Are Your Employees Stifled?
Fostering creativity is one of the best ways to make employees feel like valued, contributing partners in your organization.
Unfortunately many leaders don’t foster creativity. Whether intentional or not, the resulting roadblocks that impede or deter innovation and creative thinking also lead to disengagement, lower morale and less productivity.
Unlocking the barriers to creativity is one of the easiest things to do, but the hardest to commit to. It requires an admission of the deficiencies of your company culture and most likely you or your managers leadership skills.
In order to foster a creative organization, you will need to look at what specific leadership principles and culture mindsets you have that stifle and thwart innovation.
Hierarchy and demands alone won’t make this happen. Creativity needs a loose culture that allows innovation to grow on its own when conditions are right.
If you don’t want your people to be creative, than you may have larger problems that need to be addressed. But if you really covet a creative team, examine what barriers are present and determine to remove them.
Ask yourself if any of these exist:
Do you state “That’s not your job description” or “I want you to do it the way we’ve always done it.”
Do you want uniformity and metrics or out-of-the-box thinking?
Is independent thinking discouraged? Do bosses ever say “I don’t pay you to think.”
Do you expect so much out of a workday that staff don’t have time to breathe and reflect?
Are employees kept in the dark as to vision? Do you ever invite them to sit in on strategy meetings?
Are employees unduly punished for taking risks or challenging the status quo?
Are ideas for innovation shot down before their merits are even validated?
If any of these questions are affirmed, then work to educate the leaders in your company and make concerted plans to be open to innovation.
Such steps might be to create mechanisms to prevent ideas from being shot down. Have management personnel take lessons on brainstorming and mastermind sessions. Watch for buzz words and cliche sayings that stop those creative juices from flowing freely.
Another good idea is to keep a measure of how many creative ideas come from your people. If you see the numbers trend down, it’s most assuredly a sign of management being the issue, and not the team.
Once you sustain an environment for your people to contribute and thrive, you bridge a substantial gap between engagement and commitment.
Leaders and organizations that can identify the systemic deliberate and unintentional roadblocks to creativity will find a competitive edge in today’s marketplace. Not only in being able to compete with innovation, but in keeping and engaging with the best talent. Talent you might already have on your roster.