Individual creativity and business creativity are rather different things. Individuals want their creativity to serve their individual ends. Companies want the creativity of their employees to serve company ends. And so a natural tension exists between what a person craves and what a company requires. In today’s post, creativity coach Natalia Font explores this theme.
Creativity refers to an expression of individual potential for the generation and implementation of new ideas. Companies feed on these ideas to add value to clients' lives. But what is the source of creativity for companies?
Their human resources.
This is why it is essential to encourage creative thinking if we want to solve problems and improve people's lives. For this I have my own mantra, "We are all creative and creativity is trainable."
We are living in a VUCA context (volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous), although this is of course not completely new. Although there are some quiet times, we can say that life does not miss an opportunity to surprise us. Who has not ever rushed into the car to get to a meeting and the blessed resource of four wheels decided not to start? Who hasn't felt hopeless in front of the copier trying to print that urgent management report? Who has not been upset knowing that the competition launched to the market the very same innovative service that you had come up with that morning?
In all these cases, creativity can save us. We close our eyes almost like a prayer, we breathe deeply and—almost as if by magic—a solution appears. Or not. Well, let me tell you that what happens in those moments is not magic. What happens is what has been put into practice some time before, and it is called observation: observation as a conscious, holistic (using all the senses) and permanent phenomenon.
Here are some ideas to encourage creativity in companies:
1. Mini presentations: Take advantage of common areas where people can put into practice saying a few words about, for example, what role they play in the company or what project they are working on at the moment. One never knows how observant the one in front of us is and how much he can contribute to our work. It can be implemented digitally or in person at work meetings.
2. Special guests: Invite people to apply to collaborate for two days in a different sector than where they work. Allowing for empathy is a basic principle of creativity. Empathic people are great observers. Giving room to new points of view helps expand your thinking.
3. Weekly Mindfulness Encounter: Techniques such as yoga or simply a practice of breathing and meditation can help us deal with anxiety and connect to the present moment—and thus be available to absorb information. Also, people will be more appreciative and learn to honor your workspace.
4. One of each: Encouraging interdisciplinary or cross-disciplinary teamwork will provide different points of view on the benefits and disadvantages of a product or service. It could also be applied for the review of processes in order to make them more efficient and even more pleasant. Collaboration expands teams and guides individual goals toward a shared goal.
5. Good customs: Framing processes in routines helps creativity, as well as being precise with the directives in each project. Being clear, for example, about delivery times, the assigned budget, and the customer’s focus shows what is important, increases production, and trains the brain. Creativity will help to see limits as opportunities.
6. Long live the clueless: Give leaders the opportunity to learn something that has nothing to do with their expertise. It is vital that leaders embrace the concept of infinite learning and pollinate this vision across their teams.
Ideas are everywhere. We just need to be observant and alert to them.