Creative approaches are often rejected in business, as people prefer opting for the safety of what they are familiar with, even if it’s failing.
Sometimes the creative idea appears too radical, too risky or too smart – yup, this is where ‘out the box thinking’ is just ‘too out the box.’
But creativity has value to all businesses and steps can be taken to strengthen the workplace’s response and engagement with creative energy. Business goals can be reached without bottling the flow of creative juices that seem to flow from within the creative minds of employees. Allow it to happen and you’ll probably see an improvement in productivity.
According to research by Teresa M. Amabile of Harvard University, three components are needed to enhance creativity in business :
- Expertise (technical, procedural and intellectual knowledge),
- Creative thinking skills (how flexibly and imaginatively people approach problems),
- and Motivation (especially intrinsic motivation).
Motivation is perhaps not as simple as what you think! There are two types of motivation:
- extrinsic motivation – external factors influence you, for example you’re afraid your boss is going to fire you so you work harder or you are hoping to be rewarded and want money.
- intrinsic motivation – this is about having a passion which drives you to excel, reach satisfaction etc.
As a manager, team leader or business owner you can take these steps to encourage motivation:
- Challenge – match people with the right tasks, responsibilities and activities
- Freedom – once they understand the big picture, let people figure out their own ways of reaching the goals;
- Resources – such as time, money, space etc. Give people what they need and don’t expect people to share minimal resources;
- Work group features – divergent (age, culture etc) these are supportive teams where members share the excitement, willingness to help and recognize each others talents;
- Encouragement from above –and we don’t mean heaven! Authority, management, supervisors etc must support the team, give recognition etc.
- Organizational support – value emphasis, information sharing, collaboration and cross pollination.
If you establish an organisation that is supportive of creativity, you are more likely to find appropriate, useful and actionable innovations surfacing.