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  • Writer's pictureAkiri Heath-Adams

How To Increase Creativity In Your Company

Every leader wants their team to be more innovative and creative; to come up with never-before-seen ideas to take the company to the next level.

You don't build an innovative company by finding undiscovered artists & geniuses; you do it by creating an environment where your team feels inspired & confident to take risks.

That’s your responsibility as the leader. And here’s 4 easy ways that you can increase creativity in your company:

1) Focus On The Vision/Purpose.

You can’t have innovation or creativity in a vacuum. It must be innovation and creativity towards achieving some goal, some purpose. The harsh reality is that most businesses don’t actually inspire any creativity because they are not trying to achieve any big purpose.

When you’re just trying to fill some random gap in the market to make a quick profit, you’re not looking for innovation or creativity to begin with. But when you’re trying to achieve a big vision, especially one that is hard to achieve, that immediately requires creativity because you cannot look at what the business next door is doing and apply it.

When a leader sets a grand vision and brings together a team to find ways to achieve that vision, that in itself inspires innovation and creativity. Everyone will be committed to achieving that vision and because of that commitment, they will be motivated & determined to come up with creative & innovative ideas.

2) Create a Environment of Trust over Fear and Reward over Punishment

If you want your team to be creative, your environment needs to have a lot of trust, accountability, feedback, and recognition. And you need to remove the fear & punishment.

All of your employees need to feel confident in themselves and each other to be at their creative best. One thing that is guaranteed when you are trying to innovate and create something new is that you are going to fail more times than you succeed. And each ‘failure’ has the potential to break your team’s confidence.

If an employee tries something new and it doesn't work out, and they start having some doubts and right at that moment you scream at them for not getting the breakthrough, their confidence will be affected and they won’t want to take risks in the future because they see the price of getting it wrong.

However, in creative organizations where leaders understand that failure is part of the process, they reward employees for doing the process well, as opposed to punishing them for not getting a result which they don’t always have control over. Because if the team keeps the right habits, works hard and remains disciplined & consistent, they are likely to get the result.

You can do 99 things right and not get a breakthrough result. Leaders need to keep their employees confident so they keep trying to find ways to make it work. Constantly praise and celebrate your employees when they do things correctly and meet your expectations- this boosts their confidence, motivates them to work harder, and inspires them to find more creative & innovative ideas so they can earn more praise from you.

Your team’s confidence also grows when they trust in you and in each other. Trust comes from developing real relationships with your team. Understanding their strengths, weaknesses, character traits, insecurities, and helping to create the environment that they each need to succeed.

Accountability is also essential for creating the right environment. You have to set clear expectations for your team and hold everyone accountable to a high standard. Even though you don’t want to instill fear or punish people for not getting certain results, you have to make sure that the team is putting in the right effort, being disciplined & consistent, and sticking to all the right habits & values. They can’t control results, but they can definitely control the amount of effort they put in.

If people are slacking off or not working at their best and you allow them to get away with it, that destroys the entire team.

Also if people are breaking trust with each other, trying to instill fear or punishing others for not getting results, you have to hold them accountable by pulling them up and saying that’s not how you do things. And if they don’t make the necessary changes, you can’t keep them around.

Creativity doesn’t come by letting everyone run wild and do whatever they want. You need to create a disciplined & structured foundation for the team based on trust, accountability, values & recognition. This ensures that they are fulfilling their responsibilities and putting in the required effort. And that structure then creates the room for them to be creative and take risks.

3) Hire the Right People

You have to hire people who want to achieve the vision and share the same values. Don’t hire someone because you like them or because they have an impressive CV.

Look for people who you believe are committed to the cause and can provide creative solutions. When you hire (and keep) the wrong people, the team loses trust and respect in you. And many of your best and most creative people may leave, or choose not to give their best because they won’t have faith in your leadership.

Choose your team based on their alignment with the vision & values. Having the right people together will create a positive environment and inspire a lot of collective creativity.

4) Be a leader, not a boss.

You have to set the example of excellence and accountability. Always strive to improve, perform at your best, be disciplined & consistent, and hold yourself to the highest standards.

If your team is underperforming, or lacking in innovation and creativity, the first person you need to hold accountable is yourself. Not the engineers, managers, employees or anybody else who you might think is directly responsible for creating or innovating.

Maybe the team is underperforming because you didn’t set your expectations clearly enough, maybe you didn’t give quick and precise feedback to help your employees improve, maybe you didn’t train them enough, maybe you didn’t give them enough praise and recognition, maybe you made some bad hires and you didn’t act quickly enough to remove them from the team before they started affecting everyone and killing productivity & culture, maybe you haven’t been setting the right example, etc.

When you genuinely accept responsibility instead of casting blame, you take control of the situation and this allows you to find innovative and creative solutions. And it inspires your team to follow your lead and take more responsibility to solve problems.

You have to set the vision, be the example, bring together the right team, understand each person's inner genius, and create the environment for all of them to thrive & be accountable.

Do these things correctly and your team will become far more innovative, creative and productive.

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