovation which embraces diverse perspectives and circumstances doesn’t only echo creativity, but also creativity which celebrates diversity. Try and encourage diverse perspectives and ideas from employees having different backgrounds. Of course, for that you should consciously make an effort to hire people from diverse communities.
Though creativity is always perceived as an innate attribute, it is something which can be learned. External stimuli too can play a role. For e.g. training or skill development which will enable them to take on a creative path or flexible working options which will encourage work-life balance. Breaks or vacations are important for creative churning, else the mind gets soiled with workload and redundancy. Meeting new people, seeing new places, exposing oneself to different life experiences will definitely get them to bring something new to their work.
Get ready to squeeze that lime real hard, if you want to devour it fully.