Some leaders ask, “Why do we need to change if we’re profitable at the moment?” However, visionary leaders know that change can either happen to you or because of you– and the latter puts you in a much stronger position.
Of course, change is not easy. It requires new perspectives, different approaches, diligence, and the willingness to keep learning. Most of all, it requires creativity.
What makes a business creative?
Although successful, creative businesses come in all shapes and sizes, they tend to share cultural similarities. These organizations understand that the best way to prepare for the future is by becoming relevant today. They also recognize that there are multiple paths to success that can be reached in different ways by different people. When the organization provides the creative spark, team members can unite to achieve a common goal.
Here are some of the leading characteristics
of businesses with cultures of creativity.
A great organization requires a well-articulated vision. Moving in a new direction is all but impossible if that direction is not clearly defined, because employees need a vision to believe in and follow. That’s why leaders need to communicate where they want to go, how it’s different from the status quo, and why getting there is important.
Support At The Executive Level
Creativity should start at the top, so forward-thinking executives form teams to manage creativity. Relying on strength of will alone for leadership can be unstable and short-lived, which is why it’s important to build the infrastructure that can support a creative culture. This creative management team should be responsible for connecting various departments to prioritize, research, plan, test, and learn, as well as implementing new programs and processes throughout the organization.
Decisions That Support Creativity
Often, creativity falls prey to poorly made decisions, which can stifle creativity. Evaluate your company’s decision-making process while creating paths for introducing new ideas. The creative management team can help here, but in the end it’s the top executive’s responsibility to change how decisions are made.
Making ongoing investments in your team is a key to building a creative culture. Everyone has the capacity for creative thinking, and workshops, training, and your company culture can inspire people to think outside the box. Also, give people the chance to learn something new and unrelated to their day-to-day duties, which helps them make unusual connections and think bigger.
Smart Use of Technology
With every new technology trend, businesses are forced to consider whether or not to implement the latest fad. The truth is, technology itself is often important, but the reasons for the adoption are often as important as the adoption itself. Technology on its own isn’t the answer; it’s merely a way to facilitate the programs and processes you already possess. Technology must be a means, not an end.
In a creative climate, ideas are precious and should be encouraged. Reward those who contribute to the company through creativity by sharing insights and best practices, spotlighting creative workers, and celebrating new ideas. Businesses that holds its team members to a higher creative standard may simply expect new ideas – and when expectations are high, performance often rises. It’s also a good idea to give human resources a spot on the creative management team.
Building collaboration is another important step. People who wouldn’t normally see or talk to each other should have the chance to mingle and discuss ideas. Give people a reason to branch out and become integrated with other parts of the company.
Programs That Manage The Generational Gap
Sometimes, older generations and newly hired Millennials have trouble understanding one other and can clash over differing ideas, ageist stereotypes, and unrealistic expectations. A “reverse mentoring” program, where younger and older workers come together to learn from each other, can help foster cohesion and creativity while exposing both groups to new ideas.
The Courage to Fail
Not every idea will work, but the fear of failure often prevents companies from developing ideas at all. However, failure doesn’t have to carry negative overtones. Treating failure as a temporary setback and a chance to learn goes a long way toward building a creative culture.
Finally, a creative business is optimistic and hopeful. It’s willing to embrace improvement even if the current system isn’t broken. It’s willing to believe that great ideas can come from anywhere. And more than anything else, it’s willing to change.
Developing a creative culture may seem daunting, but it’s the little things that make the biggest difference. With the right environment and the desire to make things better, you can help your business become a creative dynamo.