You've no doubt heard about “thinking outside the box”. Very often, business creativity is referred to as thinking outside the box. You can get locked in to your day-to-day operational thinking “inside the box”, and forget totally about the requirements of the need for business creativity. It is very easy to lose sight of adding creativity to your business while you work daily at accomplishing nearby goals.
Ways to Promote Creativity Within Your Business
1. Examine the assumption that the way your company does things is the only way to go. The counter argument to any new way of creative thinking in your business will likely be, “but it's always been done this way!” Employees become comfortable with the way the business operates, and some may not embrace change very easily. Creativity means change. You can begin to challenge your fixed business methods by meeting with key employees and managers to brainstorm new thinking. Start your change process slowly; remembering that it probably took a while for your employees to be comfortable with their present way of accomplishing their tasks and change will take time.
2. At the brainstorming session, be sure to make the first few meetings comfortable ones. Nothing stifles business creativity more than a threatening atmosphere of “we will make change no matter what”! It may take a few casual breakfast meetings to instil the beginnings of this new approach. You will soon discover who are the “pros” and the “cons” within this process change. You can choose team leaders for creative thinking within the company, from the supporters of your new process.
3. Consider bringing in an outside expert on business creativity to hold a company wide seminar to start people thinking that maybe creative change is not necessarily threatening, but a way to guarantee continuing growth for the company and more secure employment. Ask the creative consultant to show examples of positive change and to hold breakout sessions with the staff involving workshops practicing creative thinking.
4. Next, you will need to identify which creative ideas that have come forward will be the most advantageous for you. This could be something as simple a slight change in the way you process your invoicing or as complex as introducing a completely new product line that you previously hadn't pursued, but came to light as a possibility during one of your brainstorming sessions. Another example is if one of your key employees came up with ‘think Global', so you are now seriously considering an overseas office. Once you have developed and prioritized, your list of creative thinking ideas you are going to act on, it is time to move to the implementation phase!
5. It's one thing to accomplish creative thinking, but it is another to install a working group to implement this new approach. It has to be made clear to all, that management supports the process amendments that have come about as a result of the creative business workshops and you fully expect similar support from all involved. Assemble your implementation team with a good cross section of the involved departments and include both the positive supporters and the naysayers. Monitor implementation of changes and keep in mind that creative thinking should become a regular routine, making thinking outside the box an insider thing!
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