Posted: 16 February 2005 at 10:48pm | IP Logged
As the workplace gets revolutionised and the traditional ideas about work dissolve around us, the yearning to align life purpose with work to make it meaningful is pushing professionals and companies to be creative and explore fresh ways of doing things, says Upasna Pandey
Work can no longer be separated from imagination and creativity. Constant reinvention is the name of the game with examples like Microsoft that epitomise this core creativity in action.
Imagination is all about following one's intuition and through creativity; one is able to create something new. The need to create something new, innovate ways of doing things is something that can generate the much-needed adrenaline for nourishing and replenishing professionals in today's fast-paced work culture.
Creativity comes naturally to those who give themselves the opportunities to daydream and allow themselves the ability to explore unlimited thinking. It is the ability to do unlimited thinking that sparks the imagination, helps enhance diversity in implementing assigned tasks and expanding possibilities. Expanded possibilities link one with a greater vision and
Let us look at some easy steps for facilitating creativity at work:
Share with others
When people share their thoughts, there is a flow of information and communication that can nurture creativity and allow for positive growth the entire teams and not just individuals.
Brain-storming To Find Solutions
When one comes to a dead-end figuring out solutions, it always serves better purpose to call for a brain storming session with peers, seniors and subordinates. Teams that work together in problem-solving sessions always find more approaches for tackling an issue. The combined energy often breaks through an individual's blocks.
Being Conscious in Approach
Being conscious in one's focus and striving to look at a situation in a different way is what is needed to ensure fresh ideas are explored and novel ways are implemented.
Many companies in fact encourage this by sending managers to different places and encourage exposure of different cultures to ensure they get new ideas on dealing with their challenges to get to the right answers.
Know Your Co-Workers
For all those who believe their creativity would bloom if they are left alone to find the solutions in a workplace, need help – this goes against the basic rule of getting diverse stimuli from one's environment to get the best results.
Being in touch with oneself and others around one can help in the search for fresh approaches of doing the work.
Align With Company Goals And Directions
A smart manager will not just focus on his own role but also seek information on the overall objectives of the company and the activities of other departments.
A fresh approach to work may not be about finding ways for improving one's individual's performance but also connecting with the way an overall objective of the company is achieved efficiently.
For instance, if a company has just started developing a new product, finding out new ways of improving the product would work better than offering an individual's ideas on a new product.
Attending seminars and conferences that revolve around one's area of work can facilitate in exploring new information and stimuli for improving one's work, style and performance.
While it is essential to listen to negative comments about one's work and the way one has handled a problem, what is essential is to try and remember the constructive feedback on the work done and how it can be adopted in future actions.
This becomes even more critical during a brainstorming session where one must resist any kind of comment or criticism of ideas until the end of the session no matter how strongly one may feel. The aim is to get as many suggestions 'out' as possible before judging or trying to refine them.
Surround Yourself With Creative Images/ Activities
Those professionals who place notes or cartoons around their working space are able to not only lighten up but also allow their peers to look at bright side of things. Decorating a workstation with colour or creative images can also help one enhance creativity.
Wearing bright colours, using coloured markers, pens or pencils when brainstorming and even listening to inspiring music can help one in producing creative results.
Taking a walk to loosen up your body and your mind, preferably outdoors can help too. Many professionals like to take short creativity breaks.
Many managers are using the Internet effectively to find new solutions, update themselves with developments in their fields across the world, and to access contact details not available through conventional methods.
Quantity Breeds Quality
To allow creativity to flourish, managers must encourage team members to say whatever comes to their mind no matter how silly or absurd they think the idea is. Again, the aim is to get as many ideas as possible.
Training individuals or groups with the skills required for successful creative performance can also prove to be effective in enhancing productivity.
Sleep On The Problem
When a person's stress levels are too high and there seems to be no solution in sight, one can even try going to bed with the request that the unconscious mind develops a solution. Allowing one's physical body to rest while the unconscious mind goes away to create answers can be an effective way of finding innovative solutions. It helps to have a pencil and paper next to one's bed and write down the thoughts when one wakes up.
To work in hostile environment and for long hours can easily deplete an individual's physical and mental resources. Expecting creativity and fresh ideas from someone who is not eating a healthy, balanced diet and missing on proper sleep is expecting the impossible. So the bottom line is simple – staying healthy can provide ample reserves of energy when one needs to bring out
creativity at work.
Clearly, as companies strive to gain a competitive advantage, the focus is growing on enhancing employee creativity, and not merely developing their technical competencies and skills. This is being done both to market organisations as being creative or 'cutting edge', for improving productivity and efficiency of individuals and more importantly, exploring better solutions to business obstacles.