How Creative Thinking Helps Drive Innovation in a Competitive Workplace

By Eva Maddox

Creativity and ingenuity have become the essential skills over the past decade for success. Driving innovation in such a competitive era is nearly impossible without thinking outside the box. Workplaces need to explore the unknown to increase productivity.

“Any idea can become part of the dust or produce magic. It all depends on the talent that comes up against it.”

-Bill Bernbach

But there are a few questions that haunt many progressive companies. How do you embed creative thinking in a workplace to drive innovation? How do we encourage employees to think outside the box and be creative? Should it be forced, voluntary or driven from outside?

Austin Rotter has some exciting take on the matter. He thinks that no organization is innovative by itself. Instead, it’s the ingenuity of its employees that drives innovation and helps it gain a competitive advantage.

The Need for Creativity in a Modern Workplace

Understanding what creativity means to a business is essential. It embodies the ability to develop innovative ideas and bring them to life. When you use creative thinking in the workplace, a positive collaboration channel is born, adding excitement to the environment.

Every company must encourage creativity to increase productivity and the spirit of success. When innovative ideas emerge, workplace norms change, helping them to differentiate themselves and stand out from the competition.

Creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship – a relationship that should not be overlooked

Unfortunately, today people think that there is no relationship between being creative and innovative and becoming an entrepreneur. Most companies assume that the three are different, having no impact on each other. But the truth is that there is a direct relationship between the three.

Creativity is the ability to foster new ideas or discover interesting ways to approach a problem. Innovation, on the other hand, is the ability to use creative solutions to solve problems and improve the quality of life of your consumers.

Entrepreneurship is the ultimate result of producing a systematic and controlled process that combines creativity and innovation to create unique market opportunities. Innovation is a tool for entrepreneurs to stand out, and creativity is the logic that must be applied.

Essential ways to drive innovation in the workplace

There is certainly not one or two ways. Many factors can drive innovation, but we’d like to share the most critical ones, as Austin thinks:

  1. Experimentation is the path to success

Remember that today you cannot solve a problem using the traditional thought pattern. It is the era of invention and promotion of creativity. Thus, companies must allow their employees to try something new often. Without experimenting with ideas, there is no sure path to success. Try new ideas and take risks. You will pass or gain a knowledgeable lesson.

  1. Discouragement is the enemy of artistic intelligence

Learn never to discourage your employees, even when they come up with bizarre concepts. Support the ideas your employees bring to the table. Motivate and encourage them to thrive for excellence without putting pressure on them.

Think like a leader, not like a boss. Adopt an open mind. Instead of choosing the “no” model over every idea, try using a “yes and” model – inspire them first and then illuminate them with the gaps. In addition to this, make sure to hold regular team meetings. An open discussion can help dispel misconceptions more quickly and without judgment.

  1. Building an environment of trust

Building trust is key to driving innovation in a competitive workplace. There is no other way to use the power of creative thinking and achieve optimal results.

If your employees feel demoralized, staying committed to your organization will become difficult. Build trust, talk to them and listen to their ideas so they feel valued. This will automatically influence the power of creativity, encouraging a culture of diligence and honesty.

  1. Embolden Diversity

In this innovation-driven economy, companies must generate inventive ideas and make them their imperative managerial priority. To do this, they must promote diversity, where each employee, regardless of their background and skills, proves to be a valuable creative resource.

Allow different departments to collaborate and come up with unique solutions. Diverse groups will be able to think more creatively and this will exponentially improve workplace innovation.

But here’s the thing! Promoting diversity can backfire and your employees can burn out.

It is essential to manage the workflow appropriately. Never force your employees to bring freshly prepared ideas instantly after collaborating with other departments. Their mindsets may not match, and putting them under pressure in such a situation can demotivate them, killing any instinct for their creativity.

In summary…

In pursuit of creative thinking, influence positivity to drive innovation in your workplace. A pressurized, unmotivated and stressful environment kills creativity, leaving no room for inspiration.

Remember the following: Focus on creating a relaxing atmosphere where every employee’s suggestions and comments are heard. Never forget to reward the creativity of your employees. Try to empower your employees and consider flexible work arrangements. Always accept failures, because the fear of losing is the biggest obstacle to creative thinking outside the box. Also, be prepared to accept challenges and take risks.