Creativity is the lifeblood of innovation. It’s what sets apart the major industry players from their competition and establishes a framework for long-term success. It’s also the key differentiating factor that drives underdogs to the top, but is often the first thing lost when success is achieved.
The reality is that creative organizations are also much more likely to retain talent and build a strong sense of loyalty within their teams. Would you like to be one of those organizations? While the benefits are obvious, truly supporting a culture of creativity may force you to rethink about you view the relationship between control and collaboration.
Embrace all ideas, even the crazy ones
Everyone searches for that a-hah moment when the lightbulb turns on and an ingenious solution is born. The truth of the matter is that getting to the moment is a messy process. Sometimes, thousands of thoughts need to be explored before true innovation is discovered. This means that no idea, as crazy as it may seem at first, should be shut down right out of the gate. The wildest and most outlandish thoughts are often times the ones that are needed to get the ball rolling, break the old limited realm of possibility, and create a framework for a new and better solution. Avoiding an immediate “no” on all initial ideas also prevents groupthink, which can be a debilitating phenomenon to any organization.
Groupthink: Mode of thinking that occurs when the desire for unanimity in a decision-making group overrides realistic appraisal of the situation.
Encourage asking for forgiveness, not permission (within reason)
Doing things differently is scary. It’s so easy to fall into routine thinking and problem solving, limiting the possibility for a true breakthrough resolution. This is especially true in large corporations. Many individuals feel boxed in and hesitant to expand their creativity in fear of stepping on toes. Employees should be encouraged to take calculated risks, after all, failure is one of the best learning tools!
Understand that teamwork makes the dream work
The best ideas are products of collaboration, not the brainchild of a single high performer. For any team to get optimal results, this mindset needs to be embraced and practiced by everyone, especially leadership. By creating a space in which everyone feels like a valued contributor the negative side effects on an imposing hierarchy are avoided, and the best ideas are found. This requires that leadership not be determined not by time spent at the company, age, or even education, but by sheer ability to lead, discover, and drive results.
At SDIx, Creativity is kind of our forte, check out some of our projects here!