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How to Unlock Your Team's Creativity These things will ensure that there is ample exchange of ideas at work

By Bhavin Turakhia

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According to a recent survey, nearly 60 per cent of CEOs stated that creativity is the most important leadership quality as compared to 35 per cent who cited global thinking. So taking into account the opinion of these leaders, what are the ways in which we can encourage creativity at the workplace?

Our workforce is becoming increasingly global; in such a scenario supporting creative communications can require new approaches to facilitate collaboration across time zones or locations. Some of these approaches include adopting tools, methods and technologies of people management that push creativity and there is an active exchange of ideas at the workplace. These would assist in developing a workplace that keeps employees constantly engaged and creatively satisfied.

No matter how big or small your organization is, here are four ways to ensure the creativity is flowing and there is ample exchange of ideas at work:

1. Promote Flexibility

We are all aware of the fact that providing employees with free time to think about strategies and ideas is an excellent way to boost their creativity. If a leader has a tendency to micromanage he/she brings in the risk of stifling productivity and employee engagement by limiting the potential for creative thinking.

Some of the prime examples of organizations that promote flexibility are 3M and Google who provide their employees with scheduled free time, which takes up about 20 per cent of paid time in the office. This time has brought in huge innovations to technology, such as Gmail and Google Earth. While it may look like paying your employees to sit around would not be beneficial, it could actually bring about the next big innovation.

2. Introduce a Collaboration App

According to a Cisco research, collaboration apps are now, "business-critical tools to reduce and avoid costs, accelerate time to market, and transform entire industries." These tools play an important role in the success of project-based teams as they combine both on-site and remote workers along with enabling real-time communication.

As organizations embrace digital transformation and adapt to new methods of work, team collaboration apps can enhance open communication which paves the way for innovation, design thinking, and disruptive innovation

3. Adopt Design Thinking

What unites the world's most innovative companies is their adoption of design thinking, which is a method of customer-focused product design that's driven by teams of diverse people. If an individual knows that their ideas and feedback is valued, he/she may be more willing to share thoughts with more creative results.

Also, according to a recent global study, 71 per cent of design-driven organizations stated that their commitment to collaborative change had led to superior company culture.

4. Recognize Creative Success

Organizations need to understand that rewarding employee and recognizing great ideas shared by team members can create an incentive for future innovations. The Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) reports that employee recognition programs don't just support creative thinking and great ideas but also have a real impact on your company's bottom line.

According to SHRM, 90 per cent of HR leaders who practice value-based employee recognition report superior employee engagement, while 66 per cent believe it improved employer branding. Other reported benefits include safety, cost savings, and even healthier employees.

That said, it is about time that organizations provide team members with the stepping stones needed to go a long way in their careers. While it is almost a given that teams already have the brainpower needed to bring interesting and profitable ideas to the table, what they need to be provided with is proper time, structure, tools, and motivation to boost their creative abilities. By promoting flexibility and design thinking, creating systems for recognition, and adopting collaboration technologies, you could put your team on the fast track to developing a creativity-driven culture.

Bhavin Turakhia

CEO and Founder, Flock & CEO and Co-founder, Zeta

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