The status quo can be helpful, and it exists for a reason. However, focusing on “what is” isn’t always conducive to creativity and innovation. Creativity is important in the workplace because without it and the subsequent innovation that comes with creativity, employers would not be able to ignite growth. Creativity allows employees to make unique connections between what is and what could be, which is vital for progress. A company may be performing well in the current marketplace, but in an ever-changing environment, companies that fail to progress will ultimately fail and potentially go out of business. So what are some strategic team building strategies for encouraging creativity In your office?
By implementing some team building strategies for encouraging creativity in your office, you can find obvious solutions for unexpected problems or unexpected solutions for obvious problems. Here’s how:
While you might not have picked up a box of crayons or colored pencils since grade school, other adults have jumped on the coloring train and have started using adult coloring books to unlock creativity. The fad has taken off in recent years, and adult coloring books took three of the top 10 spots on Amazon’s best-selling items list in 2015. The popular trend is also backed by research. Coloring, play and other forms of creative expression are shown to reduce stress, improve career success and encourage innovation in the workplace. People who regularly color also benefit from the improved ability to focus, relax and reset. As a leader, consider giving your employees time during the day to expand their creative expression to recharge, which can improve their creativity throughout the day.
Get out of your comfort zone.
Daily routines and weekly meetings absolutely have their place, but when you are stuck in the daily grind, you likely aren’t mentally prepared to produce creative solutions for problems. When you regularly perform the same tasks or when you approach tasks in the same way, your brain starts to think in a certain way, which inhibits creative solutions. So to overcome mental blocks, you need to get out of your comfort zone and enter situations that are new and unpredictable. Getting out of your comfort zone can either be mental or physical, such as a move in the office or even a move across the country. For a mental move, you can read an unexpected book or pick up a new hobby. This change in space can reset your way of thinking, restarting and improving your creativity.
Brainstorming sessions are regularly used in business, but you can encourage improved creativity in your workplace by placing constraints on your brainstorming solutions. For example, when two or more people get together to brainstorm a solution, they can identify certain parameters that must be considered, such as weight or material limitations. By placing these types of restrictions on their brainstorming, your employees will be forced to come up with more creative solutions for their problems. Once they get in the habit of this type of thinking, they will be more creative in their daily tasks.
By adopting the morning ritual of stream-of-conscious journaling, you can promote better creativity throughout your day and life. Stream-of-conscious journaling is when you simply write what comes to mind, without any expectations or intentions when you begin. Most of what we write serves a purpose, such as communicating an idea or sharing information, but stream-of-conscious journaling is just for you to help you sort through issues and tap into your creative potential. This type of writing should be done by hand, rather than on the computer, as you will feel more connected to the writing when it’s done longhand. You should also perform this type of writing as soon as you wake up without the intention of sharing your thoughts. If you know that no one will see your pages, you will be more open and honest with what you write.
Stress causes the mind to downshift into survival mode, which restricts creativity. The mind needs a relaxed state to be fully creative. So, getting a handle on stress is the fastest way to open creative channels.
Therefore, here are four questions to ask yourself:
- Do you find it increasingly difficult to cope with the world around you because you are up all night worrying?
- Has your job become a source of worry and depression instead of pleasure and fulfillment?
- Do you often find yourself snapping at co-workers and family members resulting in adverse impacts on your important relationships?
- Do you often find yourself dashing from meeting to meeting and making what you know are snap decisions about what to eat and now your body is suffering from the consequences such as weight gain and high blood pressure?
If you answered yes to any one of these questions, look to stress as the source and know your creativity is impacted.
Creativity is important not only for your personal life, but for your professional life as well. When you are creative in the workplace, you are able to come up with new solutions for old problems or best identify old solutions for new problems. Without innovation and change, your company will not last long in the ever-changing marketplace, so it’s essential that you foster creativity for yourself and your employees. Some team building strategies to improve creativity include: coloring, getting out of your comfort zone, brainstorming with others and daily journaling. With these tips and strategies, you can improve your own creativity, as well as the creativity of those around you.
To broaden this conversation, we also found the following articles to offer additional strategies:
- Coloring Books for Adults Are Good for Creativity, and Selling in the Millions
- The Most Reliable Way to Spark Creativity
- 3 Ways to Foster Creativity in Your Team
- Do This Morning Writing Exercise to Be Happier and More Creative
- Melting Your Stress within 30 Days Stress Management Training
Copyright TIGERS Success Series, Inc. by Dianne Crampton
TIGERS Success Series is a Bend, Oregon Leadership and Team Improvement Consultant that helps committed leaders build more cooperation among employees and collaboration between departments for improved growth and revenue.
We do this by deploying the TIGERS team process that improves workforce behaviors that are anchored by trust, interdependence, genuineness, empathy, risk resolution and success. Providing diagnostics and customized team interventions, you can improve both work culture and transform your adequate teams into exceptional ones. We also license and train HRD Executives, Project Managers, Managers, Trainers and Coaches in the use of our award winning resources. For more information, call 1+ 541-385-7465.