A creative team may be your company’s biggest asset. Thinking outside the box, dreaming up new, unique ways of doing things is the best way to stay ahead in this increasingly competitive marketplace. A study by Adobe and Forrester Consulting found that 82 percent of companies believe there is a strong connection between creative thinking and business results.
Many companies now list “creativity” and “ability to think outside the box” as a requirement on their job postings. Unfortunately, though, many companies hinder results because they don’t know how to properly motivate these creative types.
Here, we will provide you with a few simple tips on building a culture that inspires creativity.
Acknowledge Every Idea
Dismissing ideas will be a quick way to shut down creativity. Instead, encourage everyone in your company to open their minds and their mouths and present their ideas. This means both asking for feedback on a continual basis and acknowledging every idea that is presented. One of Entripy’s core values is “Challenge”. All employees, whether they work in the marketing department, client experience team or on screen printing press, are encouraged to think of ways to improve and speak up with their ideas.
Not every idea will be a great one, but acknowledging every idea and providing feedback by explaining why the idea may or may not work will keep people continually wanting to submit new ideas.
The best ideas are typically not bore by one individual, but occur when one person states an initial idea and others jump on board with their thoughts to improve it. Collaboration builds your idea pool. Set aside time in everyone’s schedule to allow for brainstorming. Host a brainstorming day! Don’t forget to outfit your team in brainstorming custom t-shirts to provide the right motivation.
Pay Attention to What Motivates
Does your organization have a culture of extrinsic or intrinsic motivation? Extrinsic motivation is the “carrot and stick” mentality. Offering rewards for the most creative idea is a good example of this. You may get a few winning ideas this way, but the most creative successes though, come through intrinsic motivation.
That is when individuals are motivated by their internal passion, curiosity and sense of accomplishment. To fuel this intrinsic motivation, pay attention to what motivates your employees. Match the right people to the right job and let them gravitate to the areas that interest them most.
Reject Fear of Failure
A great idea may still fail. Reward great ideas even when they lead to failure by recognizing the effort to innovate, then discuss why the idea may have failed. Failures often provide valuable lessons that aid in helping you find success down the road. Punishing a failed idea is a surefire way to discourage employees from attempting to push the envelope and will kill your company’s creativity.
Make Time for Fun
Remember how creative you were in kindergarten? Could it be because of all that time you spent on the playground, laughing and having fun with your friends?
Escaping the daily grind and doing something that you’ve never done before – like participating in an improvisation contest, or submitting a custom t-shirt design for your company’s annual picnic – is a great way to flex your brain’s creative muscle. Having fun also boosts your energy and your sense of wellbeing, making you feel healthier and more alive!
By creating a culture that inspires creativity, you can motivate employees to improve your idea pool, and thereby increase your company’s chance of success.