“Creativity is a Function of Leadership” -Linda Naiman
For years your leadership has been telling your employees what to do and how to do things. After all these years, you realize you are losing business to your competitors and you need to thrive beyond survival mode. Many of your employees work on their own projects outside of work. After talking with a few employees, you find that many of them have great ideas for moving the company forward with their great ideas. You decide to give it a try.
Your employees already generate and create ideas for their own results outside of the workplace. Maybe it’s time you have them do the same thing in the workplace? For some leaders, this is the terrifying unknown – or like being afraid of the dark. For others, you know what you need to do to thrive and as the Nike ads say- “Just Do It.”
“I encourage people to bring ideas to the table. I’m very much a listener
and keep an open ear.” -Bruce R. Keiser
Since your employees are the ones who do the work, and they can be productive during the time they wait for any approval from management. Now is the time to allow your employees the opportunity to generate ideas to solve the problems, challenges and difficulties you assign to them. How can your employees meet your challenge?
“Connect the dots between individual roles and the goals of the organization. When people see that connection, they get a lot of energy out of work. They feel the importance, dignity, and meaning in their job.” – Ken Blanchard and Scott Blanchard
Enabling Employees to Solve Problems
One way to activate creativity within your employees is to develop your workplace into an environment that invites and accepts change, challenges and solutions from your employees. Being inclined to generate ideas, create those ideas and produce great results needs to be encouraged. On top of this, your employees need to feel comfortable expressing their thoughts, ideas and opinions without judgment or criticism. Their confidence is what is needed to bring new ideas to the table.
Leaders Accepting Feedback from Employees
“Good ideas are common – what’s uncommon are people who’ll work hard enough to bring them about” – Ashleigh Brilliant (English Author and Cartoonist, b.1933)
Giving employees feedback and recognition helps them feel valued. This in-turn helps them contribute more into the creative process of their work. Ask them questions and allow them to give feedback, ask questions and express their concerns without retribution.
Employees can offer greater ideas when they are able to feel comfortable in speaking up and giving their thoughts and opinions. An employee who is hesitant to speak up is not going to feel valued especially with the contributions they provide.
Keep Ideas Flowing in Your Workplaces
“New ideas pass through three periods: 1) It can’t be done. 2) It probably can be done, but it’s not worth doing. 3) I knew it was a good idea all along!”
Arthur C. Clarke quotes (English Writer of science fiction, b.1917)
Allowing your employees a percentage of time each week to work on personal projects can boost your company’s performance, revenue and profits. Ask for ideas from everyone within your company. Create an inspiration room specifically designed to encourage your people to brainstorm and use a whiteboard for ideas. You can put up a “What if…” board for questions. Set up an “idea Challenge of the Month” to encourage your employees to generate ideas on a specific problem or area.
Bringing out the best in your employees
“To win in the marketplace you must first win in the workplace.” – Doug Conant
Generating great ideas of creativity leads to innovation. Innovation is essential for the growth of any company. Instead of stifling creativity and innovation, business leaders need to understand the triggers of progress to grow your company. Diversity empowers your people as to capitalize on their strengths.
Cultivating and developing training to improve the skills and talent of your employees for greater creative breakthrough results need to continue. Having some of your more creative employees working with less experienced employees can have a significant impact throughout your organization. This is where your employees take a lot of pride in them and in their employment. Innovation is the key to keeping your business competitive, as bright ideas are often hard to come by.
“The air is full of ideas. They are knocking you in the head all the time. You only have to know what you want, then forget it, and go about your business. Suddenly, the idea will come through. It was there all the time.”
Henry Ford quotes (American industrialist and pioneer of the assembly-line production method, 1863-1947)
As a leader, you want to shift gears from an ordinary organization to one that is extraordinary in being creative and innovative. This is so you can get a jump on your competition and thrive beyond survival mode. You already know that your employees work on great ideas outside of the workplace. Now, you have them to bring their great ideas in-house. Thrive beyond your expectation.