📺 Stream EntrepreneurTV for Free 📺

Creativity Means Productivity. Here Are 3 Practices That Boost Both. Being creative in the workplace increases morale -- and output.

By Madeline Garfinkle Edited by Jessica Thomas

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Although staying organized, mission-driven and efficient are the cornerstones of productivity, nothing says those pillars have to come at the cost of creativity. In fact, creativity is an increasingly valuable asset in the workplace, both individually and as a team. According to the World Economic Forum, creativity is or is related to nine out of the 10 skills that global executives say are essential for 2020 and beyond. Being creative boosts problem-solving skills and increases confidence and collaboration. Here are three ways to foster creativity in your business, starting today.

Instill autonomy and leadership

By providing your team with increased responsibility and autonomy to carry out projects, odds are that more ideas will be generated, and the ownership will instill a stronger sense of confidence in one's skills. Danny Groner, a marketing director at Forecast Labs, attributes weekly 1:1s with his manager as being fundamental to his growth as a creative. Rather than going through a checklist or action items, Groner's manager lets him choose the agenda for every meeting.

"Because I am steering the conversation, I can be the most creative," Groner says. "He gives me direction with no ask rather than direction with an ask. That distinction is very important because, during our weekly 1:1s, I am able to learn, rather than to move through a to-do list."

Groner added that the practice has given him confidence and strength in his skills and shows him how he's contributing to the larger company rather than just "working in a vacuum."

Related: 4 Daily Steps to Create Insane Levels of Focus, Confidence and Productivity


Walking has long stood as one of the oldest and most reliable resources for fresh and free thinking. Steve Jobs famously believed in "walking meetings" with coworkers and collaborators to foster connection and creativity — and studies show that he was right. A Harvard Medical School study found those in a walking meeting are 5.25% more likely to be creative and 8.5% more engaged. Another Stanford University study found that walking increased creative thinking by 60%. The sheer act of movement energizes the brain, regardless of length or location.

"I can attest that my best thoughts are generated during or right after a walk!" says Tracy Tilson, president and founder of TilsonPR, who added that her last business endeavor idea came from a walk.

Related: Struggling to Come Up With Creative Ideas? Try Doing This.

Leave room for failure

Failure is integral to any creative and business process. But admitting you failed is a daunting task, particularly in the workplace. By offering constructive and encouraging feedback — and allocating space for failure — individuals will learn from their mistakes and not feel discouraged to try again.

"Once [employees] see, firsthand, the value of putting out what we call a 'low-resolution prototype' and getting feedback from a key constituent, and seeing how that directs the next step, people start to become believers in that process," says Graham Henshaw, executive director of the Alan B. Miller Entrepreneurship Center at William & Mary's Raymond A. Mason School of Business, on the W&M Leadership and Business podcast. "[Innovators must have] an openness to risk…You're willing to take risks where you might fail, but you learn something from that failure and move forward," he added.

Related: 5 Ways to Unlock Your Entrepreneurial Creativity

Madeline Garfinkle

News Writer

Madeline Garfinkle is a News Writer at Entrepreneur.com. She is a graduate from Syracuse University, and received an MFA from Columbia University. 

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Side Hustle

These Coworkers-Turned-Friends Started a Side Hustle on Amazon — Now It's a 'Full Hustle' Earning Over $20 Million a Year: 'Jump in With Both Feet'

Achal Patel and Russell Gong met at a large consulting firm and "bonded over a shared vision to create a mission-led company."


Want to Be More Productive? Here's How Google Executives Structure Their Schedules

These five tactics from inside Google will help you focus and protect your time.

Side Hustle

How to Turn Your Hobby Into a Successful Business

A hobby, interest or charity project can turn into a money-making business if you know the right steps to take.

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.

Business News

These Are the 10 Most Profitable Cities for Airbnb Hosts, According to a New Report

Here's where Airbnb property owners and hosts are making the most money.