Why is creativity important in the workplace?
Creativity is a mental tool that is valued across all fields and goes beyond the narrow understanding of being restricted to traditional subjects such as art and design. It’s about problem solving, coming up with new solutions and exploiting opportunities. These are skills that are useful in all areas of work. Moreover, it is not a natural talent - it is something we can all learn to use better.
Individuals and teams need to be helped and encouraged to develop their creativity skills. With some training comes a change in attitudes about the importance of creativity and an improvement in the skills to develop ideas, solve problems and embrace opportunities.
How to unblock creativity
If you’re looking to improve your creativity on a personal level Sascha Stalica and Adidas suggest an innovative way to understand what is blocking your creativity or lack of motivation. It takes you through a 6 step process using ‘Active Focussing’ to help you understand what is preventing you functioning at your best, and helps you to move past the problem. It is a thought exercise – all it requires is a comfy seat and a quiet space.
Creativity is not only controlled by the individual. The environment a person works in, whether that’s physical or social, can have a large impact on the creativity of an individual and a team. Eventbrite's Bel Booker has an excellent list of 10 things to unleash your team’s creativity. It includes tips for making changes to the work surroundings and how to encourage attitudes and behaviours that will promote creativity. Included are such things as team away days and using rewards. If you’ve never considered the widespread role creativity can play in a team this is a great place to get some pointers on what can be done to improve it.
How Azesta can help
At Azesta we look to improve team work, creativity and problem solving in many of the services we offer. A favourite tool we use for a quick boost is an exercise called The Philosopher’s Stone. It is effective in helping people achieve a state of high creativity and is a perfect warm up for further activities.
It consists of shape plate, with 3 different holes – a circle, a square and a triangle. The aim of the exercise is to describe to shape of an object that must fit through all three holes. This can be done through sketching the object, or in 3D with modelling clay or even a potato and a small cutting knife. This requires real creative thinking and saying goodbye to entrenched thought processes! Only when all creative areas of the brain are activated can the object take shape. At the end of the exercise the mystery can be revealed with the aid of the actual “Philosopher’s Stone” (a wooden shape).