According to staggering new statistics, corporate leaders and executives are not living up to their creative potential at work, according to a survey conducted by Adobe. 75% of respondents believe that their companies are not as creative as they should be, and 80-85% felt that workplaces are more concerned about productivity than creativity and innovation.
In order to make a workforce as creative as possible, managers should enforce the following six suggestions:
- Respect that creative ideas often come from a place outside the office. Many inventors and innovative pioneers have different cues for what sparks their creativity, and oftentimes that lies outside an office environment. If employees need to work in this setting, allow for walks around the block and try to assign tasks at the end of the day, allowing workers to develop ideas in their sleep.
- Provide sufficient resources, but nothing more. It may seem counterintuitive, but creative thinkers are often able to produce their best results from working within boundaries, as they are forced to think unconventionally about how to accomplish a goal with limited options.
- Be flexible with time. Sometimes good ideas happen spontaneously, and sometimes they take a while to develop fully. Good managers will allow for both, as long as the team is being productive either way.
- Consider arrangements outside of linear progression. Creative thinkers are often recruited from surprising sources, including unexpected departments or different professions altogether. Managers should be mindful of this in recruiting, and allow for opportunities outside of upward mobility, which may not appeal to these employees.
- Accept failure as a possibility. While executives often want to seem infallible in order to gain credibility with employees, that environment is unconducive to collaboration and innovative thinking.
- Avoid the best practices trap, or the idea that there is only one correct way of operating a business. It may take a series of trial-and-error experiments before finding the proper conditions for creative employees to thrive, but the ensuing results will make that process worthwhile.
Once these recommendations are implemented, companies will soon learn that the maxim “creativity has no place in business” is wildly inaccurate.