How to Foster Innovation and Creativity in the Workplace

Back, Contributor
Jun 19 2019
How to Foster Innovation and Creativity in the Workplace
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When it comes to the argument of which is better for creativity -- individual thought versus thinking as a group -- both of these approaches have their pros and cons, but both have the ability to produce creative work and make your company a great place to work.

Group brainstorming sessions can get the team together, to put down all their ideas on the table and consider them individually for their merits. This can also ensure that in terms of direction, your creative approach does not get stuck into a rut.

However, the downside is that at times certain ideas may get promoted, not because it is the best course-of-action, but because the majority favor it – this is what is termed as ‘groupthink’. On the other hand, the past many breakthroughs in science, technology and other fields are solely attributed to the leaps and bounds of a certain person’s creative thought.

However, due to the lack of any healthy counter-arguments during the process of problem solving, the person involved in it may develop a somewhat ‘myopic’ view of the issue and may not factor in other elements.

The HR experts at have these recommendations to encourage healthy, creative thinking among your team members:

Let the problem decide your approach

Group brainstorming is great to tackle problems or projects which have short deadlines, as groups are more likely to make decisions and complete it well within the time frame. For projects with relaxed timelines, you can allot them to an individual team who has specialized knowledge about the problem and who has demonstrated a good track record with similar projects in the past.

Train your team

Though some individuals are naturally more creative than others, you can also foster creative thinking in your team with the right training. Training sessions can develop creative problem solving skills among your team. Training is also available for your team in formal techniques such as mind-mapping, brainstorming and lateral thinking.

Allow failures

To foster creativity, you need to create an environment that is conducive to risk-taking. Do not penalize if a creative idea did not harvest results as were expected. Instead, encourage your team to break down the scenario to understand what happened and get them to learn from their mistakes. In today’s economic landscape which calls for a more creative approach to problem solving, creativity is indeed the new currency. The better your organization is able to tap into it, the more favorable your position is against competition.

Give employees a reason to care

The fact is, if people aren’t feeling connected to your company, there’s little incentive for them to be innovative. Make sure your employees are in the loop on your firm’s strategies and challenges, and invite their input. Employees who are involved early on in processes and plans will be motivated to see them through to completion. Their active participation will fuel more ideas than if they learn of initiatives firsthand.