For companies to thrive in today’s environment, innovation is essential. Foster a culture of innovation in your organization by tapping into your employees’ creativity. A creative environment is how many ideas end up transforming products and business models. How do you keep the creative juices flowing in your firm so individuals are incentivized and encouraged to innovate? Here are some ideas:
- Make sure top management is clear that employees are paid to think, to feel free to come up with ideas. Also, encourage all ideas and reward even those ideas that aren’t going to fly to send a clear message that all creativity is welcomed.
- When hiring new talent, once they get a feel for the company, ask them for ideas – where they may see areas of improvement. Fresh blood in an organization often view things from a different perspective and can open our eyes to doing things differently.
- Design a “What if” segment in your brainstorming sessions. Come up with scenarios to inspire your employees.
- Create a monthly contest to spur new ideas. “An Idea Challenge” backed by some type of reward will keep the ideas percolating.
- Where possible, do a job swap. Have employees do another person’s job. Like new hires, this can provide you with a fresh perspective and result in ideas that streamline processes, improve customer service, etc.
- Establish a think tank-type area in the company where employees are encouraged to be creative. Think about going outside the office for inspiration from time to time – the park, the beach or lake, or local zoo, depending on where you are.
- Listen to ideas right away and put those that make sense for your organization into practice immediately. You want your employees to know you’re serious that their ideas can help shape the business.
- Have fun! Laughter, silliness is a great way to get people relaxed and creativity flowing.