How to improve creative thinking in the workplace
How important is creativity in your company? Depending on the type of work you do you may think it’s not that high on the list of priorities but you could be mistaken.
A study by international management consultancy McKinsey suggests firms employing more creativity in the workplace are more likely to record above average organic revenue growth than those that don’t. But just how easy is it to promote creative thinking at work? These tips will help:
Consider flexible working
It’s hard for staff to feel creative when they’re working to stringent timetables and strict procedures. If possible, consider offering your staff flexible working hours. By doing so you’ll allow them to work when they’re at their most creative and productive rather than simply clock watching.
Be open to mistakes
It’s impossible to think freely and ‘outside of the box’ when you’re far too worried about making a mistake. Encourage staff to come up with innovative ideas – and to try them – by reassuring them that you know mistakes are par for the course. Avoid pushing ahead with anything that could be detrimental to your business or client base but rather, allow for teething problems with new ideas.
Create space to think
Think ‘creative workspace’ and you’re likely to conjure up images of bean bags and table football a la Google’s offices but developing a creative environment doesn’t necessarily mean turning your office into a glorified common room. Consider the workspaces available to your staff and ask yourself whether there are enough options available to encourage different types of working. Are there spaces where the team can brainstorm? Quiet areas to work on an idea? A place to eat lunch and chat together? All of these will help promote greater creativity and collaboration.
It’s no good telling staff to come to you with new ideas if you make it very difficult for them to do so. A full team meeting once a month for everyone at the office might not be the most inviting place for a staff member to offer a new suggestion or idea. Instead, make sure you’re accessible to your staff. Keep your office door open. Encourage them to come in and chat to you when they have an idea or, indeed, a problem. Consider an old school approach and have a suggestion box in the office. Anything that sends the message ‘your ideas and thoughts are welcome.’