While innovative ideas are extremely valuable in any organization, not all companies take steps to promote creativity in the workplace. Here’s what you can do to start stimulating your team’s creativity today.
Encourage Creative Habits
We are in awe of innovative thinkers but this intense admiration often translates into the notion that creativity is a natural talent that can’t be fostered or replicated.
When we think of innovative thinkers, we think of Steve Jobs, Picasso, Albert Einstein, or Leonardo Da Vinci. These figures were so far ahead of their time that creativity feels like an almost magical quality.
Actually, creativity is a skill that can be learned and honed by introducing some simple habits into your organization:
- Learn more about new subjects; creativity often comes from connecting old and new ideas.
- Promote an uplifting environment and don’t underestimate the importance of laughter.
- Register your ideas as soon as possible (use a pocket notebook, a note-taking app, your smartphone’s recorder, or any other tool that fits your lifestyle).
- When feeling stuck, give yourself permission to do something else (in fact, procrastination can be a useful tool for creativity, as we’ll see below).
Realize That Procrastination Is Not Necessarily Bad
We think of procrastination as a bad habit to be kicked to the curb. But what if we told you that some degree of procrastination may actually increase creativity?
Psychologist Adam Grant, who has explored how non-conformists think in his book Originals, believes that procrastination is an important component of creativity. According to Grant, there are phases of the creative process that require thinking at a slower pace. The extra time we get by delaying action usually results in more creative solutions.
To prove this point, one of Grant’s students designed an experiment: She asked people to come up with new business ideas, but while some participants were instructed to start right away, others were given five minutes to play Minersweeper or Solitaire. In the end, the ideas generated by the procrastinators were 28 percent more creative than those of the other group.
How to apply these principles as a team leader? Tolerate a moderate amount of procrastination in your team and accept that daydreaming is often part of the creative process.
More Tips and Resources to Shine at Work
TThese are some previous posts you can check out for more ideas on how to lead with confidence:
- How to use questions as leadership tools
- 3 trends every small business should consider in 2021
- How to be a better communicator this 2021
- 4 Ideas for entrepreneurs to take it easy as parents
- Adapt to new consumer trends with these ideas and tools
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