Creativity is a crucial component of workplace success, and fostering an environment that encourages it is essential. Whether you work in a startup or a large corporation, creativity can lead to innovative ideas, increased productivity, and better problem-solving.
What is creativity?
Our slogan is ‘Think outside the box. Think GoldBox’.
Whilst it may just seem like a catchy tagline, it actually ties in heavily with our values in many ways, the main one being the importance of creativity.
So let’s break down what thinking outside the box is really about.
To start, it’s essential to acknowledge that you need a box! To us, a box represents the way things currently are. A foundation. Convention. That which is already working.
What is an example of a box?
Well for us it’s the clients we work with. They offer a particular service, they have their own culture, their own history, their own branding and general way of doing things.
If we do not respect any of these things when working with our clients, then we’re just going to get carried away creating a video that may well be full of creativity, but if it’s totally detached from what the client actually wants and already stands for then what good does it serve?
So step one is the respect what’s in front of you. This could also include the budget you are working with, the amount of time you have, the resources available, the history of the subject matter and the locations available to you.
Then, when you understand the situation and the end goal, you can then start thinking outside the box. Finding inspiration and pulling ideas from elsewhere, connecting things together, putting a twist on something, all with the hope of building something new.
Remember though, the bolder your ideas the further you stray from the box, so be careful. Always try to apply logic and be critical in order to form the most concrete creative solutions and ensure you do not get completely lost.
What you do not want to do, is make decisions driven by fear. Of course, trying new things is riskier, but it’s the only way you are going to innovate or stand out. Nobody is saying be stupid, any risks should be assessed and well thought out, but have the courage to try something new every now and then!
We live in an age now where if you’re standing still, you are moving backwards. It is now more important than ever to come up with creative ideas so that you can stand out from the crowd.
So this ‘Think outside the box’ breakdown is the best way we can describe what creativity is.
Now, let’s explore some strategies for increasing and managing creativity in the workplace.
Encourage Brainstorming Sessions
Brainstorming sessions are an excellent way to get creative juices flowing. They offer a platform for team members to share their thoughts, perspectives, and ideas. Brainstorming sessions allow for the generation of a diverse range of ideas and perspectives, leading to more creative solutions to problems.
If you’re new to this kind of thing, it might take a little practice to do so in a constructive and effective manner. Make sure everyone is heard, criticism is constructive and everyone is working towards the same goal.
What you don’t want is everyone pushing their ideas and refusing to listen to anyone else. That results in nobody being happy.
Equally, however, you should not try to please everyone. Combining too many conflicting and uneducated opinions is a very weak strategy which will only result in a jumbled mess of a solution.
Leave egos at the door and work as a team to find the best ideas possible.
Provide a Creative Environment
The physical environment of a workspace can significantly affect creativity. A dull, uninspiring office can stifle creativity, whereas a bright, colourful, and stimulating workspace can encourage it. Allow employees to decorate their workspace to suit their individual styles and provide a comfortable and inviting atmosphere.
Movement-friendly policies and ergonomic furniture, for example, help strengthen company cultures and improve mental well-being. Research has shown it is not the actual movement or physical comfort itself that creates these benefits. Instead, is it simply the fact employees know that they have the freedom to move without constraints.
Now, whilst we fully believe every workplace can be improved in some way to make people feel freer, happier and able to produce creative ideas, there will always be limitations.
Of course, not every workplace has the space or money to suddenly house a pool table, a dozen giant beanbags and a beautiful garden area. However, there is a whole world outside of the office environment to provide employees with these luxuries and freedoms.
Some alternatives worth considering include allowing employees to:
Work from home
Sit in a café
Be out in nature
Use a more open space with pens, paper and sticky notes.
Have a workday out
Opt for a more casual meeting over lunch.
There is no perfect way to go about creating a better work environment as every business and every individual is different. It’s down to you and your team to decide the best solutions to implement.
The most important take away from this is to ensure that nobody has to sit at a desk in a dull room staring at a computer screen all of the time. So please, add a little more variety and character into your workplaces where you can.
Offer Training & Development Opportunities
Training and development opportunities can help employees develop their skills and knowledge, leading to increased creativity. Provide access to online courses, seminars, workshops, and conferences that focus on creativity and innovation.
The easiest way to start doing this is to have your employees share knowledge about their roles and way of working with each other. There’s always something new you can learn from anyone, so why not get people talking more?
Sometimes all it takes is offering a different perspective to break down the mental barriers someone might have that stop them from being as productive or creative in a particular area.
Doing so will greatly strengthen unity amongst your colleagues as they build stronger relationships through these added opportunities to connect.
Collaboration is key to creativity. When employees work together, they bring their individual strengths and ideas, resulting in a more diverse range of solutions. Encourage cross-functional collaboration and allow teams to work on projects outside their usual areas of responsibility.
Start small by getting people you have faith will work well together and grow from there.
Diversity also brings unique perspectives and experiences, which can lead to more creative solutions. Encourage diversity and inclusivity in the workplace and create a culture that values and respects differences.
Celebrating creativity and innovation can inspire employees to continue to think outside the box. Recognize and reward employees for their creative contributions, whether it's through monetary incentives or public recognition.
Sharing these kinds of things on socials for example always gets a really good response. Your employee will feel over the moon when they have all of your wider networks celebrating their success as well.
Develop a Growth Mindset
A growth mindset is a belief that one can develop their abilities and intelligence through hard work, dedication, and perseverance.
Encouraging a growth mindset in the workplace can help employees to learn and try new things, take risks, think creatively, and overcome challenges.
Embedding this mindset into your work culture will result in employees actively seeking out new opportunities for growth as well as tackling problems with positivity and determination.
Far too often we perceive new things in a negative way, being fearful of change and only seeing it as an obstacle or threat. Imagine how much better things could be if we changed that negative mindset into a more positive one that welcomes new opportunities for growth with excitement.
Nobody likes to be stuck doing the same tedious tasks every single day after all. It drains energy, leading people to procrastinate more a produce poorer results that lack enthusiasm.
So, whatever it is you do, just make sure you keep moving forwards.
No Strict Deadlines
Although necessity may be the mother of invention, that does not mean people will only be creative or be more creative when their backs are up against the wall. In fact, deadlines have been shown to make people less creative.
So, whilst you may at times be forced to be creative when an 11th-hour problem strikes, you'll probably be at your creative best in a more relaxed environment when you are not under the gun to deliver results quickly.
Approach things from a sense of curiosity, not urgency.
You cannot let stress be the driving factor in the decisions you make, both creatively and from a business standpoint. Stress will always choose the quickest wins and short-term gains, even if those aren’t things that will serve you well long term.
Rather than dropping a deadline on an employee, consult with them first about how long they think they will need to complete the task.
Creativity is an essential ingredient for success in the workplace. It allows for innovation, problem-solving, and the development of new ideas and products. Without creativity, businesses can become stagnant and fail to adapt to changing circumstances, leading to a loss of competitive advantage.
Encouraging and nurturing creativity in the workplace can lead to increased job satisfaction, employee engagement, and productivity. As such, fostering a culture of creativity and supporting the creative process of regularly introducing new ideas can yield significant benefits for both individuals and organizations alike.