Except for marketing and advertising agencies and, well… creative agencies, creative thinking and creative problem solving, for the most part, took a backseat in traditional office settings in the not too distant past. More often than not, activities of the creative sort were dismissed as frivolous and distracting to the drudgery of the cubicle. In today’s more flexible coworking office environments, encouraging creativity can improve productivity, generate innovation, and possibly help save money in the long run.
Improving energy levels
When employees are encouraged to think creatively, they are allowed to take risks. Taking chances by introducing a new way of managing an issue or an operation can give your staff license to explore ways to improve on other programs and practices, in addition to helping keep the workday interesting. When your staff feels engaged in their day-to-day, that freedom opens up many avenues to discovering favorable, more efficient business outcomes.
Managers can promote creative initiatives
Encouraging creative thinking and creative problem solving can look like many different things. Managers can foster creative thinking by mixing up the day-to-day with exercises that stimulate the right brain. Some ideas include:
Brainstorming sessions that use constructive creativity games can help your employees see different solutions other than the expected ones. In a group setting, ask your team to think about a topic or theme and then take turns as the leader discussing different aspects of that topic. Encourage team members to look at issues in different ways. More structured activities might include exercises that stimulate the right brain such as starting a narrative around a certain issue and each team member taking turns adding to that narrative. You may come up with a lot of nonsense but the collaborative effort will build trust in team members, allowing them to step outside of their comfort zones into the land of other perspectives that you may not even see yourself. Sometimes, someone else’s take on something triggers the ideas that unlock solutions.
Acknowledging natural creative thinkers and encouraging more outside of the box thinking from them can rub off on your other employees, as well. When other more reticent employees feel comfortable stepping out of their comfort zones, new ideas, even silly, outrageous and way over the top ideas can take the shape of innovative solutions. In order for businesses to grow and expand, most companies need to develop new ideas on a regular basis.
Developing a fun, working atmosphere encourages team members to risk failure and as most creative thinkers will tell you, failing is the next step on the road to success. Creative thinking relies on failure as a process of eliminating less effective solutions. Creative thinking and problem-solving can be thought of as a process. Sometimes, the rejected ideas will come back into play as the project takes a different direction. While some ideas just can’t possibly work and some you count on every time, in between the good ideas and the questionable ones, lies the process of sorting out new solutions to many different situations. Brains like challenges.
Change your scenery
As individuals, or as a group, do something different that may, in turn, stimulate your brain to think about other things, rather than the issue at hand. Going to a museum, taking a walk, or just going shopping at a different store can help get the creative forces to jump into gear.
Stimulate your brain
Reading can introduce you to ideas that inspire creative thinking. While some people will grouse about reading, saying they don’t have time, they read too slow, blah, blah, blah, avid readers tend to find inspiration in things they’ve read about. Read fiction, blog posts or anything that stirs your interest. Writing is an exercise in creative problem-solving in itself, so if nothing else, reading connects you to how authors come up with ideas that keep your attention. While reading, you may be reminded of something in your past experience that helps formulate creative solutions to a current stumbling block.
Wordplay and humor
Taking a look at those marketing, advertising, and creative agencies, here’s the thing: Most of the creative environments are upbeat, high energy businesses that invite their employees’ imaginations to go a little off the beaten path, or way off, if need be. Since humor in advertising and marketing go a long way towards audience recognition and buyer response, clever wordplay, a generous sense of humor, and a drive to create new and innovative client messages are often the order of the day. Working in an environment where wordplay and humor are incorporated into the landscape can keep workers engaged with projects and thinking creatively about solutions. A little laughter and a modicum of fun allow your staff to interact with each other. Bouncing ideas off each could lead to ideas that stick.
At Venture X, you can fine-tune your creative thinking and problem-solving scenarios with a variety of different office spaces that work for brainstorming sessions, team meetings, and many other configurations that help summon the creative forces for your next innovative idea. With great spaces to take breaks and common areas to chat on a leisurely level, Venture X coworking spaces are conveniently located near popular dining, entertainment and shopping venues to keep the creative groove going until that ah-ha moment shines on the situation at hand. Get creativity to work for you at Venture X. Contact us to schedule a tour.
Join us at Venture X where creativity is your friend!