The comfort zone is the great enemy to creativity – British actor Dan Stevens.
In today’s global economy, teamwork is critical to enhance productivity, gain competitive advantage, capture market share, and improve customer service. Meetings, which business transcription companies help document, are necessary to discuss important issues, make decisions, solve problems, collaborate and move forward. One of the most important elements of a successful meeting is encouraging new ideas and creativity. In fact, successful organization shave come to realize that cultivating a culture of creativity at work is crucial to fuel innovation and create a working environment that attracts and retains employees. Here are some expert recommendations for encouraging creativity in teams:
- Create an environment that drives innovation: Providing employees with interesting, stimulating and challenging work can encourage creativity, says Daniel Russell, partner at management consulting company RHR International. Team members can be allowed to do side projects unrelated to their daily routine (www.tlnt.com).
Google, LinkedIn and Facebook actively encourage creativity in employees by allowing them to try new ideas, even if they might not be successful. The idea behind this is that even if a project fails, it can still challenge incorrect theories and identify underlying problems. Intel created an innovation Open Lab in Ireland where employees can be creative, perform research, and come up with innovation opportunities for the company.
- Build a common idea bank: Russell encourages organizations to set up unique physical or virtual space or “innovation garage” and a specific time where employees can work together on innovative ideas.
In a Forbes article, Hannah Taylor, Ironistic, describes how she created an indexable database for their team on their intranet. The goal is to allow the team to add campaign retrospectives and ideas that can be accessed throughout the company. Anyone can type in a keyword tag when developing a new campaign to find relevant ideas from the idea bank.
- Encourage creative thinking: Organizations can foster employee creativity by supporting the creative process. To encourage creativity, employees should be encouraged to ask questions, make assumptions, take risks, and make mistakes. They should be allowed to take the time to explore different ideas and experiment to develop new solutions, approaches, products, and services (www.liveplan.com).
Google nurtures a creative culture by creating a good balance between work life and personal life in order to limit stress, and organizing the work space to make it as pleasant as possible for its employees.
- Encourage questions instead of answers at brainstorming sessions: The basic idea behind brainstorming is to encourage people to think out of the box and generate as many ideas as possible. While this may work for naming a new product or feature, or creating a slogan, more analytical projects would require more critical thinking (www.business2community.com/). Among other things, the article discusses the unique brainstorming technique recommended by Hal Gregersen, senior lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management. Gregersen says that pushing teams to think of questions rather than answers will help frame the issue in a fresh way and stimulate a productive brainstorming session.
Organizations need to schedule brainstorm sessions into their weekly or monthly basis. Ongoing brainstorming sessions are important to get the creative juices flowing. Developing this culture of open engagement would ensure that the team knows that their ideas are appreciated. Ideas selected can be rewarded with incentives says Janine Robertson, Insect Shield Repellent Technology (www.forbes.com). IDEO’s global head of talent Duane Bray stresses the value of the phrase “how might we” which signals that risky or outlandish ideas are welcome! Bray also highlights the importance of asking questions that will actually spark a productive conversation
- Be flexible: As flexibility fosters innovation, organizations need to promote an environment where processes and methods are open to growth and improvement. People have different working styles – while some are early birds, others are night owls. Some favor working in a noisy environment and some prefer to hotdesk. Being flexible and adaptive can help companies attract and retain creative thinkers. A RealBusiness article explains how Google experimented with working patterns linked to an individual’s biorhythms in an effort to maximize both productivity and creativity.
- Hire talent: Innovative recruiting processes can attract talent with the necessary technical, behavioral and critical-thinking skills (ww.forbes.com). To access collective intelligence and ensure project success, team members should have complementary skill sets (tech, design, marketing, and finance) required for the project. Recruiting software firm Lever designs powerful, modern digital platforms to help companies source, interview, and hire top talent.
According to Accenture, while organizations may value and hire innovative talent, they may “fail to adapt their culture to embrace the healthy and positive disruption these individuals may trigger”. The point is that individuals’ creative potential can only be realized if they are in an environment that supports, nurtures, and enables their innovative talent.
- Create a rotating culture: Forbes recommends creating a rotating culture. Job rotation moves employees through different positions within or among departments, desk arrangements, and assignments so that they gain exposure to different parts of the business. This can stimulate creativity and new ideas. Alibaba uses this strategy to help employees who go down one route and have not succeeded (enviableworkplace.com). Porter Erisman, former Vice President at Alibaba told Enviable Workplace that when he was working for the company, his title changed 8 times in 8 years. After every year, the management would rotate positions depending on what the team’s need was. The idea is to help each employee find the position that is his best fit.
Transcribing brain storming sessions is the best way to get a complete record of all those valuable ideas. Digital transcription agencies can ensure timely and accurate documentation of the sessions that you can evaluate when needed and make improvements.