How are great ideas born? If you ask artists, you will find that their self-expression comes from a multitude of ideas and diverse experiences. However, the one thing they all have in common is that they have learned to live open to creativity and finding meaning in the world that surrounds them. They don’t shut down their ideas, they expound on them.
There are those that say that great ideas are born when ordinary people do the things that no one else thought they could do. This is in part very true, but there is more to it than that, creativity is doing more with less and by creating a story worth telling and at times putting a new spin on an old idea. Whatever the process, we could all use a way to tap into our creative spirit.
Set a new trend... here are 5 tips to foster a creative work environment.
1. Write and draw
In the office, a personal blog or your diary, write down your thoughts and ideas. Tell your story and share your opinions by writing a company blog on something of interest to you. Companies that allow their employees to participate in the blog writing find that this fosters openness and sparks more interesting conversations and ideas.
Some companies allow their employees to paint a mural in the office. Not only will this be a conversation piece, but it team building and also a way to explore their creative talent at work. You never know where this could lead.
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2. Read everything
Being well rounded not only make one more interesting, but also helps with creativity. Reading is learning, and learning produces creative solutions even if the source of it was unrelated to your industry. Read everything of interest, you never know when or where it will come in handy.
In the office, have a library of interesting books, and magazines and give your employees the space to explore them.
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3. Focus on Projects
Sometimes it is just fun to change from the ordinary job tasks and focus on something different. Consider letting your employees work on a project that they’re interested in, one day a month. This will allow them time and space to think on their own. Then designate a day for them to reveal their findings. You never know what can develop from these free hours of creativity.
4. Celebrate the achievements
Your employees work really hard for your company. Celebrate what they achieved and more importantly, what they learned from the process of their achievements. Set aside some time for sharing sessions. This will provide a gateway for more openness, a tighter company culture and of course, more creativity. Someone may even stumble on a new product or new solution.
5. Play Music
Play music in the background. Create several play lists and rotate them. Music brings not only comfort, but it also creates a positive atmosphere for people to work in.
Some companies have music lunch hours in which, people that plan a musical instrument can plan for the lunch crowd. This could be a band, or an instrumental show, whatever it is; it’s fun, relaxing and closes the gap between work and creativity.
Here are a few more ways to foster creativity and self expression at work.
Push curiosity. Encourage your people to observe what’s going on around them and to ask questions..
Prompt discussion on varied topics and engage them in dialogue.
Encourage your people to think differently. For every task they carry out ask them to suggest different and more innovative ways of doing it.
Have employees from different departments work together to share ideas and insight.
Have informal meetings to brainstorm and discuss innovation around a meal or on a corporate day out.
Hire people from diverse academic and professional backgrounds.
Research has shown that experience abroad enhances creativity. Send them abroad!
Ask questions! What great things did you and your team achieve? What are you proud of and what can you improve?
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