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How to Foster Innovation and Creativity in General Management

Creativity is intelligence enjoying itself. It is now a critical leadership quality tied to essential skills for the modern workforce.

Companies that embrace creativity thrive, while those that don’t often fade away. 

In today’s fast-changing world, things like AI, automation, and new technologies handle repetitive tasks, leaving room for human skills like creativity and clever thinking to shine. People believe that unleashing their creativity is essential for personal and professional growth. Businesses need to encourage creativity more than ever.

Here’s why: Companies with creative leaders do better. Yet, many bosses are unhappy with their company’s innovation levels. Creativity is important, but finding ways to use it at work can be tricky. Often, companies prioritise speed and predictability over creativity. Even if they value innovation, their actions don’t always show it.

Tips for Fostering Innovation and Creativity

You must create space for creative thinking to make your business more innovative. Certain methods and attitudes can help generate fresh ideas. Here’s how you can start:

Carve Out Time

Lack of time kills creativity. If your team is always busy with tasks, they won’t have room for new ideas. To lead in innovation, dedicate regular hours to brainstorming and tackling new problems. This isn’t just for naturally creative people – anyone can develop this skill. These sessions build habits that encourage different ways of thinking.

Give Freedom

If your team doesn’t feel their ideas matter or they’re being watched too closely, creative exercises won’t work. Your team should own their work and influence the team’s output. Ask questions like “How are you willing to do this?” or “What’s a good deadline?”. Then answer. This shows them their opinions matter and builds their confidence.

Embrace Storytelling

Whether it’s sales, marketing, or any field, stories matter. It’s not just the message but how it’s told. Rules and processes can stifle creativity. Let your team try new methods and encourage them to break the rules. Focus on telling a compelling story in ads, pitches, articles, and presentations.

Stay Consistent

Many businesses start well with creativity but lose steam. You can try all the ideas above, but if you’re not consistent, it won’t work. After brainstorming, make sure you set clear next steps and responsibilities. Show your team that creative efforts lead to results. This keeps them motivated and reinforces creativity.

Three companies that use creativity and innovation in their workspace  

Netflix 

Netflix’s unique culture values accomplishments over hours worked. Employees with innovative ideas for teams collaborate with different departments and drive innovation aligned with core principles.

Amazon 

Amazon hires problem solvers and encourages high-judgement failures. Many of Amazon’s innovative successes stem from learning through failures and experimenting with new angles.

HubSpot 

HubSpot promotes an “uncomfortable level of transparency,” allowing employees to work across departments. This approach fosters unique insights and innovative thinking, enhancing their daily tasks and projects.

What’s Next?

Once your company values creativity, your team will become more creative. Also, creative companies attract like-minded professionals. So, new hires will value creativity, too. Consistent efforts pay off. It might take time, but don’t give up. Adapt your approach and listen to your employees – they’re your best resource.

Fostering innovation isn’t just a one-time thing. It’s an ongoing process that can lead your business to unique strategies, products, and success.

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