Creativity requires the freedom to doubt the worth of common practices. Creative people often see familiar things as old-fashioned and out-of-date and want to create something new and worth-while.
Managers and CEOs cannot order staff to be creative, but they can provide working conditions where creativity can flourish.
By building a creative work climate you will ensure tomorrow is better than today.
Five of the best tips to help stimulate creativity
* Provide working conditions where creativity can flourish
Encourage workers to think about their future and the future of the organisation they are working for.
Set up teams made up of people with different skills and experiences and challenge them to solve problems using brainstorming, mind-mapping and other innovative techniques.
Foster co-operation between teams and aim for a friendly, enjoyable, progressive stress-free workplace.
* Encourage workers to question traditional practices
Good communication systems and honest feedback allow people to feel free to express opinions and suggest alternatives.
Creativity varies inversely to the number of people involved in decision making.
* Aim to make tomorrow’s effort better than today’s
Question every task and evaluate it. “Why do we do things this way?” “Is there a better way?” “How can we do better next time?”
* Let people make mistakes, without blame
Accept the fact that there will be mistakes. Treat mistakes as lessons learned. The freedom to make mistakes without blame encourages creativity.
Workers should not be afraid to fail. People know when they have made mistakes. Do not criticise unless mistakes are made too frequently.
* Challenge people to solve specific problems and reward them for innovative ideas
Let them know you appreciate their curiosity, imagination and creativity.
Be generous with your rewards in proportion to the benefits gained.
“Rules, negativity and blame are the enemy of creativity.”
SOURCE: “Secrets for New Managers” Moss Associates Ltd and Cengage Learning Asia. Also available as an e-book from Amazon.com and VitalSource.