Creative Thinking Will Add To Profitability & Employee Engagement!
The importance of creativity and innovation cannot be overestimated in business today. An organisation can have the best product/ processes now, but if your company lacks creative thinkers it may not survive in the medium to longer term. A company could be left behind by its competition without new ideas, new products and new processes. Clearly creative thinking helps to future proof our businesses by giving us new ideas, enhance performance and customer retention and helps us to solve complex problems and even enhance our competitive advantage.
It can also help us to become more engaged with what we do, increase our self confidence, empower us more, prompt higher accountability and improve morale. It also enhances staff engagement: engaged staff are more productive, happier and motivated and require less micro management.
In the past you may have had only to answer the phone to get orders; then it was the boss’s responsibility to get business in. Staff did not see it as their job to get involved in the business development process; NOW everyone takes ownership for the success of the business (jobs and working hours could depend on it). A partnership has evolved with company owners and staff working collaboratively to better serve the needs of the customers, keep costs down and achieve the goals of the company. However with that said, going to work should be fun and not something that you dread. The work environment and culture need to be right. A creative approach is no good if action does not follow from it.
Ideas must be evaluated, improved, fine-tuned and rolled out before they have any value – try and put a system in place.
Create and Foster a Creative Environment Using the Following Principles
- Appreciate everyone’s perspective.
- Overcome the fear of failure and see mistakes as learning opportunities (3M and the post it note).
- Lead by example. Avoid Micro Management.
- Accept that you may not always have the best ideas/solutions yourself.
- Build trust so that people feel safe to express their ideas.
- Become a learning organisation: a mindset and ways to keep up to speed and informed of what is new. Outcome: better collaboration, morale and fresh thinking. Circulate and share interesting articles, stories and updates.
- Establish a climate of openness.
- Run regular Creativity Sessions keeping in mind peoples preferred thinking styles.
- Change routine meeting environments.
- Encourage diverse viewpoints as group think stifles creativity.
- Encourage and inspire people to stretch beyond their functional roles.
- Celebrate and share creative breakthroughs and success.
Simple Examples of Creativity Adding To Profitability:
- Brainstorming helps ideas to flow without criticism and allows each person to contribute individually.
- Vision Boards are excellent Catalysts for Change (“See it!” Believe it!” “Achieve it!”).
- Using Affirmations and Visualisation in Goal Setting.
- Idea/Innovation Champions: to move projects along.
- Utilise business models to help structure your thoughts (GROW Model, Lewin’s Change Model. Fishbone diagram).