Have You Been Encouraging Employee Creativity as Part of Your Business Growth Planning?

Did you know that all of your employees are creative in some way? In fact, many of them are very creative. Some people are fast and theatrical when they are in their “zone.”  Others are brooding, quiet and diligent.

It’s unfortunate that many business owners and managers don’t know that creativity comes from an organic place. It’s not something that people inherit or some strange, unobtainable natural talent.

Most creativity surfaces when a person is surrounded by a specific environment and  comes up with a solution to a problem. It’s not a flash of blind inspiration. Creativity is simply:

How people categorize, problem solve, store information, share information with others and use information for their own ends to better their own or their organization’s position.

When you think of even just your friends and family, you realize everyone collects, processes and uses information differently, creatively.

For this reason, anyone can be creative under the right circumstances. However, most employers don’t take advantage of this innate quality most humans possess.

How Can You Encourage Creativity in Your Staff?

  • Foster a creative environment where the traits of creativity can flourish and where staff members can feel comfortable being themselves and expressing themselves.
  • Verbally encourage creativity. Implement a reward system.
  • Ask your staff for input on how to make the environment more creative and use their suggestions whenever you can.

Harvard University Professor, David Perkins developed the “Snowflake Model of Creativity,” based on the premise that there are six common traits in creative people. According to Perkins, creative people:

  1. Tolerate disorganization, asymmetry and complexity. They feel comfortable with these realities and often seek to struggle with them to find solutions to problems;
  2. They are good problem solvers;
  3. They navigate between problem-solving tactics like challenging common assumptions, thinking in opposites, metaphors, contraries and analogies;
  4. They are willing to take risks,
  5. They are willing to judge and scrutinize their own ideas;
  6. They are motivated to solve problems or carry out whatever activity they want to carry out for reasons other than money or advancement. Though they might receive money or advancement for their work, creative people are often motivated by a higher purpose.

As you can see, creative people are different and most employers discourage creativity in their staff.  Many employers encourage their staff to mimic others and meet the status quo.  Do you find that you recognize some or all of Perkins’ listed traits in any of your staff members? If you do, that worker could benefit your organization in ways you might not realize.

Remember, running a business successfully does not need to be complicated.  Keep it simple!

For more tips on how to keep your business healthy and thriving, please check out our website www.portalcfo.com.

 

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