The benefits of taking the effort to inspire creativity in your business are now well and truly apparent. There are many articles online about how businesses have changed and transformed as a result of thinking about creativity. On this page, I want to explore the details – what it really means and how it works with your current operating model. My approach, is still to keep creativity as a simple and accessible idea. In the realm of business, it is the management procedures that tend to complicate things!
Is creativity simple? What is creativity?
Any business can be, and should try to be as creative as possible. It isn’t just for designers or artists. However, there is an interesting overlap between creative industries (design, fashion, art, etc.) and other businesses now being more creative. For example, architectural practices have always been trying to inspire creativity in their staff. Any business can learn from them… but, with the amount of focus on creativity these days, there is a lot of other things that other types of businesses are doing also.
A large barrier to creativity can be a sense of fear in staff – fear of ridicule, fear of “wasting time”, fear of doing something wrong. Businesses in the creative industries sometimes go too far in the other direction. In the want for creativity, their management procedures fall away. We can learn from this, there is a balance – we must incorporate creativity into management and not run them as conflicting ideologies.
Read more about sources of under-management in design businesses
Another significant block to creativity is businesses being afraid of costs. To improve, any business will usually have some sort of upfront cost, be it time or capital. Improving your approach to creativity is no different. Basic risk management, and the concept of opportunity cost, tells us that often doing nothing is a much bigger risk in a competitive marketplace.
Read more on why doing nothing is your biggest risk and whether improving creativity will add costs
No one would doubt me in saying that most businesses are preoccupied with cash flow. Any why not? You need to stay alive. Most businesses, I would also argue, also desire longevity. Few will put hard work into a business thinking it will end in a year. For this reason, how you measure the success of what you do isn’t always clear cut. Especially when you’re young, there are many important success criteria other than profit if you want to get your name out there, develop skills, make connections, etc.
How you measure success will very much describe your approach to creativity
As stated in this forbes.com article, creativity can be taught, but it isn’t like learning to play the piano. You can’t tell your staff how to be creative. Creativity comes from within. As such, regardless of how you measure success, inspiring creativity is about providing the tools and creating the right environment for it to flourish.
Start by thinking about where everyone sits in your office. Know why giving your staff privacy and confidence to do their jobs is important. Bring it all together by doing it in spaces that stimulate different kinds of activity.
As touched on above, having the right tools for the job is essential. We can take this a step further these days. Technology can be actively used to monitor and advance our work-spaces in ways we previously could not. Social media encourages and helps us discover connections and synergies we may never have seen and with more and more digital work, we can measure anything. As the saying goes, “what gets measured gets managed.” Using technology we can start get really get insights into where our ideas come from and how they are captured and executed.
Some thoughts on the future of work-space: the concept of self-learning offices
This page will grow and update frequently – please check back again soon!
Feature image courtesy of Kevin Dooley