Why Creativity is the key ingredient for any Companies looking to Scale their Growth?
If there’s anything that propels us onward in life that’s Curiosity. It drives us to integrate ideas and evolve ourselves. You can acquire the rewards of bigger and better ideas by investing in a space that foster, stimulate and encourage people to stay curious. The question is, how do you build curiosity within yourself and the others?
The pivot of curiosity is the act of asking questions.
As children, we’ve all been inherently curious about things which seemed peculiar to us. The repeated ‘why’ before every question mark has played a major role in our learning’s. Yet as adults we often forget our natural inclination to question everything that’s intriguing. Could it be our experiences in school that’s partly responsible for our thought processes? As we are taught that there are a right and a wrong way of doing things.
Sir Ken Robinson has ever been curious to know if schools kill creativity. As a matter of fact, they do but neither can they be held responsible for smothering our natural curiosity.
To live in a community we need to follow societal norms which if defied are liable for consequences. Have you ever been curious to know why these rules have come into existence? Asking ‘why’ is one of the most dynamic ways to change the status quo, rather than just tolerating it.
In the context of organisations, some of the most innovative ideas emerge when employees are encouraged to question their working practices and consider alternatives. Three essential way to attain this is 1) through storytelling 2) by transforming the environment 3) by allowing employee autonomy
We are all social animals. Before we could even develop the ability to write, we told stories. Stories are powerful in conveying the message as well in enhancing our curiosity because of the element of imagination. In workspaces, storytelling help employees widen their understanding of other areas of business. Sharing stories both in person and online encourages the other to take an interest in your area of work. This is the onset of stronger ties which form the basis of a fervent internal network. The conversations that begin within this internal network is the creative engine or the powerhouse of the organisation.
Transform the environment
An average office is designed with no creativity in mind. Most organizations are built with a mentality favouring production rather than satisfaction. The work is highly valued than the employee.
Now picture your preschool, a place that encouraged you to bring out your creativity. An active space most likely surrounded by pictures on walls and colour pencils on the floor with different sheets of paper. All of it designed to stimulate a child’s creativity and ideation. As Teresa Amabile quotes “creativity depends on the right people working in the right environment”.
What happened between the span of kindergarten years to office? It’s strange to notice how our environment has drastically conditioned us to stop being creative rather face the front. Sitting in isolation, work for hours together between a start and end point and do the mundane almost every day.
An unconventional physical space sparks new ideas. How about some isolation as well as noise, desk and chairs replaced with sofas and soft furnishings, with bean bags here and there? A bit of glitter and a pile of coloured papers could do the trick. Perceiving our workspace and being aware of it creates a condition that raises our curiosity.
Explanation kills curiosity. It dampens the ability to work and lead them to be unproductive and unmotivated. So how do we kick-start autonomy? Effective questioning is your key. Instead of telling what to do, ask them what they should be doing and allow them to set their own standards. By allowing yourself to question, you develop a unique understanding of how your work and goals align with the organisation’s aims. Hence, employees are more likely to be motivated and engaged. As Dan Pink observes “traditional notions of management are great if you want compliance, but if you want engagement, self-direction works better”
It isn’t an easy task, as we’ve all had our curiosities crushed by years of being told how to do things both at school and work. To engage it is necessary to revamp your curiosity and question yourself as to what gets you out of bed every morning to go to work. By allowing autonomy in our day to day activities, we are compelled to stay curious and make decisions.
Therefore the three powerful steps to a creative mindset comprise of storytelling, environment and autonomy. Move away from the conventional model of management and nurture a culture of curiosity where leaders encourage their employees to ask questions and share stories in a creative space.