Creative thinking is invaluable in the business world, and is also frequently mythologized for understandable reasons. When you look at one of Van Gogh’s paintings or see one of Shakespeare’s plays staged, it feels like you’re witnessing a singular, inspired achievement. What you’re really seeing, however, is the result of countless hours of hard work and toil. The sort of inspiration that leads to Starry Night or Hamlet is elusive, but creativity is absolutely a skill that can be developed.
Modern business leaders are finding all sorts of interesting ways to foster creativity, from the arrangement of work spaces to the construction of the daily work schedule. Google X, though shrouded in secrecy, is a great example of these concepts in practice. Creative employees are valuable because they think critically, and come up with novel solutions to difficult challenges. Creativity is the key to online marketing, and to maximizing the efficiency of your Calgary business.
Bringing Out Creativity In Your Employees
Some businesses, especially in the tech sector, take the concept of creative work spaces to staggering levels. Don’t worry. You won’t need a full office remodel or a trampoline to get your employees thinking more creatively. Start small, and build from there. Hamlet wasn’t written in a day.
- Start by encouraging creativity. When someone comes up with a great idea, reward them. When someone comes up with a… not-so-great idea, don’t punish them. The process is as important as the result.
- Offer common areas where employees can meet and discuss ideas in an informal thinking setting. The brainstorming process is a huge part of creative, and it works best in groups.
- Mix up your office environment by bringing in some live plants. Art works, too. Interesting settings foster interesting ideas, and boost morale.
- Tailor your interview and hiring process to identify creative thinkers. If you want an innovative team, you need to pick the right people.
- Sometimes, creativity flows from combining things that already exist. The website mashup concept is one example of how you can draw inspiration from others to create something totally new.
The Benefits of Having Creative Employees
- Creativity is difficult to quantify, but you can see its impact from the smallest family business to the largest corporation. Though it’s often framed as an artistic skill, creativity manifests in many forms. Jonas Salk’s development of the Polio vaccine was a massive creative achievement. So was the first iPhone. Creativity often delivers unexpected solutions to seemingly impossible problems.
- Creative employees don’t believe in doing something a certain way simply because that’s the way it’s always been done. They bring fresh perspectives to challenges new and old.
- Creativity is profitable. When an employee comes up with a new product or process, the benefits to your bottom line are significant.
- Marketing thrives on creativity. The most eye-catching advertising comes from employees who have been given the tools to develop their creativity, and the freedom to be innovative thinkers.
Online Marketing in Calgary: Creative Thinking Tips from Creative Companies
Creative thinking often comes from unexpected places, with unexpected catalysts. The Fast Company blog suggests that your brain does its best creative thinking when you’re tired. Your brain has less ability to focus when you’re tired, allowing you to make the random connections that so often lead to creative sparks.
Kuno Creative suggests using the “yes, and…” tactic during meetings. Basically, you start with one employee’s idea, then go around the room and have each employee add to the concept. By saying “yes” first, you ensure that you are building upon the initial idea, rather than tearing it down. When it comes to creativity, yes is almost always better than no.
It’s fitting that the best business thinkers have come up with such innovative ways to inspire creativity in their employees. Not every concept is a fit for every workplace, but you can adapt almost any idea to the unique needs of your team. Experimenting with new ideas is a creative exercise on its own, after all. The most important thing is to support and encourage employees who think creatively. There’s no such thing as a stupid question, or a bad creative idea. Within reason, of course.
The team at Emphasize Design has the creative skills to deliver effective, innovative online marketing for your Calgary business. We look forward to landing you more leads, for less cost!