We live in an age of ongoing innovation and change, and leaders know their companies need to evolve or risk being left behind. All the same, when it's time to collect some innovative ideas from the team, we often hear the same old suggestions and solutions, leaving us with the million dollar question: How do you get the most creativity from your team?
It's difficult to disrupt what is and come up with fresh ideas when people are comfortable with the status quo. Fortunately, there are some simple ways to spark creativity and improve teamwork with the help of images as well as some quick tips for instilling a culture of creativity.
Here are 5 we've seen work for us here at Pickit:
1. Create a stimulating work environment
Making your company a great place to work will help you attract — and keep — great employees. Every day, more companies are putting effort into creating an employee-friendly work environment, whether it be by placing plants throughout the office space, harnessing the power of art, playing music in the background, or designing the workplace to have communal areas full of vivid colors. Not to mention the standard pool and ping-pong tables that can be seen at almost every startup.
While these are all good, many successful companies are also adding another key ingredient to the mix: Flexibility.
Studies show that creativity is enhanced when a person is given a flexible work pattern that contributes to a healthy balance between one's working and personal obligations. At Pickit, we work with an office-based team and remote team members, many based in other time zones. This requires some extra structure, but also adds immense value to the company, enabling us to pull employees from a larger, international pool as well as bring in different cultural perspectives, language skills and a faster response rate, thanks to their different schedules and time zones.
2. Provide some brain-feeding resources
Some might pass it off as childish, but things like LEGO blocks, puzzles and creative aids can really enhance creativity at the office. They can also be used for visual brainstorming sessions, together with more common tools such as whiteboards, post-it notes and mind-mapping software.
For example, browsing through the company's collection of books or magazines on art, design and creativity might be all it takes to spark new idea. We know that every person processes and interprets new information differently, which can result in a whole spectrum of different ideas in a workshop or creative session. By knowing your team you can create the perfect blend of "thinkers" and "doers" with the group so that you can best analyze and implement the creative output from these important sessions.
Creating a collection of inspirational images on a particular topic can also be a great way to add another layer to your brainstorming session.
3. Reward both the team and the individual
Hopefully, most leaders instinctively understand the importance of recognizing and rewarding their teams' achievements. It’s an essential part of motivating people so that they keep delivering to a high standard.
Nowadays we live and work in a world where more and more employees use tools like Slack and Microsoft Teams in their everyday work. According to a recent worker survey, people are a part of twice as many teams as they were five years ago. In today’s team-centric workplace, how do you recognize your colleagues' contributions to a team success in the fairest possible way?
One easy way is to ensure a healthy mix of group work along with some individual tasks to keep everyone on their toes so that your team members feel equally involved. Rewarding your team can be done with a mix of individual and team-based recognition methods. When you reward a group's achievement, you can motivate everyone to work hard towards achieving the team’s goals. At the same time, you must also recognize the individual team members who go the extra mile in ensuring that the organisation also reaches its goals.
4. Be transparent with overall business goals
Transparency in business requires leaders to remain open and informative about key points of information, including their business's goals, history, performance, and operations. And it's a topic that's risen in importance and continues to do so in today's society.
Transparency builds trust, and trust is important for the health of every relationship. It makes employees feel that they're working for a company with higher ethical standards, it makes realistic goal-setting easier, and it results in better relationships with customers.
Make a habit of routinely sharing some brief updates on overall business goals, KPIs and relevant news at a weekly or daily meeting so everyone feels involved in what's going on across the company.
5. Build a diverse, multi-cultural organization
Diversity allows you to have multiple perspectives looking at the same project. The right mix of talent will challenge your thinking and bring new perspectives to the table. There are many studies that show diverse teams simply perform better and, as a result, bring in more profits. These studies also show a direct link between decision-making and better business performance, indicating that diverse teams see a 60% improvement in decision-making abilities. The diversity of talent on your team will help you to have better business performance.
However, sometimes diversity can be challenging in organizations with a poor corporate culture. It's vital that companies set about defining a clear corporate culture in which all members have a clear understanding of the values and identity of the company. This means it's easier to ensure communication is as effective as possible and nothing gets lost in translation so that everyone can give input and enrich the overall culture as well as the output of the organization.
Pickit can help here too, allowing your staff to easily create content with their personal touch but by using an approved and standardized set of visual assets common to everyone in the company.
Get free clipart images to illustrate your work and get your message across using the Pickit add-in for PowerPoint.