How to Improve the Creativity of Your Team
Every manager wants to get the best out of his team, whether he’s in charge of a food waste management company or a hedge fund. One of the key areas where this plays out is in attempts to boost the creativity of team members.
Many initiatives and training strategies have been proposed in the interests of boosting quality ideation and creativity within a given business. Some appear promising, while others maybe less so.
But before hiring an expensive consultant, why not check out this list of ideas for improving the creativity of your team.
Give them space to work on big projects
Big projects are the kinds of things which require big blocks of time. This isn’t just because any big undertaking will require a while to complete, but because momentum builds the longer we work on something.
Additionally, inspiration and novel ideas arise almost in direct proportion to the amount of time and attention we’re able to invest in the subject.
What this means in practice, is that constantly making demands on your staff’s time by filling their schedules with meetings and busywork, is going to harm their ability to be creative and effective when handling the stuff.
As much as possible, try and allow free blocks undisturbed time where innovation can thrive and attentive work can be managed.
Create an accepting brainstorming environment
One of the issues with group brainstorming exercises, is that they often place too much pressure on the participants to solve a particular issue, and produce “good” ideas.
But “good” ideas are essentially a red herring, as the only way to end up with good ideas is to come up with ideas in general, and then filter and massage them until you’re left with something that seems inspired.
One of the best things you can do to improve creativity, is to facilitate an accepting brainstorming environment, where team members are encouraged to share ideas freely, without being defensive, anxious, or feeling judged.
It’s hard for creativity to thrive if everyone is playing it safe so as not to get looked down on or reprimanded.
If possible, be flexible on remote working
Allowing your staff to work remotely, at least on certain occasions, is a sign of trust, as well as a willingness to allow your team the autonomy to determine their own schedule and routine.
Contrary to what many fear, you’ll likely that this investment of trust is repaid with dividends in the form of enhanced productivity and creativity, as staff are both more relaxed and more eager to please and work with you when they’re given more freedom in how to manage their roles.
Encourage cooperation between different team members
A degree of friendly competition within an office can potentially be healthy — as in the case of a sales department trying to outperform each other. An overly competitive office environment, however, only diminishes trust and sets the stage for poor communication and a lack of creative flow.
Encouraging team members to cooperate rather than dominate one another is a highly effective way of ensuring that you get a variety of ideas and approaches represented in a final strategy.