Creativity is #4 in How to Make Your Company the Best Place to Work. You might be asking yourself why is creativity one of the cornerstones? By 2020 creativity will be the third most important skill in the job market according to the World Economic Forum, and of CEO’s polled, 60% agreed that creativity was the most important skill to have in a leadership role (Fast Company, 2017). Creativity and imagination are the drivers of innovation, the keystone to differentiation.
EDITOR’S NOTE: SEE PART 3 AND PRIOR BELOW
If you remember back to #1, safety and trust and how the brain is divided, you will recall that as the brain evolved new layers were, essentially, added to the top. These additional “layers” include the limbic system and the frontal cortex, which are divided into two cerebral hemispheres, the right and the left.
Creativity targets both the right hemisphere and limbic system of the brain – bypassing language and “rational thought and logical assumptions” (left brain attributes). Therefore, creativity gives expression to that which cannot be spoken, due to the structure of the brain. This provides the opportunity to re-imagine concepts – the very core of innovation. However, as a leader, you need to be prepared to sustain the creative process in its various stages, some of which look very different than detailed Gantt charts or profit and loss statements.
Quick Tips to increase creativity in the workplace needed to differentiate and harness your competitive edge:
- Encourage doodling at your next meeting. Yes, doodling! Be the example. Draw or sketch ideas at the whiteboard. It doesn’t matter if you are an artist and if your circles don’t even look like circles. Just the act of sketching your ideas will engage a different part of the brain, which will foster new ideas!
- Find times and ways to “zoom out”. For instance, go outside and go for a walk. Insights, those “aha moments”, occur when we relax our focus and become receptive to see the whole. (Brain tidbit: Insights are associated with the right hemisphere of the brain that can detect anomalies and occur when not highly focused on them.)
- Welcome opposites. The tension of opposites is part of the creative process and can produce results that are greater than the original parts! (Brain tidbit: The right hemisphere has the ability to hold dichotomy. It does not categorize things as opposites, but rather sees them as connected and in relation to one another.)
This Week’s Action Steps:
- Refresh your understanding of the creativity cycle.
- How do you practice creativity in the workplace?
- Do you feel it is important to do so?