The importance of creativity and innovation cannot be overestimated in any business (big or small)
today. An organisation can currently have the best product and processes, but if your company lacks creative thinkers, it may not survive in the medium to longer term. The challenges of the future will not be resolved with the way we problem solve today. Without new ideas, new products and/or services, new processes, a company could be left behind by its competition. Clearly creative thinking helps to future proof our businesses by giving us new ideas, enhanced performance and client retention and helps us to solve complex problems and even enhance our competitive advantage.
It can also help us as company owners to keep engaged with what we do, increase our self-confidence, motivate us more, prompt higher self-accountability and improve our morale. It also enhances staff engagement: engaged staff are more productive, happier and motivated and require less micro management. All in all, creativity can add value to the bottom line. In the past staff may have had only to answer the phone to get orders and it was seen as the boss’s responsibility to get any other business in. Staff did not see it as their job to get involved in the business development process; NOW everyone needs to take ownership for the success of the business.
A partnership has evolved with company owners and staff working collaboratively to better serve the needs of the clients, to keep costs down and achieve the goals of the company. Having a “Passion for Success” is in everyone’s best interest. However with that said, going to work should be fun and not something that people dread. The environment needs to be right.
Here are a few techniques that could help to foster a creative work environment in your business:
- Accept that you may not always have the best ideas/solutions yourself- appreciate everyone’s perspective.
- Overcome the fear of failure and see mistakes as learning opportunities.
- Build trust so that people feel safe to express their ideas.
- Change routine meeting environments.
- Encourage and inspire people to stretch beyond their functional roles.
- Brainstorming helps ideas to flow without criticism and allows each person to contribute individually.
- Appoint an Idea/Innovation Champion to move projects along.
By Audrey Burke McCarthy www.motivaction.ie