In an increasingly complex, volatile and challenging economy, many leaders are looking to find ways to decrease costs and increase revenue-producing projects.
Creativity is the ability to generate or recognize ideas, alternatives, or possibilities, and actualize something that may not have existed before. It’s often utilized to solve difficult problems.
Leaders and executives recognize the value of creativity as a necessary aptitude they must have and must also foster in their organization.
A recent study* surveyed 1500 chief executives to find out what they viewed as the most important competency for a leader for the future. In these face-to-face interviews, creativity was identified as the No.1 leadership skill. Integrity and global thinking were next in importance.
These leaders stressed the need of “disruptive innovation and continuous reinvention” in the way they do business. This can mean disturbing the status quo of their company and introducing radical change in order to be successful.
A leader’s own creativity isn’t enough; it has to filter throughout the organization. Unlikely partnerships and nontraditional avenues of communication are to be fostered and encouraged.
Emphasize Collaboration and Teamwork
Today’s leader needs to emphasize collaboration and teamwork to foster the necessary changes to get ahead. A leadership structure that’s all about control won’t work to encourage these methods and promote creativity. When you give up some of the control, you’re able to kindle a climate of mutual trust that’s paramount for radical change. People need to feel that their off-the-wall ideas have a chance of being heard and even implemented.
Loyal employees can play a major role in revving up the creativity in the company or organization. That is, if they’re involved in the process and given the time and ability to brainstorm, communicate, and collaborate.
Insecurity is a creativity suppressant. If people believe their ideas have an outlet and are accepted and valued, their confidence builds. This translates into increased creativity for them and you, and ultimately for the company. Make time for creativity and create social and informal interactions that bolster it.
Ignite and Excite
Get your team excited and passionate about the creative process and stimulate a flow of ideas and communication exchange by formal and informal methods. Ignite the imagination of your team.
Encourage the emergence of strong leaders within and train them. Once trained, they can be instrumental in fostering small groups of employees in brainstorm session and possibility thinking. Create an environment that spawns creative ideas and limitless thinking. Reward and recognize employees who dare to dream and think outside the box.
Get comfortable with ambiguity, experimentation and risk-taking. Invent and plan for possible futures and scenarios for your company and products, even if they appear outlandish at first. Take calculated risks without always waiting for or relying on evaluative efforts.
We all have some innate creativity within us. You can help your team members develop theirs through numerous practices such as movement and increasing the field of focus. Finding creative solutions to complex problems is more likely when the breadth of attention is widened.
Look into other businesses and industries for answers and ideas. Body movement can enhance creativity by eliminating any fixated thinking. Abstract thinking is stimulated when you move about so allow for stretch breaks and some movement for more fluid and fluent ideas.
Most importantly, rely on your core values and the strong values the company is based upon. Uphold the integrity of the company, the team and you which builds trust within the organization and also externally, with your customers and colleagues.
* Source: IBM.com.