How Creative Thinking Helps Drive Innovation In A Competitive Workplace

By Eva Maddox

Creativity and ingenuity have become the critical skills over the last decade to achieve success. Driving innovation in such a competitive era is nearly impossible without thinking outside the box. Workplaces need to explore the unknown to increase their productivity.

"Any idea can be a part of dust or produce magic. It all depends upon the talent that rubs against it."

- Bill Bernbach

But there are a few questions that haunt many progressive businesses. How do we integrate creative thinking in a workplace to drive innovation? How do we encourage employees to think outside the box and come up with creativity? Should it be forced, voluntary, or driven from the outside?

Austin Rotter has some exciting takes on the issue. He believes no organization is innovative on its own. Instead, it's the ingenuity of its people that spurs innovation and helps it gain a competitive edge.

The Need for Creativity in a Modern Workplace

Understanding what creativity means for a business is essential. It embodies the capability to develop innovative ideas and turn them into reality. When you utilize creative thinking within the workplace, a channel of positive collaboration takes birth, adding enthusiasm to the environment.

Every business should encourage creativity to boost productivity and a spirit of achievement. When innovative ideas emerge, workplace norms shift, helping them differentiate themselves and stand out in the competition.

Creativity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship — a Relationship that Shouldn't be Ignored

Unfortunately, today, people believe there's no relationship between being creative and innovative and becoming an entrepreneur. Most businesses assume all three are different, having zero impact on each other. But the truth is, there's a direct relationship between the three.

Creativity is the ability to foster new ideas or discover exciting ways of looking at a problem. Innovation, on the other hand, is the ability to utilize creative solutions to solve issues and enhance the quality of life for your consumers.

Entrepreneurship is the ultimate result of producing a systematic and controlled process that combines creativity and innovation to create unique market opportunities. Innovation is a tool for entrepreneurs to stand out, and creativity is the logic that must be applied.

Critical Ways to Drive Innovation in the Workplace

There is certainly not a single way or two. Numerous factors can drive innovation, but we'd like to share the most critical ones, as believed by Austin:

  1. Experimentation is the Way to Succeed

Remember that today, you cannot solve a problem using the traditional thinking pattern. It is the era of invention and promoting creativity. Thus, businesses must allow their employees to try something new often. Without experimenting with ideas, there's no sure way to success. Try out new ideas and risk it. You will either succeed or gain a knowledgeable lesson.

  1. Discouragement is the Enemy of Artistic Intelligent

Learn never to discourage your employees, even when they come up with bizarre concepts. Support ideas your employees bring to the table. Motivate and encourage them to thrive for excellence without pressuring them.

Think Like a Leader, Not a Boss. Adopt open-mindedness. Instead of choosing the "no" model over every idea, try to utilize a "yes and" model — inspire them first and later enlighten them with the loopholes. Besides this, make it a point to hold regular team meetings. An open discussion can help clear up misconceptions faster and in a non-judgmental manner.

  1. Build an Environment of Trust

Building trust is essential to drive innovation in a competitive workplace. There's no other way to utilize the power of creative thinking and achieve optimal results.

If your employees feel demoralized, staying committed to your organization will become challenging. Build trust, talk to them, and listen to their ideas to make them feel valued. It will automatically influence the power of creativity, encouraging a culture of diligence and honesty.

  1. Embolden Diversity

In this innovation-driven economy, businesses must generate inventive ideas and make them their imperative managerial priority. For this, they should promote diversity, where every employee, irrespective of their background and skills, proves as a valuable creative resource.

Allow different departments to collaborate and come up with unique solutions. Diversified groups will be able to think more creatively, and it will exponentially improve innovation in the workplace.

But here is the thing! Promoting diversity can backfire, and your employees may get exhausted.

It's vital to manage the flow of work appropriately. Never stress your employees to bring some freshly-baked ideas to the table instantly after collaborating with other departments. Their mindsets might not match, and pressurizing them in such a situation can demotivate them, killing every instinct of their creativity.

Summing it up…

In pursuit of creative thinking, influence positivity to drive innovation in your workplace. A pressurized, low motivation, and stressful environment kill creativity, leaving no ground for inspiration.

Remember the following things: Focus on creating a relaxing atmosphere where every employee's suggestion and feedback are heard. Never forget to reward the creativity of your employees. Try to empower your employees and consider flexible work arrangements. Always embrace failures as the fear of losing is the biggest obstacle to creatively thinking outside the box. Also, be ready to accept challenges and take risks.

Posted In: EntrepreneurshipOpinionSmall BusinessGeneralcontributorsCreative Thinking