Corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs should be developed with the vision of enabling creativity, innovation and out of the box thinking. This is why employee volunteering works when it comes to driving creative energy into the workplace.
In her TEDx video, Catherine Courage talks about how business leaders unconsciously inhibit creativity in the workplace. This is startling given the fact that a study conducted by IBM concluded that the number one factor that predicts business success is creativity. For this reason, Catherine is passionate about helping businesses drive innovation by embedding creativity into corporate culture.
Creativity is traditionally associated with right brain thinkers such as artists, writers, and musicians. Left brain thinkers such as engineers and computer programmers are largely seen as incapable of harnessing creativity. Catherine challenges this paradigm by suggesting that is simply not true. Everyone is born with the ability to be creative, and it is imperative that business leaders make use of this underused tool.
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How can you increase creativity in your workplace? Here are some of her suggestions:
Change Your Environment
According to Catherine, environment is the, “foundation of creativity”. Many modern business environments appear plain and simple. You want to create spaces that are conducive to imagination, ideas, and original thinking. Take a cue from a child’s classroom, filled with a variety of colors, shapes and spaces. Companies like Google and Microsoft have already jumped on the bandwagon by creating work environments that are more colorful and open. How is your current corporate environment encouraging creativity?
Don’t Be Afraid To Experiment
Experimenting is the key to innovation. For example, Thomas Edison made a thousand failed attempts before inventing the lightbulb. Catherine talks about the dangers of creating a culture where employees are afraid to fail. Instead, embrace failure by recognizing its role in success. Encourage your employees to take risks, think outside the box and of course, fail.
Tap Into The Power Of Storytelling
The art of storytelling can be incredibly influential in the business world. Presentations filled with dull bullet points, lack of emotion and no context can decrease employee engagement. The next time you give a presentation, think about the ways that you can incorporate storytelling. Effective storytelling can increase employee engagement by encouraging conversations which can lead to new, innovative ideas.
In Catherine’s own words, “ Creativity is a birthright, available to all, but used by few”. How does your company feel about creativity? Feel free to leave a comment below. And check out the video!