Optimizing Your Business For Creativity
Organizations face a number of challenges in our competitive world, from direct and emerging competitors to difficulty from within. However, there are a number of ways to improve these issues to build a stronger company.
Change Is Inevitable
Some might wonder why they need to worry about change if they’re profitable at the moment. However, change is one of life’s constants; it happens to everybody. Smart leaders know that change can either happen to you or because of you, and if it happens because of you, you’re in a much stronger position. Right now, technology and society are evolving so quickly that many struggle to adapt. Those who are most likely to succeed at the ones who at least try to change.
Change requires both a new perspective and a new approach. Successful change also requires diligence and the willingness to keep learning. Fortunately, there are many companies that are adapting, surviving, and thriving in the current business world, meaning that you have firm precedents to lean on. The hardest part is simply making the first step; after your momentum can help carry you.
There are a number of characteristics shared by the most successful creative businesses. These companies have a number of different traits that smart leaders can study to better understand change. The goal that these groups share is the desire to prepare for the future by becoming relevant today. These businesses also recognize that there are multiple paths to success that can be reached in different ways by different people; they recognize those people and attempt to unite all of them in a common goal.
Although the most successful businesses come in all shapes and sizes, they tend to share cultural similarities. Here are some of the best practices used by successful businesses to create a culture of creativity.
First of all, great organizations have a well-articulated vision. Moving in a new direction is all but impossible if that direction is not clearly defined, because employees need a vision to believe in and follow. That’s why leaders need to communicate where they want to go, how it’s different from the status quo, and why getting there is important.
Support At The Executive Level
Next, smart executives form a team to manage creativity. Relying on strength of will alone for leadership can be unstable and short-lived, which is why it’s important to build the infrastructure to support an creative culture. This team should be responsible for connecting various departments to prioritize, research, plan, test, and learn, as well as implementing new programs and processes throughout the organization.
Bridging The Generational Gap
Sometimes, older generations and newly hired Millennials have trouble understanding each other and can clash over differing ideas, ageist stereotypes, and unrealistic expectations. A “reverse mentoring” program, where younger and older workers come together to learn from each other, can help foster cohesion as well as exposing each group to new ideas.
Maximize Creativity Without Compromising Business Decisions
Optimizing decision making is a must. Often creativity falls prey to poorly made decisions, which can stifle creativity. Evaluate your company’s decision process while creating paths for introducing new ideas. The creative management team can help here, but in the end it’s the executive’s responsibility to change how decisions are made.
One of your businesses’ biggest assets is people—but they can also be a major liability. That’s why it’s so important to set up the right training, processes, systems, and management. Better business practices, training, renewing, and investment in people are all important in building an creative culture.
Engage with Technology
Using technology correctly is another important step. With every new technology trend, businesses are forced to consider whether or not they should implement the latest fad. The truth is, technology itself is often important, but the reasons for the adoption are often as important as the adoption itself. Technology on its own isn’t the answer; it’s merely a way to facilitate the programs and processes you already possess. Technology must be a means, not an end.
In a creative climate, ideas are precious and should be encouraged. The best organizations reward the courage of an employee to propose an idea by making it fun or lucrative to propose them or spotlighting them during everyday operations. A business that holds its employees to a high standard may simply expect new ideas—and when expectations are high, performance often rises. In addition, creative companies may even reward risk-taking, so that people do not fear speaking up.
Teaching creative thinking is another great step. Everyone has the capacity for creative thinking, as long as it’s correctly cultivated; workshops, training, and company culture should inspire people to think outside the box. Also, give people the chance to learn something new and unrelated to their day-to-day duties, which helps them make unusual connections.
Reward those who contribute to the company through creativity by sharing insights and best practices, spotlighting creative workers, and rewarding new ideas. Human resources needs a spot on the creative management team.
Building collaboration is another important step. People who wouldn’t normally see or talk to each other should have the chance to mingle and discuss ideas. Give people a reason to branch out and become integrated with other parts of the company.
Failure, The Pathway To Success
Not every idea will work, but often the fear of failure prevents companies from developing ideas at all. However, failure doesn’t have to carry negative overtones. Treating failure as a temporary setback and chance to learn goes a long way towards building an creative culture.
Environment For Experimentation
Accountability is critical. Managers, not just employees, should be judged by how well they foster creativity. They should also be examined for their ability to lead and willingness to experiment.
Finally, a creative business is optimistic and hopeful. It’s willing to embrace improvement even if the current system isn’t broken; it is willing to believe that great ideas can come from anywhere. And more than anything else, creativity requires a willingness to change.
Changing your company may seem daunting, but it’s the little things that make the most difference. With the right environment and the willingness to make things better, you can turn your business into a successful innovator.