4 Tips To Encourage Creative Thinking In Your Employees

Creativity is essential for innovation, but many organizational leaders don’t know how to foster it in their workforce. Instead, they overwhelm them with meaningless meetings and whiteboard sessions. 

Instead, experts suggest developing creative ways to provide your employees the time and space they require to generate new ideas. 

Encouraging creativity at work is one of the most critical parts of a successful business. According to an IBM survey, 60 percent of CEOs rated creativity as the most crucial leadership trait for corporate success. 

New ideas are essential for workplace innovation and success, but how does your firm encourage creative thought? 

What practical steps can you take to encourage staff to think creatively? 

Here are some practical strategies you can implement in your office to inspire your team to think more creatively.

Generate A Number of Ideas

Tips To Encourage Creative Thinking In Your Employees

One of the simplest yet most important questions a leader can ask a team attempting to solve a difficult business problem is, “What else are we trying?” 

It recognizes the necessity for options while granting authorization to proceed in a lightweight manner.

The legendary Stanford Prof Robert McKim is responsible for coaxing innumerable innovations and innovators into the world. When a student asked for his comments on a project or a new concept , he always gave the same response: “Show me three.” 

He understood that options often constitute the key to breaking through. Likewise a true leader understands that it is necessary to ask the right questions and nudge your workers in the right direction by making them look for more than only one option.

Allow Failures 

Tips To Encourage Creative Thinking In Your Employees

F-word failure is one of the most dreaded words in everybody’s dictionary. There are places where failure is intolerable.

Failure, however, is not always unacceptable everywhere. In fact, we urge leaders to create zones in which failure is not just accepted but encouraged.

It’s critical to communicate to your staff that you don’t expect perfection or perfectly polished ideas and projects every time they’re asked for their creative input. 

Your employees must be permitted to make mistakes and take risks without fear of repercussions. Managers and corporations benefit from learning from mistakes, and sensible failures can help prevent catastrophic blunders.

Schedule Well

Tips To Encourage Creative Thinking In Your Employees

Most organizations are effectively playing “schedule Tetris,” as if making space for each meeting were the goal of the game. When pushed to innovate, one of the most common complaints is, “I don’t have any time.”

The most innovative leaders organize unscheduled time.

Unless your industry is completely unique, your teams will face challenges next week, month, and year. To overcome those difficulties, they’ll need space to design a large number of ideas and commission experiments that produce useful data on the best path ahead. 

Have them schedule that time today, before the Tetris blocks compete for calendar space. Remember small changes can drive great results.

To encourage innovation on your teams, schedule time for the basic activities you know will be required well before you know the specifics of the problems that will require new thinking to solve.

Appreciate Those Who Find A Problem

Tips To Encourage Creative Thinking In Your Employees

An extremely creative leader has never said the old leadership cliche “don’t bring me problems, bring me solutions”. 

While everyone recognizes the value of problem-solving, the nuanced art of problem-finding is underdeveloped. Unless you know the problem, you cannot find a solution.

Innovation leaders understand that challenges are a vital precondition for creative solutions, and they work to raise awareness of problems within their teams.

Many organizations offer “suggestion boxes,” or “idea competitions.” We suggest putting a “problem box” next to those.


Finally, it boils down to redefining what you consider “work” and allowing your coworkers and employees to do the same.

If work is all about efficiency-oriented metrics, such as response speed to Slack messages and meeting attendance, you will continue to squander our people’s enormous creative potential.

However, if you start thinking in terms of effectiveness — searching the world for rich inputs that inspire fresh thinking or pushing your team to develop a large number of solutions to a problem before settling on the best response — innovation will begin to trend in your workplace.

Also Read: 5 Essentials Of A Great Company Culture

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