A workplace that fosters creativity and innovation undeniably draws top-tier talent. Workers tend to thrive when they’re in an environment that values their abilities and gives them the space to grow. The difference between creativity and innovation might be subtle to some, but the real issue is having the mindset to foster both in the workplace.
Creativity is about coming up with new ideas, whether as an individual, a group, or a business. The idea is to use the imagination to generate new ideas, to express themselves or to create a solution. Companies have to be flexible and able to at least keep current in order to be considered creative.
In contrast, innovation refers to improving a common or long-standing process. New ideas can be developed into useful and practical products through innovation. The process of innovation is often described as the conversion of creative ideas into reality.
Acting on creative ideas is necessary for them to be innovative.
Fostering a Creative and Innovative Mindset
Building a diverse team leads to fostering a creative and innovative work space because of the different talents and characteristics each individual brings to the table. Collaborating on projects with those who have unique perspectives is an ideal environment for creative and innovative ideas to flourish.
Once these power teams are cohesive units, it’s important to give them the space needed to flesh out ideas and overcome setbacks. This allows obstacles to become opportunities for continued and further growth. Micromanaging workers is counterproductive and can have the effect of implying leaders don’t trust their employees to think independently.
Supporting this kind of imaginative workplace atmosphere doesn’t mean leaders are encouraging failure, but it does lead to employees learning their ideas are welcome and encouraged. There are valuable lessons to be learned in every failure, after all, which often leads to even greater innovation.
And it also doesn’t mean that leadership shouldn’t give direction, but stating specific objectives and then moving out of the way so that greatness has the room to grow adds to the confidence of team members. It’s equally important to allow introverts to have a say in what gets done, as well as how that happens. This shifts the traditional idea of brainstorming to perhaps encouraging each team member to generate three to five ideas which can then be discussed among the team to find consensus.
Leaders can also ask their workers what they need to feel more supported. Even if we believe we know what our team members need, it would be shortsighted of us not to open up to the possibility that there’s something else we may not have previously thought of. This simple act of developing adaptability helps us become stronger leaders.
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