At work, we most often see people complaining about a certain unfavorable condition or a bully boss or a non-cooperating team member but no one does anything to change or come out of that situation. Most of us must have heard during our appraisal meetings that we must do something “outside the box” to get a good rating and maybe a promotion but very few of us understand what this ‘outside the box’ means. We are so locked into thinking in a linear way that we fail to notice that innovations and inventions emerge from thinking in a non-linear fashion.
According to a World Economic Forum report, creativity is one of the top three most important skills for future workers. But can creativity be taught? If so, how? We would say yes; people’s creative abilities can be improved.
Everyone is creative but in very different ways and to varying degrees. Leaders and managers can coach and mentor their team members to be more creative. Although personality traits of an individual could be a hinderance, still creativity can be nurtured through deliberate interventions.
Given that most people have different creative abilities, it’s imperative for a leader to provide individuals with constructive feedback. Regular feedback will ensure that the people understand their flaws and start making efforts to overcome them. This will encourage them to think creatively and come up with new ideas to perform better. By giving constructive feedback a leader can help encourage people to take more risks in the way they think.
Experiential learning can play a very critical role in enhancing creative performance of the people. For example, coaching people to detect novel ideas, take on challenging tasks, and perform outside their main area of expertise, all this and more can help boost creativity. Even day-to-day challenges like finding a different way to complete routine tasks or taking on new hobbies and activities can have a positive impact on your creativity.
One of the most effective ways in which leaders can boost creativity in individuals is through motivation. For example, give the team the tasks they enjoy most, especially those tasks that can help them go beyond linear thinking and explore something ‘outside the box’. In the words of Carl Jung, “The creative mind plays with the object it loves”.
Leaders can also boost creativity by encouraging the team to meditate and get involved in activities that soothe their minds. Managers themselves should practice meditation. The more relaxed and mindful leaders are, the more they are likely to inculcate and encourage creative ideas in others.
Creativity comes with practice and constant effort. Picasso once said, “everyone is born an artist, the challenge is remaining one as we grow up”.
Do you have some creative ideas that have worked well for your team? Write to us and share your experience at [email protected].
If you’re looking to roll out some creative, experiential learning sessions in your organization, let us know and we would be happy to customize a fun and interactive session for your team!