5 Ways to Get Your Team to be More Creative

It’s been amply demonstrated the mother of invention is necessity, which of course by its very nature, requires out-of-the-box thinking. That’s the fundamental dynamic behind creativity, allowing us to find new inspiration, dream-up new possibilities, and turn them into reality. Creativity itself is difficult to define by pinpoint details, though we all know when it strikes, it’s the proverbial “ah-ha moment.”

This is one of the qualities you look for as a business leader–talented, disciplined individuals to join the team and infuse another level of inventiveness. Your organization needs as much resourcefulness as it can muster, but, there will be times when that flow of ideas and crafting slow down, or, worse yet, come to a screeching halt. That’s when you need to re-spark imagination and get your team to use their ingenuity.

5 Ways to Get Your Team to be More Creative

So, how exactly do you cause inspiration to happen without being fake about it, or, without looking desperate for new ideas? More often than not, coming up with new ideas is not necessarily a matter of brainstorming, though it can be just that. Your team looks to you for direction, but sometimes, it’s best to look to them, and allow them to think just among themselves. Giving over the reigns of power is a proposition that few entrepreneurs relish because of their very nature. However, you’ve already taken a big chance to realize your dream, so, you are familiar with having to give up something in order to get something in return.

Everyone can be creative–it has nothing to do with smarts. In fact, having smarts is no guarantee that you can or will be creative. But just what is creativity? Dr. Teresa Amabile of Harvard Business School defines it as the process of doing something differently that works. That’s it. Real easy. —Entrepreneur.com

When those ideas slow and you become frustrated with the inevitable fallout, there are ways to inspire creativity in your team members. You don’t necessarily have to make an announcement that everyone needs to start coming-up with blockbuster next moves, but, you can do things to get the creativity flowing once again:

  • Start with feedback on current and past projects. Look at customer feedback on past projects, particularly negative or ho-hum feedback. These will let you know where you failed to wow them and make future changes. In addition, take a fresh look at what you’re currently doing and play devil’s advocate to tweak where necessary.
  • Take a little time to ruminate separately and then collectively. There’s nothing wrong with brainstorming, but don’t put the pressure on in an artificial way. Instead, let everyone separate, take time alone, and then come back and exchange thoughts.
  • Give them a nice and inspiring change of scenery Get out of the workplace and go somewhere that’s beautiful and stimulating, and let the scenery work its magic. You might well be surprised by what inspires you and your team.
  • Reverse engineer what already works. You no doubt have competitors, and, they no doubt have done things which have been a success. No matter what it might be, focus on it and reverse engineer just how they got from start to finish. During the process, you’re bound to come up with new takes and innovations.
  • Reward team members for workable ideas. When you get good, viable ideas, be sure to give thanks with a reward. It shows appreciation and imparts a sense of genuine gratitude that will come back to you in a positive way.

Once you do have a new direction, it’s always a good idea to keep your team motivated by rewarding them collectively as benchmarks are met. After you’ve crossed the finish line, follow-up with one-on-one, personalized “thank you” gestures.

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