Creativity and Innovation is a Process
Innovation is not something you can do in your organisation or business at a certain time of the year, its not like doing the books at the end of the financial year! Innovation and creativity is a continuous process that needs to be harnessed and supported every day.
It is also necessary to understand that innovation is not just the outcome, it is a journey and the process should be structured. Many people have the idea that creative people are messy in their thinking and that their organisational skills are poor. However, the one does not exclude the other and creative people can, and should, be organised. This is how you come up with the best and most viable ideas for your business.
The participants of the workshop were introduced to methods of boosting their continuous and structured creativity through several exercises. Feedback from the exercises clearly showed that having a facilitator in the group who guided the conversation and kept it on topic was beneficial. The facilitator was also making sure that everyone’s voice was heard to ensure that all opinions were put forward. This created structure for the conversation and made it an inclusive process that helped the less expressive members of the group to voice their ideas. As mentioned above, we all have a great deal of creativity in us but sometimes it can just be overshadowed by the more dominant members of the organisation. This is why structure and process are important.
It is therefore worthwhile to hold creativity meetings with your co-workers to discuss the issues they are facing in their work and how procedures and products could be improved. It is also good practise to provide employees with tools for giving feedback, jotting down their ideas and giving them the time and space to be creative, and encourage them to use the tools available to them. How about dedicating one wall of your break out or meeting room for the business model canvas and providing employees with post-its for writing down their ideas? It is after all often not during the designated time that we get our best ideas, but when we are actually in the process of completing the work.
Or are you just starting your business? Or do you work alone? Having a meeting by yourself may not be as productive, but taking the time to be creative in your work is well worth the effort. Make use of your customers, friends, family and neighbours to help you with ideas by asking for their feedback. Or consider getting some of your clients together and inviting them for a business development meeting with you. They are the ones who use your products or services, so who better to bounce your ideas off for gaining new inspiration.
Now take a look at the following article to find out if you have what it takes to be creative and innovative in your business. At the bottom of the page you will also find a list of useful exercises you can try out and see where they take you!