Published 29 June 2017 Category: Compass Tips, Workplace

Creativity Does Not Belong To A Select Few

The future of your business depends on it.
To stay relevant in today’s rapidly changing marketplace you must change. ‘Adapt or die’ in evolutionary terms.

How does change occur?
It has to be created because the speed of change around us is increasing every day.

Who do you think of when you think of makers or creators? Do you think of a department or team somewhere in your organisation? Are they the designers, the artists, the writers, the creatives? I for one, used to think that Creativity is often relegated to “specialists”. Design, art and writing are practiced disciplines. The tools and skills gained in practice cannot and should not be discounted. People invest a great deal of effort in becoming designers, artists, writers or builders. I wouldn’t hire someone to design and build my house who had never done it before. However, when it comes to creativity, this is an attribute inside most people.

Fear or discomfort is what keeps it from emerging. We limit ourselves and those around us through offering judgement or making statements like “Oh me…I’m not creative” and as a result, limit our potential to thrive.

Creativity as a fundamental human attribute.
“The mainspring of creativity appears to be the same tendency which we discover so deeply as the curative force evident in all organic and human life - the urge to expand, extend, develop, mature - the tendency to express and activate all the capacities of the organism, to the extent that such activation enhances the organism or the self. With the right conditions, creative thinking and new ideas arise. As a result, there is greater potential for growth and change. There is greater likelihood that you will come up with the next idea that will keep you in business.

We can’t relegate creativity to a few key people or a department. We must instead, elevate the value of creation and cultivate the conditions for new ideas to come forward throughout our organisations. Here’s how:

Accept people as people first. While a person may be (and should be) evaluated based on performance and ability, it is critical that they are valued as a person separately. If accepting someone is tied solely to their performance in the business, they will cling to known, safe ways to gain that status and acceptance. By accepting someone as a whole and complete person first, regardless of performance, they will be more likely to try new things. We are familiar with the importance of having empathy with our customers. It’s equally as important to have empathy for the people INSIDE our organisation.

Allow for any and all ideas to come forward. This doesn’t mean that every idea should make it onto the roadmap or plan, rather; that every person who brings a new idea forward should be heard without judgement. When you offer judgement first, people stop sharing.

Empower the team to share all kinds of ideas. Invite unlikely suspects to a brainstorm. Maybe there is a young intern who has lots of energy and unique perspective. By creating a cross-functioanal team of people with diverse perspectives, we can tackle a problem better, together.

New ideas come up more easily when we step outside our comfort zone, we tend to look at new things, shift perspective and see new relationships. You might be surprised at what emerges when you give yourself the time, space and freedom from stereotype.