Creativity is the foundation of every company. Whether it’s a new product, new recruit or new technology, businesses everywhere are always seeking originality. It should come as no surprise therefore that creativity has become a sought-after skill and is now a number one priority in the workplace; but what actually is this creative talent everyone is looking for?
Creativity is defined as the ability to generate original ideas and use one’s imagination to see things from a different perspective. It is often considered as a personality trait which varies from person to person, but really it is a skill which can be developed over time.
So how can you cultivate this creative skill in your employees?
1. Fuel curiosity
Curiosity is a natural instinct among children, but it is also an essential trait for creative types. As Albert Einstein famously stated: “I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.” Creative people in effect have the ability to channel their inner-child; they are enthusiastic about learning new things and are always open to new opportunities. However, curiosity can be a high-maintenance inclination; it needs to be consistently nurtured by asking questions, being inquisitive and venturing into the unknown. Encourage risk-taking and celebrate your employee’s failures when they do take chances; showing that you embrace their willingness to be creative will boost their confidence and motivate them to continue being a curious risk-taker.
2. Make time for imagination
Creative people are extremely imaginative. They have the ability to think outside-the-box, exploring every wild and abstract solution before coming up with their own intuitive insight. However, creative individuals also often have a strong belief in their own ideas, sometimes preventing them from seeking new and original ways of thinking. It’s for this reason that leisure time (yes, leisure time) is essential to unleashing imagination. Even though you may not enjoy the workshops, office parties or team outings, encourage your employees to participate in these moments of downtime. Studies show that when people are idle and relaxed, they escape into what’s called “default mode network,” one of the most engaged and active networks in the brain. After all, it makes sense seeing as some of the most creative and famous ‘eureka’ moments have come from relaxing the mind!
3. Be open to new ideas
Most importantly, being creative is not solely about coming up with original ideas on your own; creative people need to be open-minded and flexible. Creative individuals regularly seek counsel and inspiration from others; they have the capacity and willingness to take into account different perspectives, even if it conflicts with their own point of view. As a consequence, it should come as no surprise that more inclusive and diverse teams are crucial to developing creativity. Having employees with different outlooks always prompts innovative discussions and questions, but it also generates a more supportive work environment where creativity can truly flourish.
Ultimately, creativity is not solely for the artists among us; everyone can take steps towards being more imaginative and intuitive. By fostering a workplace which encourages, inspires and values innovative thinking will only serve to benefit your company’s creative flow. After all, even the smallest idea can have the biggest impact. So… What are you waiting for?