There’s a lot of talk about the need for creativity in the workplace. And none of it has anything to do with the type of artwork you choose to hang on your walls. Instead these conversations center on the fact that organizations that encourage their employees to think creatively at work enjoy a distinct advantage over their competitors. In fact, creativity in the workplace isn’t just a “nice to have” it’s a “must have” if a company wants to be competitive.
So what does it mean to have employees be more creative at work? You’ve probably heard the saying, “two heads are better than one”. Well, imagine how much better it would be if you had every head in your organization coming together and thinking about how to make your business more innovative, more profitable, and more competitive in today’s marketplace.
A recent article in Fortune magazine highlighted an Ann Arbor company called Zimmerman’s Community of Business as a perfect example of how companies can benefit when they unleash the power of their employees’ creative thinking:
Kimball Co-Sponsors Applying What Scientists know by IFMA and WE Foundation
“Their Roadhouse restaurant was concerned that food costs were escalating. A dishwasher observed that he was throwing away huge quantities of fries each day.
Working with the team, they tried an idea – decrease the initial portion size of fries and offer free refills. This idea saved money without compromising great service.”
In his book, A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future, Daniel Pink explains why he believes that left-brain linear, analytical computer-like thinking is being replaced by right-brain empathy, inventiveness, and understanding as skills most needed by businesses who want a competitive advantage in the future. Of course, thinking creatively isn’t just something you can ask your employees to do and it will magically happen.
The creative process takes time. According to scientists, here’s how an individual’s random thoughts turn into a solution.”
The 5 steps of the creative process:
An individual sees a problem or issue and wonders if there’s a solution. He or she will then do some research, create goals, organize thoughts, and begin to brainstorm ideas.
As the individual processes the ideas, he or she starts to let their imagination wander while the ideas ruminate in the back of their mind.
This is when everything comes together and the perfect idea reveals itself. Many times this happens when the person isn’t even thinking about the project itself. Like when driving home.
The idea is shared with others. In addition to valuable feedback, this may also spark others in the group to add to the idea or refine it. The idea is then brought to his or her supervisors.
This is the transformation of an idea into a final solution and putting it into action.
The Connection Between Well-Being and Creativity
Expert from Kimball White Paper “The Connection Between Well-Being and Creativity” published on 11/8/2018