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Foster innovative and creative thinking in workplace | CEO diaries
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7 Ways to Foster Innovative Thinking and Creativity in your Organization

Innovation and creativity are the two pillars that do not simply enhance great efficiency but also enables increased bonding, teamwork and talent retention. Being an entrepreneur, innovation is always a constant business priority for every business type.

The innovative companies can always seize market opportunities easily, even during a recession and hold the capacity to take the hibernating companies’ market share.

Markus Spiske

In today’s world, the mindset of consumers has changed a lot due to many different aspects. They are now pushing the standards of even small companies to deliver exciting products or services with a competitive edge. So, all the industries must foster innovation and creativity at work.

What is the meaning of fostering innovation in the workplace? Let’s consider a real-time innovation at work examples.

Here are examples of innovation in the workplace from the top few companies that list as the best places to work. HubSpot includes their employees in all major decisions to make them feel as a whole. Furthermore, they provide professional development opportunities for team members.

Airbnb motivates interaction between teams, and Google fosters creativity in the workplace with its relaxing environments, collaborative spaces, and a lot of perks.

If you are a CEO who is struggling with how to foster innovation in the workplace, here are a few simple steps that you need to take to inseminate innovation and creative thinking in your organization.

1. Be a leader, not a boss. 

For every organisation, innovation starts with the leadership qualities of its CEO. Innovative thinking can be seeded in the organisation only if the CEO is passionate about the work and willing to take any positive and optimistic attitude to accept feedback or any idea. That’s the factor that actually drives your employees and helps them to have a clear vision, forward-thinking, and more importantly, embrace change.

You got to be a leader whose thoughts are bold and from 360 degrees. This plays a major role in fostering innovative thinking in organizations. A leader shouldn’t be controlling, but influential. Boss is the one who takes control, but a leader is the one who influences his peers or team to take the decision he wants to take. 

2. Foster the culture of innovation 

Remember that you can only get the most and the best from your employees until or unless you drive them by inspiration and motivation. That’s the secret ingredient to make them curate out of the box ideas. But, before that, you need to understand that it doesn’t work if the employees are micromanaged. It is your responsibility to give them the freedom to think innovatively and to pursue the idea that they are passionate about. It happens naturally when management takes a step towards fostering innovation in the workplace. 

Imagine when the entire organisation is involved in brainstorming in the process of refining suggestions, any problem can be viewed with a wider angle with different perspectives. This doesn’t happen when only key staffs are involved. You need to empower every employee and influence your tribe by creating a strong organizational culture. Fostering the culture of innovation especially in the workplace is not a piece of cake.

3. Boost interaction between departments

Particularly in large businesses, employees get segregated into different teams. The connection or collaboration with other teams is always shut off. This culture makes people forget that businesses function as a whole. Being a CEO, take responsibility to encourage collaboration between different departments and keep them motivated. Let them get inspired by thinking from a different perspective and come up with ways in which departments could work together to invent efficient strategies.  

4. Get out of the office

One cannot foster creativity and innovation when he is surrounded by plain walls monotonously every day and restricted in a small space. Take your team out to a new place. It may be a lunch out or even a usual office meeting at a cafe. If not, you can just do a different and refreshing office interior. What do you think about a work-from-home on a Monday morning? That could do enough to make them creative.

5. Reward learning by mistakes

When you are keeping innovation at the forefront, mistakes are inevitable. Make sure that you take appropriate actions and precautions to certain risky areas. Because obviously innovation comes with mistakes and inventing new ways to tackle it. So, encourage your team for their mistakes and motivate to get them back on the right track. When you berate the staff for ideas that go wrong, they will be afraid to come up with new ideas that might work. Constructive criticism is an art, master it. That helps your team will quickly figure out new ideas by carefully considering the risks involved. 

6. Encourage even outlandish ideas

What can be more daunting than the thought of your peers laughing at your outlandish idea that is extremely out of the box? so to boost the confidence of your team members, you should be sure to welcome all ideas that come your way, no matter how out-of-the-box they may be. If faced with an idea that simply isn’t right for the business, rather than dismissing it outright, tactfully explain why the idea is not quite right. Thereby, your team member will still feel appreciated for their creative thinking and will learn along the way. 

7. Action good ideas

People get motivated more when they see their ideas getting in action and how successfully they perform. Whenever you hear a good idea, regardless of who has come up with the idea, even if it is from a junior member, take it seriously. And when you activate the idea, do let the member know about it. Give them the empowered vibe and encourage them to keep up with their creative thinking. 

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