I realize I am old, but I still hang out with younger people. In the old days, about ten years ago, it seemed like people spent more time and energy being creative. I remember sitting around with a few people coming up with names for businesses that didn’t even exist. We would come up with what we felt was an incredibly inspiring and imaginative name and then try to figure out what business would go with it. Even the practical jokes people used to play on each other were awe inspiring. One friend convinced another coworker that there were cameras in the office and that the company was spying on them. She got other corporate employees involved in the prank and had them call the “victim”, I mean coworker, and ask her about things that could only be known if there were cameras. The coworker started locking everything up and talking in code. It was hilarious. If someone had a problem, the group would sit around coming up with a 100 different ideas to solve it. Some serious, some proposterous, all in love.
Where is the Creativity?
Now conversations are surface – what you see is what you get. Business problems get about 5-10 minutes of discussion which usually limits you to solving them based on what has been tried in the past because amazing innovation doesn’t usually come about in ten minute conversations. I know we are busy. I know we want to be efficient. But do we have to be limited!
Lack of creativity:
- Limits the growth and development of our business as we are less able to solve problems, create opportunities, and/or improve methods.
- Limits the development of our team. We are not teaching employees to innovate, overcome, and drive the business.
- Reduces the passion and commitment towards a vision or mission. “Yay we are going out to sell more today. NOT”
- Stifles job satisfaction and causes your team, and maybe yourself, to wonder what is going on in the Facebook world right now.
Do You Foster a Creative Culture?
Do you foster creativity in your business? Do you stop long enough to ask employees their ideas; to brainstorm with them? Is your expectation that they will find ways to overcome roadblocks, that they will develop plans and ideas for their area of the business, that they will care so much about your company’s mission that they will bring you suggestions and opinions?
If not, why not? If your employees sit around waiting for you to tell them what to do and never offer suggestions, it is probably because the culture of your business does not promote creativity. I know it is hard to judge what is a creative endeavor versus wasted time, but the thing about creativity is that it isn’t measured by output per minute. Sometimes we have to suffer with unproductive moments to get a home run idea. But I would contend that if you build a culture that inspires creativity, rewards innovative thinking and fosters collaboration and team spirit, then you will have a motivated team that will go the extra mile. They will leap tall buildings to achieve the day to day results while knocking down roadblocks, finding cost savings, developing new products, and slaying dragons.
Creativity Fosters Success
Creativity is a culture. Creativity promotes loyalty. People learn more. They help each other. They have fun. That’s right, they have fun at work. People having fun at work usually work harder. They usually stay at work longer. They generally have a much more significant impact on their role and the business overall. If you have doubts, what are they? If you have a creative culture, please share the results you are having with us!