In kindergarten and early elementary school, did you spend time making crafts and coloring with markers and crayons? For me, it was one of the best times of the day during school, and I loved getting to experience with different mediums and ideas.
By the time we get older, however, the focus shifts away from creativity and lands on systematic thinking and “right” answers. This is especially true for our careers. Once we enter the job market, there tends to be little or no room for thinking outside the box, error, or trying something new.
But when we push creativity out of even the most technical careers, we limit the potential of ourselves and our company. Every business and company, no matter the field, will have to solve problems, probably more often than they would like. To solve problems efficiently, effectively, and for the lowest cost, we must bring to the tables our creative minds and ideas.
But in a culture of excel sheets and data, how do you incorporate creativity into your workplace to create new ideas and solve problems? Here are a few ways to get started.
In meetings and casual conversations, hold back your judgments initially. It’s never a good idea to immediately assign opinions and judgments to an idea that someone suggests because you should spend some time thinking about the idea and its implications before assigning your opinion to it. Additionally, withholding judgment encourages individuals to share their ideas with others. After all, if you share an idea that immediately gets shot down by your coworkers, you may be less likely to raise new ideas in the future. Withholding opinions and response is an easy way to ensure that everyone feels safe bringing all of their ideas to the table.
Bring all of your ideas for every situation on the job. Oftentimes, the best ideas are the ones left unsaid because people were too afraid to share it with the group. Once you start sharing all of your ideas, you immediately bring more options to the table and enable others to build off of your own ideas. Even outside of problem solving, sharing ideas that you have about anything, including desk organization or happy hour suggestions, helps to create a culture of creativity at your company.
Creativity and individuality go hand in hand. If you want your company to be more creative, it’s important to ensure that your employees or coworkers can express their own individuality. When people can express themselves, they may feel more free to express their unique ideas and perspectives, both of which lead directly to creative ideas for problem solving and beyond.
Opening up your work and company to creativity can lead numerous benefits, including problem solving and efficiency. Incorporate these three tips to move towards a more creative environment and career.