“Creativity is contagious. Pass it on.” –Albert Einstein
Creativity is the true driver of innovation. In order to develop your business and always stay on top of the game with innovative ideas, promoting and preserving creativity in your team is of vital importance. However, it can be difficult to continuously come up with new ideas. More often than we’d like to admit, even the most innovative minds get stuck in a rut. So, here are some real life examples from Helloprint about how to avoid creative blanks and incite creativity amidst teams:
Regularly scheduled brainstorming sessions
Brainstorming is a process, which allows you to come up with new ideas. The best and most effective way to brainstorm is in a group, since people bounce ideas off each other and the best are the result of challenging discussions. However, it can also be disastrous, if you are not sure how to run a brainstorming meeting. Here are some points on how to do it:
- Have a topic. In order for the meeting to be fruitful, it is important to brainstorm on one particular idea at a time.
- Keep it small. A brainstorming session with too many people can be worse than you doing it on your own. It is better to keep a close-knit group to avoid too many cooks in the kitchen.
- Jot it down. Always write notes during the meeting, so that you don’t forget all the valuable insights that might pop-up. Moreover, you can tape the meeting with the permission of those prosent.
- Ask people to come prepared. Usually, if people get hyped about an idea before hand, the whole meeting has a more positive energy. Also, with ready ideas, the meeting goes smoothly and is usually shorter.
- Have a “no idea is a bad idea” attitude. Encourage all kinds of ideas, even the ones you yourself think are absolutely impossible.
Time outside of work
Respect and honesty are very important traits that your team should have as a group. However, that kind of trust to be honest with each other is not built only in the office, you need to spend time outside of work together sometimes.
In order to be blunt with each other, when discussing ideas, a team should really feel comfortable with each other. It’s as simple as going for drinks after work or sharing your hobbies, if one of you is good at sports, dancing or cooking organize a lesson. Getting to know each other outside the professional world will provide comfort when expressing out-of-the-box ideas later on.
Another idea is to share your hobbies, if one of you is good at sports, organize a lesson or dancing, cooking, it can be anything.
Inspiration and creativity are intrinsically linked. Trying to create a new idea from scratch out of nothing is hard, but having inspiration on which you can build in order to be innovative seems to make ideas come easier. But, how do you promote inspiration and encourage it? Here are some ideas:
- Have an inspiration board for your team, where everybody can put up post-it notes and articles of other businesses or people that are inspiring.
- Change working location. Sometimes, even your surroundings matter and change experiences. Having a routine is counterproductive, so every once in a while go out the office with your colleagues and have a meeting in a cafe, for instance.
- Question everything. Erase your mind of assumptions and ask all the questions that you think have obvious answer, because they might not be that obvious.
Context, not control
A Helloprint philosophy is that management provides context, not control. In order for creativity to thrive, freedom is a must. Teams have to feel free and confident that no idea of theirs is too out there. This is achievable with trust and a lot of transparency. A good idea is to explain company processes, shifts of direction, developments, progress and pretty much anything big or small that may be moving in the life of a business.
This over-exposure of the internal processes to all employees will ensure that everybody is aware of where the company is headed in order to decide which creative ideas are worth investing time in and align with the business’ goals. Therefore, in order to assure that creativity is promoted, trust in the common sense of employees is vital.
Creativity is such an abstract concept that has come to define our age. Nowadays, the route to success flows through the abstraction of creativity, so make sure you have the toolkit to promote it.
This article was a guest post by Slavena Varbanova.Slavena Varbanova is the newest addition to the Helloprint content marketing team. She is studying Communication and Media at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. She is also a bookworm that loves to cook and go on adventures around the world. Check out more by her on the Helloblog.