Get Creative: 10 Ways to Think Outside the Box
Looking for ways to inspire your staff and boost your business? Try these 10 tips for getting your employees to think more creatively.
Smart business owners encourage their employees to be creative. After all, employees are on the front lines and often know better than anyone how to improve a business.
1. Encourage Free Thinking
It may seem obvious to promote free thinking, but it’s not always the way that businesses work. We often continue doing what we’ve been doing—and how we’ve been doing it—simply because, on some level, it works. But free thinking is central to keeping your business contemporary, relevant and profitable. It’s all about thinking of things in new ways, leaving behind old, outdated models, and discovering new ones. Create a culture in your business in which employees are encouraged to think freely and express their ideas.
2. Schedule Brainstorming Sessions
Sometimes the best way to encourage creativity is to schedule it into the day. This might seem counterintuitive, but the more creative thought that can be scheduled, the more likely it is to happen. Set aside time for a weekly brainstorming session that involves all your employees. Encourage employees from marketing to interact with ones from payroll or from tech services. These kinds of cross-workplace discussions can do wonders for your business.
3. Reward Creative Thought
Show that you value creative thinking by rewarding the employees who engage in it. Set up a system of rewards—such as gift certificates, prime parking spaces or vacation time—for employees who come up with ideas that increase sales or target new customers. Such rewards can be powerful motivators for employees and will show everyone that you’re serious about creative thinking.
4. Model Creative Thinking
The best way to encourage employees to be creative is to model it from the top. Show them what it means for the owner of the business to be creative, and they’ll be more likely to replicate this behavior on their own.
5. Provide Break Times
The best creative thinking comes when the brain has time to relax, make new connections and see things in a new way. This means that frequent and scheduled breaks can actually boost the creative spirit in the workplace.
6. Take Field Trips
Get out of the office or wherever you run your business, and take your employees to visit other companies, conferences or even just parks. Field trips can get them—and you—out of their everyday comfort zone and into a space where new thoughts and ideas can take hold.
7. Support Artistic Expression
Encouraging your employees to engage in artistic endeavor—painting, drawing, writing, cartooning or even pottery-making—can get them to see your business’s challenges and issues in a new light. These activities can occur during work time or after hours, and can help bring new life to your business.
8. Communicate Openly
No matter how creative your employees are, you’ll never know about it if you’re not talking with them about their ideas. Tal… Read more