How To Inspire Creativity And Innovation In Your Team
As a leader, how well do you help your team members tap into their creativity? Do you cultivate an environment of innovation? Do you encourage and celebrate new ideas at weekly meetings? It can be tough to regularly tap into each individual's inner genius, but it's important for your team's growth. Being creative applies to all aspects of the business, from pitching an exciting marketing campaign to selling products.
In his book Breakthrough, author, keynote speaker and business coach, Scott Duffy, says there are some ways you can help your employees think in fresh new ways and come up with solid, creative ideas. We share Duffy's thoughts on how to unleash your team's creativity in this issue of Promotional Consultant Today.
1. Bring groups together. When you're in the middle of a big project or launching a new product, team members are busy. All of them have their heads down, focused on what they're responsible for. Most of their time is spent working with other people in their department. The creative and technical people don't get much time to inter¬act. Duffy says you can change this by getting different groups together. Order in pizza every Friday at 3 pm and let your team kick back in a relaxed environment. When you come together over pizza, you can brainstorm creative and collaborative ideas.
2. Get out regularly. Duffy encourages sales leaders to do something with their team outside the office at least once each quarter. You don't have to plan something expensive or extravagant. You could schedule a laid-back happy hour or go play a round of miniature golf. The idea is to get your people engaged and talking in a new setting. Often a change of scenery gets them out of their comfort zones and opens their eyes to new possibilities.
3. Encourage experimentation. Once a month, declare that for a few hours, no one may use their computer or smartphone. Instead, give your team members a notebook and instruct them to spend their time writing, sketching or diagramming their thoughts on how to improve and innovate the business. Duffy says the novelty of putting pen to paper will force them to think in a different way. After the exercise, encourage them to tear pages out of their notebooks and post them on a brainstorming wall.
4. Encourage risk. Truly creative teams feel comfortable taking risks. Make sure your employees that even if something doesn't work, the experience is a valuable part of growing the business. Duffy says leaders can encourage their team to experiment with side projects. Many of these fail, but you never know when one will turn into your next big idea.
Not every creative idea is going to be a winner—and that's okay. It's more important to be open to trying new things and learning from your mistakes. Use the advice above to create a culture where taking a shot at something new is celebrated, no matter the outcome.
Source: Scott Duffy is a TV/online personality, keynote speaker and business coach. He began his career working for bestselling author and speaker Tony Robbins and went on to work for several big media brands, including CBS Sportsline, NBC Internet and FOXSports.com. Duffy has been listed as a "Top 10 Keynote Speaker" by Entrepreneur.com.