Creative thinking is the art of using your skills to come up with new solutions to a problem. Those with creative minds are able to see the issue from different perspectives, using this information to come up with new and innovative resolutions.
When it comes to your business, having creative thinkers is a great way to move your product development forward as it encourages collaboration between your employees and partners and allows people to discuss solutions to problems in ways that you may not have previously considered. Using an inventive thought process and working this into your development procedure can help you find new ways of doing things and can result in surprising conclusions.
Businesses that encourage creative thinking often find they have more productive staff and higher retention rates as their employees are given the autonomy to give their opinion and be listened to, perhaps even seeing their suggestions come to fruition. The process of listening to creative ideas alone will help them feel more respected and valued in the workplace.
Creative thinking is something which should be encouraged with all staff at all levels and shouldn’t just be considered something which is only relevant to more traditionally ‘creative’ roles such as marketing – everyone’s views are important.
Some of the skills required for creative thinking include great problem solving capabilities, creative writing, the ability to be open minded about new ideas, strong analytical skills, great communication and listening, as well as leadership.
7 ways to encourage creative thinking:
If you’re looking for ways to build a more creative workforce, there are plenty of ways that you can encourage this amongst your staff.
- Create the right environment
Set your workplace out to encourage collaboration and exploration with open plan spaces, whiteboards, bright colours and plenty of ‘hotdesk’ style work areas.
- Promote the concept that ‘no idea is a bad idea’
Make sure people feel confident to voice their opinions and that no one is ridiculed for an idea which may seem less conventional.
- Get senior management involved
As mentioned above, creative thinking is for people at all levels. If your staff can see that senior management are involved in the process, it may help them feel this is the norm and more encouraged to speak their minds.
- Facilitate anonymous submissions
Not everyone is comfortable expressing their thoughts in front of a room (or video call) full of people. Providing the opportunity to give feedback anonymously can help you to uncover ideas that you may not have thought of.
- Actually carry out new ideas
This may seem like an obvious one, but the more your staff see their ideas being put into action, the more likely they are to continue thinking creatively.
- Don’t just celebrate successes
It’s important to highlight ideas that have failed as well and promote these as a positive. As Albert Einstein once said, “a person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.”
- Hire people who will fit into a creative atmosphere
Part of your recruitment process should always be finding people who will fit in with the working environment you have created, and if you’re looking for people with creative minds, be sure to include this in your hiring protocol.