Creativity is an overused buzz word in today’s business environment. Alongside innovation, it stands as one of those terms muttered by Board members and CEOs who subsequently do zip, zilch, zero to support it.
There are however, a number of solid reasons why creativity must be promoted in the workplace. So the next time you hear any senior staff mutterings, use these three points to push lip service into action.
1. Creativity helps anticipate both problems and trends before they occur. Creativity is all about absorbing information and exploring how it affects things. From that exploration, ideas emerge. Promoting an environment where staff are encouraged to explore their industry, their individual roles, the broader company etc means you have a workforce geared to uncovering issues that might affect the bottom line, positively or negatively.
2. Creativity helps build a strong culture, a strong culture leads to cross pollination of ideas, and the right ideas lead to better business results. In the stone age, hunter/gatherers worked about 15 to 20 hours a week. The rest of the time was spent on leisure. This led to an explosion of artistic expression, and the development of highly evolved cultures. Today, we spend 50+ hours a week at work. If we assign part of that time to creative projects (as does Google), staff feel that the company is supporting their personal growth. We are more likely to see staff interacting with each other as they pursue different ideas, and a stronger company culture can be nurtured. The better the culture, the better the cross pollination etc.
3. It’s fun. Like it or not Mr. Bottomline, we live our lives to enjoy them. There are a myriad of studies on happy workplaces, and being able to pursue creative ideas in the workplace without fear of reprimand or ridicule is fun. It allows us to relax, it prevents resentment and it helps build a happy, productive workspace.