There is not a business in the world that does not want to be more creative in its thinking, products, services and processes. At many global small businesses, being first to market or with a new product idea is not only a coveted role to play but also necessary for survival. In this article, I talk about six ways to tap into a bountiful source of creativity that might be right in front of you and how to make creativity a way of life.
Oftentimes, creativity starts with chaos and winds down to a solid breakthrough idea. Here’s how to lift the creative curtain and make breakthrough ideas happen.
Foster an atmosphere that is conducive to thinking and expressing ideas freely, meaning, do not penalize people for making mistakes.
Instead, embrace the mavericks who, when they have a misstep or an exhilarating failure, not only do they tell you about it in person or virtually but they also figure out in the grand scheme of things that their next piece of work will be more creative because they HAD the misstep! Think of this as each and every person in the company having the benefit of performing an amazing high-wire act with the benefit of a safety net.
Yes, some rules are made for a reason, but most exist to keep people in line, hence prohibiting the creativity that so needs to be cultivated and nurtured at a company. If, for example, you say “no T-shirts allowed while working” and your top creative gal shows up at a Zoom meeting with a T-shirt that reads: “I’m a rule-breaker,” what are you going to do? For every constraint you put on an employee to do things your way, the greater the chance you are sucking the lifeblood of creativity right out of an organization.
Free people to design their own work space, especially now more than ever with our current crisis that puts most people working out of their homes.
If you want 24/7 creativity, then let people have a say on what style of environment works best for them to fuel their creativity! Do your employees need to have earbuds in for listening to music while they work? Then let them. Do they need to view a Netflix movie on a second desktop in order to fuel creative ideas? Then let them. Do they need to have pictures of their dog, cat, children and significant other all around as they work? Then let them. If you want inspiring work, let people select what inspires them to create that work.
Focus on teamwork that encourages trust, crazy creative ideas, a give-and-take attitude and countless breakthroughs.
The end result is that everyone reaps the benefits of the creative process. Remember, there is a method to the madness.
Immerse yourself and your team in every aspect of a new product or service launch and that means observing people in real-life situations or virtually, if need be.
Analyze the product or service from every imaginable perspective and that includes putting yourself in the shoes of a customer, child, grandparent or any other type of consumer. Once you do that, then connect in whatever way you can with the customer, child, grandparent or other consumers to ask questions and get feedback.
Watch for what works and what doesn’t work, what people like or don’t like and why, and then improve as you go along.
This can be at the front end, during the middle or at the end of what might be, for instance, a discussion around a prototype on a new product idea. No idea is so great that it cannot be improved upon.
Once you get really good at creativity, make it your way of creativity. In other words, get so good at it that people talk about creativity by using your company name. For example, let’s do it the Apple way of creating. Or the wegg® way of creating.
Don’t sit on a creative fence because creativity is it for the foreseeable future. It’s the centerpiece of most businesses’ strategic initiatives and it most certainly sells, not just locally, but globally.