Let Creativity Run Your Company
Companies can use simple techniques to boost the creative output of employees at any level. The key for that, according to some neuroscientists such as Emory University’s Gregory Berns, is to focus on perception. To change our point of view, we must we must bombard our brains with things it has never encountered. This article presents a a 4-step guide with ideas to explore new ways to enhance the creativity of your team based on that concept.
Step 1: Immerse Yourself.
Even when presented with overwhelming facts, people will not abandon their deeper opinions. The solution for that is to obtain first-hand personal experience by buying your own product, talking to customers, making online research about your company or even visit your competence.
Step 2: Overcome Orthodoxies.
Avoid your own organization’s wisdom about ‘how things are done’. Systematically challenge your core beliefs gives you capacity to embrace new and unconventional ideas.
As an example, “A global credit card retailer looking for new-product ideas during the 2008 economic downturn […] —“credit” was now a dirty word— looked for orthodoxies in the traditional financial services. They realized that the company had always behaved as if only its affluent customers cared deeply about travel-related card programs, that only mass-market customers ever lived paycheck to paycheck […]”
Step 3: Use Analogies.
Force comparisons between your company and an unrelated one. Use them to stir your imagination.
“How would google manage our data?”
“How would Starbucks engadge our clients?”
Step 4: Embrace Constraints.
Impose your team artificial constraints to your business model and use them to think beyond, imagine them so they fit your circumstances.
For example, the Nike Flyknit shoe is designed to combine sustainability goals with athletic performance. Hannah Jones, Chief Sustainability Officer and VP of the Innovation Accelerator at Nike, Inc., describes how they set out the project’s constraints: “We set a guiding principle called Zero Compromise. We’re going to make a great product that is beautiful and sustainable….We gave the team irritating constraints — you have to do double business in half the impact. These are unusual bedfellows, and you’re going to clash these two together. Those constraints drive a creative tension that forces a different conversation.”
References: Seppälä, E. (2017, 5 abril). How Senior Executives Find Time to Be Creative. Harvard Business Review. https://hbr.org/2016/09/how-senior-executives-find-time-to-be-creative
Capozzi, M. M., Dye, R., & Howe, A. (2020, 7 enero). Sparking creativity in teams: An executive’s guide. McKinsey & Company. https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/strategy-and-corporate-finance/our-insights/sparking-creativity-in-teams-an-executives-guide