Here's How You Can Instigate Creativity In Your Workplace
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People always ask how creativity is instigated in the workplace.
I was fortunate enough to go on a trip to San Francisco where we visited some of the world’s best companies’ offices there, like Facebook, Airbnb, Google, Apple, and Facebook, to name a few. Entrepreneurs and employees alike see the slides or the napping pods at offices like these, and often think these are the secrets to creative thinking and working.
However, throughout this trip, and through my exposure to clients and entrepreneur friends, I have realized that these big things are not what create cool cultures at all. Employees appreciate the small things a lot more, and these are the ideas they brag about to their friends, and in turn, entice them to create more and ideate freely.
In the most creative working cultures I’ve seen, people are free to make mistakes, and they are not scolded for doing so. Failures are always part of any creative process, and if people are afraid of making mistakes, they will always be afraid of trying anything new. These new accidents are sometimes the most creative mishaps (or the best surprises) that a company can benefit from.
Google has actually created a space for that as it allows its employees to use 20% of their time on non-Google-related projects. So, they have the space to work and create whatever they like, using the support and resources from the company they work for.
For the smaller companies and startups, appreciation for ideas can be enough to take employees very far. Creating a team spirit among co-workers encourages collaborations and synergies between people. In one of my businesses, we used to give employees their salaries in envelopes that had a personalized message for each person every month. Even when we got bigger as a company, we kept the tradition going, which made them look forward to getting theirs at the end of the month.
I was asked to do the branding of Red Bull’s office in Cairo, and there, we tried to allow for creative thinking and collaborations by theming the separate rooms differently, so that each room inspires a different mindset. A lot of art was used, which also allows for creativity.
But, at the end of the day, the biggest enhancer of creativity in the workplace is the sense of belonging, though. When people feel that they belong to a family, they want to give more and create more. So, while the big things, like the funky slides and cool chairs, are sensationalized, the small things are probably what matter the most.