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How to boost your team's creativity
Holding meetings and organizing team building activities, but no new ideas emerging? Maybe because it lacks an atmosphere where ideas can flow freely. Luckily it doesn't take much to support creativity at work.
If a team or department is stuck in a problem or just can't come up with new ideas, it usually has reasons that originate from a climate that's simply detrimental to initiative and innovation. For instance if the superiors or team leaders generally approach ideas with scepticism, highlighting why this or that may not work, instead of appreciating their staff's proactive approach. This may be no bad intent at all – yet having a tight schedule should never be an excuse for rejecting to even consider a team member's proposal.
Ego is another creativity killer. If subordinates or other team members are jealous of their ideas or suppress what they see as competition in order to make themselves stand out, the team won't be very successful at coming up with innovation. After all no matter for what reason, if the employees feel like their initiative is not wanted, they will obviously give up everything beyond a minimal involvement.
In other words creative ideas do not emerge accidentally, but they need to be left room for. Hanging hammocks and installing table soccer is not enough. Team members should be allowed time to prepare for meetings and brainstorming sessions, and new views supported by for instance occasionally rearranging teams or inviting outside colleagues or experts. Also it's important to maintain an effective communication and project management that allow to collect ideas and to easily develop them further. This can be achieved by using elaborate organization tools, but you still can't thing a creative environment without the human factor.
Thus team leaders need to reassure their staff they're interested in new ideas and to reward initiative. Even though not every idea grows into something big and game-changing, the next one might. In any case people who come up with proposals usually invested time and effort into formulating them which should be appreciated. In any case: an effective idea management always pays off.
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