31 Mar Top Tips to Inspire Creativity in Your Team
All of us have our less inspired days when we need a motivational boost, or have a mind block for a new way to solve a problem.
By ensuring that creativity is an integral part of a team’s culture, we can spark different ideas and ways of working, taking us out of our comfort zone and routine to achieve more, and broaden our perspectives, skills and overall experience at work.
How can we spark more creativity in our team and ensure each member achieves their creative potential?
Here are our top tips:
Create big, open, light spaces – this ensures your office space is airy and individuals can move around easily to communicate with peers. Ensure your working space is well ventilated and the windows provide natural daylight. Minimise storage in the working space so that it is less cluttered. Psychologically, this prevents people feeling claustrophobic, gives that sense of freedom and reflects free-flowing ideas.
Encourage staff to personalise their individual work space – Remember the Identikit work stations in huge offices in the 1990s? Everyone had the same space that made it look like it was part of a factory. Individuals all have different inspirations which enable them to think creatively and concentrate. Encourage your team members to choose their personal creative and positive triggers – motivational quotes, family photos, pictures of their pets, quirky personal items which remind them of achievements or their favourite stationery. The goal should be to ensure every person feels positive and comfortable in their working space so they can achieve their potential.
Inspire with your own vision – If a leader conveys their enthusiasm, passion, belief and commitment to their vision for the team, this will inspire and motivate the team members to achieve the joint goal. Always ensure your personal work goals reflect the values of the company and you can demonstrate by being a practical role model. Inspire by your actions and your words.
“Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.” – Warren Bennis
Write down the Words – How often do you actually use a pen or pencil to write words nowadays? Handwriting – physically writing with a pen or pencil – strengthens different dendrites from the ones you use when tapping on a keyboard. As you form each letter in the word and create the physical sentence, you are more focused on each word. Remember, on our Advance courses, we recommend you write down your affirmations, your SMART goals, and Life List. Write it down in your personalised handwriting, add your phrasings and grammar, your doodles, your layout to create your personal and team goals. When you are struggling to form creative ideas for a project, write down the ideas as you think of them. Use Mind Mapping, images, doodles – anything that enables you to think clearly and in more detail.
Form diverse thinking teams – We can all have our comfort zones in relationships and our go-to people for ideas and support especially if we know a person thinks the same way as us. By creating a team with individuals who have different perspectives, cultural backgrounds, working experiences, thought processes, skills, and work practices, we can stimulate creative thinking and original ideas to solve problems and improve processes.
Encourage Idea Sharing within a Team and Company – At 3M, one of their mottos is “Innovation from Interaction” where ideas are shared and can be adapted by other colleagues. Employees share their new ideas at internal Tech Forums. Over 80% of 3M’s patents have more than one inventor. One example is the Post It note. 3M research scientist, Dr. Spence Silver, first developed the glue in 1968 while looking for ways to improve the adhesives that 3M uses in many of its tapes. He presented his idea at the Tech Forum – but had no plans for how to use the glue. In 1978, a decade later, 3M’s new product development researcher Art Fry was struggling to keep his scrap paper bookmark in his hymn book. He remembered Silver’s “not too sticky” glue, and experimented on scrap yellow paper from the next door lab. In 1980, Post It Notes were introduced to the world.
Encourage Team members to have a go – Companies like Google encourage its employees to step out of their comfort zone and take a risk with ideas within their overall safe controlled environment. They pursue a policy that its employees may dedicate a percentage of their work hours to developing their own side projects. This encouragement shows trust in your team and also inspires people to create new ideas, new processes and projects as they know they have the support from their leaders to develop their own potential.
To have a truly creative company culture, ensure that your team is your main priority – each individual and their part of the cohesive whole team. Creating a creative culture within your team starts with you! You set the standard by actively pursuing more creative methods, and establishing the physical space and integral value of sharing and trying out new ideas to create a culture of creativity.