“Creativity is contagious – pass it on.”
Contagiousness may have become a dreaded word in the past few years, but when it comes to creativity, this quote from Albert Einstein holds true in any time and under any circumstances.
Innovation and growth thrive on new ideas, so you should always foster creative thinking among your employees. As noted in a leadership study conducted by IBM, 60 percent of CEOs identified creativity as the single most important quality for business success.
There Are No Bad Ideas
Creativity fosters an open work environment, and vice versa. Be sure yours is a company culture in which employees are encouraged to speak up with new concepts and action plans.
- Hold brainstorming sessions and similar forums to encourage creative flow. When doing so, always reinforce the principle that there is no such thing as a bad idea or suggestion.
- Don’t expect perfection. Instead, use setbacks and failures as learning opportunities. This helps people feel more comfortable taking calculated risks, knowing there will be no negative repercussions. As noted by Graham Henshaw, executive director of the Entrepreneurship Center at the College of William and Mary, innovators must have “an openness to risk … You’re willing to take risks where you might fail, but you learn something from that failure and move forward.”
Allow Time for Creativity
Creativity doesn’t happen on demand. Make sure employees’ workload allows for a reasonable amount of time to experiment, think, and work on possible new ideas and solutions. Also, allow people to deliver their ideas in different formats. A more visually-oriented individual may want to sketch out a concept, while someone else may prefer to submit a brief written outline.
Acknowledge employees for thinking creatively, even if things don’t pan out as planned. Bring up fresh ideas you’ve noticed from people during one-on-one meetings, and provide recognition and rewards during staff of town hall meetings if a project was a success.
And remember – this time, in the words of poet Maya Angelou – “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”
The talent management experts at PrideStaff Modesto can help with strategic staffing and workforce development solutions including building creativity, teamwork and innovation as you grow your successful business. Contact us today to learn more about what we can do for you.