The value of programming, marketing, and videography in the 21st century is common knowledge. They’re the most in-demand skills as they can help businesses from almost all industries gain competitive advantages and achieve their goals.
But having skills means little without creativity, an alarmingly overlooked skill. Creativity keeps employees and employers relevant, ensuring they grow steadily and increase their value in the professional world. It is valuable now more than ever to succeed in the rapidly-changing world.
While creativity is vital in every aspect of professional life, its importance in strategic decisions stands out.
Creativity in Business
Creativity isn’t an elusive skill found in writers, marketers, designers, etc. Everyone, from programmers to product managers, is creative in their own way.
The key for businesses is to find a way to get creative solutions from their employees regularly. Creativity in business decisions is particularly vital, as it can help:
1. Spark Innovation
History is proof that innovation rarely, if ever, comes from conventional thinking. An unorthodox approach to the problem statement has almost always been the first step towards innovation.
Promoting creativity and freedom of thought in every department can help businesses spark innovation and become leaders. When employees have the space to think about solutions and make strategic decisions without getting judged, they can present unique ideas that can help businesses stay ahead of the curve.
Fostering an environment of free thinking is vital for companies to get the creative best out of their employees.
2. Increase Productivity
Productivity is a significant problem for businesses. Employees can often get demotivated and feel lethargic due to outdated business processes and mundane work.
Less room for free thinking can also spark such feelings, making employees disinterested in their work and move towards the exit door. Getting a replacement isn’t always a solution, as training someone new on the job requires time.
Giving employees the space to make creative, strategic decisions can keep them motivated and ensure they’re always looking for ways to derive joy from their work. Employees can thrive when they’re allowed to work outside a structure and prioritise creativity over routine.
3. Increase Adaptability
The 21st century is a century of rapid change. Technology is at the forefront of it, but the divided world and the race to become the next superpower are driving rapid transformation in how the world works.
Health emergencies like the 2020 pandemic are equally responsible for making the 21st century unpredictable. Businesses must adapt to such changes, but creativity at every level can ensure companies stay relevant.
When employees think for themselves and how they contribute to the organisation’s success, they can find ways to deliver results even in adversity. The ‘Work From Home’ era triggered due to the 2020 pandemic is a perfect example.
Employees found a way to deliver results and ensure smooth business functioning in the face of a fatal health emergency. They found ways to do justice to their work despite staying in busy households and having to do everything by themselves.
4. Trigger Growth
Encouraging creativity in business decisions triggers employee development and growth. Employees thrive when they’re allowed to think outside the box and present ideas to their managers and clients without fear of judgement.
Companies grow only when their employees do. Businesses leading in their respective industries have an open culture where new ideas and creativity are encouraged. It helps them stay relevant and operate at the top of their potential.
Businesses losing market share must do an internal review and understand if cognitive fixedness or the idea that there is only one way to do something dominates their corporate culture.
How to Foster a Creative Environment for Employee Development
The benefits of creativity in the workplace and strategic decision-making have been established. Creativity is critical for businesses to stay relevant, increase market share, and overall employee training and development.
However, few businesses and leaders know how to develop creative thinking skills in the workplace and leverage it to produce groundbreaking solutions regularly. There isn’t a manual anyone can follow, as individuals thrive in unique settings. Still, leaders can practise the following to achieve creativity in the workplace:
Corporate life isn’t all rosy. Employees can often feel burned out or lose motivation doing the same thing repeatedly.
A lack of motivation might prevent employees from finding creative solutions, which may impact business growth. This is where leaders must step in.
They must listen carefully to their juniors and understand their professional as well as personal concerns. Employees feel confident and less stressed about their work when they know their leaders have their back.
When motivation is low, leaders can reinforce the reason why their teams are engaged in their respective fields, their personal goals, and the importance of hard work.
Encourage Critical Analysis
Leaders can embed creativity in everyday thinking in the workplace by encouraging critical analysis. They must give employees the freedom to present their unfiltered views on a product or project.
Employees investigate a product more thoroughly and invest themselves in it when their views are heard. This approach can also help improve the product or project.
Minor details missed during the development or implementation phase might get picked up during a critical analysis session.
Promote a Perpetual Search
Creativity in the workplace comes with a perpetual search for perfection. While it is impossible to create a product everyone likes, teams can create something the majority loves.
Leaders can develop creativity within their teams by promoting this search. They must ask and help their team members find ways to improve their product or project during, between, and after its launch.
Don’t Judge Too Quickly
Many corporate leaders promote creativity, yet there are few creative workplaces around. One of the reasons could be measuring success too soon.
While several leaders give their teams time and resources to experiment with a product or project, few give their work the patience to succeed.
Leaders must give new ideas time to produce the desired results. Not doing so could result in a lost opportunity and affect employees’ confidence.
Many studies have looked at the relationship between diversity and creativity. Several have concluded diverse team compositions can lead to unique and impactful ideas.
Leaders looking to build creative teams should take diversity into account. Hiring individuals with varying backgrounds or letting members from several teams collaborate can yield excellent results.
Employees step out of their comfort zone when working with new team members and may present better ideas. Without the thought of working together daily for the rest of life, employees can better collaborate and ensure they bring out their best.
The 21st century is a century of change and transformation. The pace of change is truly startling and is a warning for companies and employees that they may not be relevant a few years or months down the line.
However, creativity can help them achieve their respective employee development targets. It is a skill that sets humans apart and makes them special. Therefore, organisations and individuals must embrace creativity as a core value and ensure they work towards improving their creative skills.
Smile Foundation believes in infusing creativity in every work area; be it programmatic interventions or communication strategies. Reinventing the self and keeping our values and traditions alive is central to our work and business/employee development. We do everything to keep the fire of creativity and innovation alive in all our efforts.