Cultivating creativity

“Our team just got a great new project that requires a truly unique solution. Typically, we come back to the same remedies for similar problems. We need to start stimulating fresh ideas, or the competition will get the next great project.

Environment is an important factor for stimulating creativity. It may be necessary to remove the team from their “typical” environment, or to change the environment to encourage atypical thinking. Oftentimes isolating the team from everyday activities will release them from established patterns of thinking. Along these lines, holding brainstorming sessions in nature can work wonders.
According to Walt Disney, isolation and silence were important factors for stimulating his creative talent. He made it a point of scheduling uninterrupted private time in order to quietly reflect on building a new idea. Later in his career, he encouraged creativity in this company by cultivating a corporate environment that stimulated experimentation, playfulness, and spontaneity.
Keep ahead of the competition by incubating long-term creativity in your corporate environment.

  • Promote experimentation. There are numerous techniques for stimulating group creativity, such as brainstorming, building storyboards, mapping, morphological analysis, and visualizing. Some techniques work better for different team and projects. Try several different techniques and test which ones best promote and enhances your teams’ ideas.
  • Support playful. Maybe it sounds ridiculous for serious minded companies, but goofing around can be a great way to relax people and let them open up and be themselves. If they feel at ease, the ideas will often start to flow. Create an environment that encourages people to have fun. Utilize “what if” games, where you kick around ideas and anything goes. Be very careful not to criticize any idea, regardless of how unrelated or silly it may seem at the time.
  • Encourage spontaneity. Publicly recognize new ideas and insights on a regular basis. Even though a united team will outperform an individual, there are individuals that deserve to be rewarded for truly unique thinking. Creativity is a form of genius – find your brightest and reward them as exemplary company models.

Article prepared by Renée LeMoine, Executive Director, LeMoine & Associates






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