What is creativity in the workplace?
Creativity is the ability to generate innovative ideas and then follow up with actions. In other words, creative people are able to come up with innovative ideas and produce results. Therefore, the ability to be creative leads to greater productivity and innovation.
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The value of creativity in the workplace
Creativity and problem solving are part of the innovation process. Innovation is the application of a new product or a service that brings forth a new kind of value.
Some argue that creativity is the #1 factor for the success of an organization. And Office Topics have plenty of examples that fortify this belief. Big tech giants like Google and Apple have achieved tremendous success through groundbreaking innovation and invention.
The advantages of a creative workplace
#1. Employee attraction and retention
Your organization is more likely to attract creative and talented people if you foster an environment that allows them to thrive. Creative people are passionate about what they do, they invest a lot of their vital energy in their work.
Your company will be more likely to attract and retain such individuals if the environment gives them the freedom to experiment and innovate. Because this will make them feel happy and appreciated.
#2. Improved teamwork
Creativity is magical and it has some miraculous perks. One of which is that it allows people to collaborate and bond over projects. This strengthens your team and it allows them to bring out the best work they are capable of.
Team members will develop their collaborative dynamics and feel free to express themselves. This will also increase the involvement of certain team members who might have valuable input don't feel like sharing it.
#3. Better problem solving
Naturally, the biggest benefit of having a creative work environment is coming up with better and innovative solutions. This gives a competitive advantage that is invaluable.
Such creative solutions can have huge implications for your organization. When employees are able to think outside the box, they are able to bring forth advanced ideas that can result in innovation.
Is it possible to learn creativity?
Humans are born naturally creative. So it all comes down to fostering the creative potential within people and allowing them to experiment. Creativity requires two basic conditions - knowledge in a certain field and thinking skills.
While critical thinking and observational abilities are crucial for the creative process, in recent years we have seen the emphasis shift to what is now known as associative thinking.
What is associative thinking?
Associative thinking is the ability to see patterns in seemingly unconnected fields, concepts, and ideas. It is an amazing thinking skill that can tremendously help you in the creative problem-solving process. It is an ability that allows you to link various thoughts and ideas in order to reach creative solutions to complex problems.
This skill is essential to innovation and it can be a driving force that pushes your creativity, and therefore, your productivity as well.
How to cultivate your associative thinking?
Even if you don't consider yourself a particularly creative person, there are still things you can do to nourish your innate ability to think and connect the dots. Here are a few things you can try.
#1. Broaden your field of knowledge
Read about economics, sociology, psychology, physics, maths. Consume content you find fascinating. Expand your pool of knowledge about the world and various disciplines.
After all, how could you connect various ideas if your knowledge is limited to one particular field?
#2. Build your network
It is time for you to put yourself out there. You need some new friends. But not just any friends. You need people who are experts in their field of work. Sit over a warm beverage and have long meaningful conversations. Share with them your pain points and the challenges that you are facing and ask them what they think.
You will be surprised to find out how useful this could be. You will generate a huge pool of unfiltered ideas that you could apply to your work
#3. Expose yourself to new environments.
You can lose your ability to think creatively when you get used to the same places. Your office, the office the local coffee shop, your home work station. Put yourself in new places, go see a play, visit an exhibition, go to some expo or some conference
Let these new environments nourish your mind so you can cultivate some fresh new ideas. Besides, this is another great way to meet some new and exciting people.
#4. Ask yourself the difficult questions
What will happen if you suddenly lost your biggest clients? What will you do if you lose 15% of your staff next month? What if you lost your job?
We don't like to think about worst-case scenarios because they scare us but sooner or later a crisis will present itself and you better be prepared. These are hard questions to answer but they will force you to think outside the box.
#5. Don't be afraid to experiment
Things won't change for the better until you add or remove things from your mode of operation. Sometimes you have to step outside of your comfort zone in order to bring the changes that you want to see.
And every time you introduce new stimuli to your system, your way of thinking will be challenged. Therefore, you will be able to innovate.
- Creativity is crucial for the success of fo any company and organization.
- Creative individuals are more productive and likely to come up with innovations.
- You can work toward establishing a creative environment within your organization as this comes with many invaluable perks.
- All people are naturally creative but the ability can deteriorate. Therefore, the right kind of stimuli is necessary to keep the creative engine roaring.
- Creativity and innovation require broad knowledge and sharp thinking skills.