Why it’s an essential skill in today’s changing workplace
Developing a creative environment where people are free to perform and share ideas without fear of judgment or failure is the ethos. If people fear failure for judgment, they will refuse to participate.
Failure is a necessary part of most successful ideas, because success rarely comes at the first attempt. Billionaire Sir James Dyson, the inventor of the Dyson bagless vacuum cleaner, spent 15 years and had 5’126 failed attempts before he got his invention right!
To understand why creativity is so important, it is necessary to understand what it is. According to education expert Sir Ken Robinson, “Creativity is the process of having original ideas that have value.”
Many people mistakenly think that creativity is just for artists, musicians and so on. But according to the given definition, everyone is creative. We all have valuable ideas every single day. A person who has original, valuable ideas at work becomes important to their employer. In fact, because creative ideas lead to valuable change, it affects leadership. Leaders don’t just have an official leadership title or position; they often contribute the most and have the most influence.
So how should one lead a creative organization? Let’s have a look what psychologists found when they studied creativity in children. They noticed that certain behaviors by adults hindered children’s creativity:
- Telling exactly how to do things
- Exerting too much pressure
- Constantly watching
- Creating a win/lose situation
Therefore we should tell employees how to behave down to the tiniest detail or create an environment where employees are rewarded for being unquestioning “yes man” to their bosses. An example of incorporating creativity into the culture is Google’s famous “20 percent time” – the idea that employees were free to spend one day a week working on their own projects. Major success came out of this, including Gmail.
Another solution is to consider ways to capture people’s creativity. Employee surveys can be useful – but only if the employees feel truly free to speak their minds. Leaders can also give employees a stimulus to enhance their creativity, such as the opportunity to spend time in different locations or departments in order to better understand the organization and be more stimulated to share creative ideas.
Creativity thrives on different perspectives, so diverse teams will have richer experiences to draw from, especially if partnerships and collaborations are encouraged. Two heads are better than one because you can bounce ideas off each other.
Leaders can ensure their organizations thrive in a creative environment by understanding the creative process and using it to nurture creative ideas and establish a creative environment.