No matter what your workplace environment may be, strategies to nurture creativity can be incorporated and will be beneficial to your workplace. We often associate creativity with strictly artistic endeavors but creativity can be useful in environments from cutting edge ad agencies to corporate offices. All it takes to implement creativity is a positive attitude and the ability to identify and examine problems where creativity may yield especially high yields. Tim Herd brings us four strategies to nurture creativity in the workplace.
1. Invest in imagination. Allocate regular periods to digest new information, ponder, imagine, and act creatively. Crunching numbers and brainstorming involve very different brain functions, so dedicate specific times to shift from analytical to imaginative thinking.
Albert Einstein, no slouch as an analytical thinker, said: “I’m enough of an artist to draw freely on my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”
2. Pile up possibilities. Let ideas flow without censorship. You can critically evaluate them all later, but new thoughts, no matter how outlandish, often generate others. Encourage trust and open communication. Toss out the rules, suspend judgment, permit playful experimentation.
“You do not need to know precisely what is happening, or exactly where it is all going,” explained philosopher Thomas Merton. “What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges offered by the present moment, and to embrace them with courage, faith and hope.”
3. Dive into diversity. Encourage multiple viewpoints and perspectives. Even fuzzy, ambiguous concepts can help stimulate innovation. Sanction artistic expression. Resist the urge to resolve issues immediately; once things are finalized, creativity stops.
Theodore Roosevelt understood the creative value of diversity: “Wide differences of opinion in matters of religious, political, and social belief must exist if conscience and intellect alike are not to be stunted, if there is to be room for healthy growth.”
4. Cultivate curiosity. The workplace inquisition can be a good thing! Creative thinking is fueled by asking questions that reveal potential for further explorations and new possibilities. Ask and listen. Daydream. Wonder. What if…?
You can incorporate these four strategies into your workplace culture today and begin to see a difference in employees attitudes and ideas. Integrating time for imagination allows for employees to start thinking about problems from multiple perspectives and the number of possible solutions to problems that pop up begin to grow. Curiosity is a crucial aspect of creativity that should not be made ineffectual by limiting questions. You can begin to nurture creativity in your workplace with these four strategies.