Despite the fact that many companies still insist on defending traditional models, many of them have already woke up to a new era where creativity is a key factor of cooperation and innovative thinking. If not so long ago, they were afraid that letting their staff speak their mind would just bring chaos to the company, nowadays most board of directors is eager to hear and encourage suggestions from their employees.
It is also known that creativity can lead to an increased level of cooperation and innovative thinking among employees and that it can be the main ingredient to better financial results. So, let’s understand how it works and how you can ensure that you will use creativity in a positive way in your workplace.
What is creativity in the workplace?
Unfortunately, some people still link creativity to the idea of a wild way to think, which see no barriers, and exists just with the purpose to go against the rules – meaning that they would have no place in any serious company.
But here we are talking of creativity as the ability to create solutions, especially when facing challenging situations. Creativity in this context has everything to do with stretching the budget, being innovative, thinking outside the box, making the best of stressful situations, and seeing things from a different angle.
That is to say that encouraging creativity in the workplace is a very great idea to any business, as more ideas you have on offer, better chances you have to find the perfect solution. And here you probably have started to understand how it can promote cooperation and innovative thinking among employees.
What creativity has to do with cooperation?
You might be thinking that is quite obvious what innovative thinking and creativity have in common, and you are right. If you are creative, you certainly are thinking in an innovative way. But what about cooperation?
When a leader decides to create a bridge between creativity and cooperation in the workplace, what they are looking for is teamwork. Even tough some people might come up with better ideas when working alone, the majority will become more creative in groups.
It is through conversation that problems become clearer, and that people can think more competently. Many acclaimed techniques are based on this belief, so you can surely trust on its effectiveness.
Plus, as soon as your team notices what they can accomplish as a group, they will be keen on working in teams more frequently, even without your request. It will also have a great impact on the creation of a more healthy work environment.
Now, we are going to see how you can encourage creativity and turn into a key factor in cooperation and innovative thinking among your employees.
How to encourage creativity in the workplace?
Let’s start busting another myth here. Creativity isn’t an exceptional talent that some people have and others haven’t. Everybody can be creative, just at different levels. And, most of the time, all that you need is just one single idea.
Therefore, if you think that your team, or some of its members, isn’t creative enough, just take this idea out of your mind. You will be surprised by where your best idea might come from.
Having said that, here are some ways to encourage creativity, cooperation and innovative thinking in the workplace:
- Suggestion boxes
- Brainstorming meetings
- Feedback meetings
The old-fashioned suggestion box still should have their place in any company. Of course, suggestions can be delivered by e-mail, logged to the Intranet, or even said out loud during a meeting. But a suggestion box keeps the possibility of anonymity in a better way compared to any other method – remember that everything sent online, especially inside an organization, is potentially traceable.
Brainstorming meetings are the best place for creativity, cooperation, and innovative thinking come together. Everybody know what is expected of them while there, and are prepared for long hours of discussion. But, it can also feel daunting as they feel like they must come up with some brilliant idea while there.
And here is where you can take advantage of feedback meetings, where you are the one who is supposed to talk, but you still can fish some great ideas in a more informal way.
And last but not least, you can try conducting surveys, and ask your employees to send you their thoughts about specific topics. This technique is the best option for with multi-located companies, or when the workload makes impossible to set a proper meeting.
As you must have realized, creativity really is the key factor to encourage cooperation and innovative thinking among your employees. And it isn’t not that hard to make it happen.
But, more important than anything, you must create an environment where people won’t be afraid to speak their minds. For instance, you can make everybody more comfortable by telling them some weird ideas you come up yourself, and have a laugh about them.
It can be just what they need to feel free to tell you some strange ideas back, and one of them might be exactly what you were looking for. And cooperation and innovative thinking will be the most valuable resource of your company from that day.