Creative ideas are the ones suggested by creative people, and these people are the ones who think of these ideas. Definitions of creativity are circular and confusing, and they are the basis of how we see it in our developing world of innovation. Many companies and entrepreneurs have already found the secret formula of the ultimate solution for an unresolved problem, while others are consistently searching for their creative and life-changing ideas. Creative solutions must be both original and relevant to a certain problem, as an original solution is not necessarily a relevant one, and vice versa. Traditional approaches to understanding the process of creative thinking defined the moment of finding a solution as an "AHA!" or a eureka moment. However, modern approaches refer to the creative process as a searching process in the space of mind, which brings us to the conclusion that creativity can be taught and is something we can work on.
A study conducted by Gallup found that 3 of the most important factors needed to enhance creativity at work are surprisingly uncommon:
- Expectations to be creative and think of new ways to do things at work.
- Time to be innovative and time allotment to discuss new ideas.
- Freedom to take visionary risks that could lead to important new products, services or solutions.
So, how else are we going to improve creativity, with these limited resources in modern workplaces? Here are 3 solid and research-based tips for fostering this essential skill for your team.
Be Passionate, Think Critical, Become Creative
Creative thinking and critical thinking go hand in hand. While creative thinking leads to the action of generating new ideas, critical thinking is the action of looking at existing ideas and analyzing or judging them. Creativity will never be ideal without knowing how to find a problem or a misperfection in the world, and that is exactly what critical thinking is all about. The question of how to build the ability to think critically is a subject for another article. However, Harvard Business Review formed a research-based framework for doing just that. Uri Levine, the co-founder of Waze, once made a memorable statement: "Fall in love with the problem, not the solution, and the rest will follow". Think critically, find a problem, be passionate about it, and once you become an expert - the rest will follow.
Leader Behavior is Key For Creativity
Team leaders are the ones we all count on in terms of providing direction, instruction, and guidance. They are expected to develop strategies and provide training, but also to set an example for the team and fulfill their needs. This is also true for their responsibility to pave the way and grant the right tools and resources for making the team more creative. A study conducted by the Georgia Institute of Technology and published by ScienceDirect examined the impact of leader behavior on subordinate creativity. It was found that leader behavior contributing to problem construction and feelings of self-efficacy lead to higher subordinate creativity. Other essential actions a team leader can take in order to improve team creativity are discussed in "Handbook of Creativity". I think that the most important one is building motivation, especially internal motivation. That means, motivate your team to perform an activity for their own growth and learning. Let your team feel content by transferring the meaning and importance of their assignments. Emphasis and explain what new skills will they earn and how they can benefit from it. Gaining a personal advantage will encourage your co-workers to think creatively, improving themselves, and effectively contributing to their workplace.
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Unlock Agility By Using Smart Tools
A Gallup article noted that "innovation is at the core of an agile workplace culture". Agility is becoming a really important value in the last few years, as hi-tech companies are competing for control in various fields. It seems like rapid work and innovation are the most requested qualities in the industry. Fast and productive work improves product quality and makes future factors like costs and schedule more predictable. The same article also offered 4 actions you can take in order to become more agile and encourage innovation in your workplace. One of them is applying an improved 3P design thinking - focus on people, place, and process, as they all tied together and affect each other in various ways. Create a great place where people can conceive diverse ideas through the creative process. A flaw in one of these aspects will harm the rest. Gallup suggests using the team's most prominent strengths, and it requires certain resources, such as technology, analytics, and time.
Many smart tools that can provide you with these are available in the market. Take deepTalk for example; an AI-based meeting assistant that provides you and your team with automated meeting minutes. It can save you lots of time and boost your productivity, as well as make your business more technology oriented - which will carry automation, collaboration and fertility. That will give you the ground and time for being more creative and executing your pioneering ideas.
Creativity is Closer Than You Think
Creativity is hands down one of the most desirable skills for a team, especially these days, when we are expected to find the best ways to work remotely. But you shouldn't let that stop you from doing your best job. You've got it in you - you just need to try, and your team will find incredible answers to your questions.