The language and words you use are powerful, and they help you set directions and goals for both yourself and the people around you. I would like to share some of my thoughts about how to foster creativity in your team and organisation. Today, all organisations need to be innovative, and creativity is relatively cheap to invest in compared with recruiting new staff, IT, buildings and other assets.
When working, I’ve observed that many teams are stuck in unproductive patterns, which results in objectives not being met due to poor communication and lack of knowledge about sharing and supporting new ideas. Staff members are hesitant to be creative and it is not the individual’s fault; it is a flaw in the culture and a lack of awareness of how creativity, ideas and innovation work.
To use the language of creativity well you need to know how to express yourself. Here are some top tips to make the creative juices flow better:
1. Be positive about new ideas.
Say things such as: “please tell me more”, or “I like your new take on this, it sounds brilliant”. The people you speak to will automatically tell you more and the conversation will continue to flow.
2. Ask more questions.
In general ,when we ask a number of questions it makes people think, which can help you to take your idea or project to the next level.
3. Avoid using too much jargon.
Words that are hard to define and are used all the time make people feel insecure. Many are not aware of this themselves, and they sit and agree with everyone as if they understood the problem, and the idea will not develop as well as it could.
4. Use storytelling when communicating a new idea, project or change.
We don’t like to listen to facts about why we must do something, but we love to listen to stories, so pass your message on as a tale instead.
5. Go out for a walk to discuss your idea, problems and opportunities.
When we move our bodies, we release a protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) which works as a fertiliser for our brains and helps us build new connections between our neurons and synapses. If you are walking and talking, you will be able to see new solutions more quickly, and you’ll also come back to the office feeling refreshed.
If your organisation is looking into how it can grow and reach a new market, it is likely that the ideas that come up will be out of your comfort zone. If you are not aware of how to handle new ideas, you might kill them by mistake. If you do the same thing in business year after year, that may not satisfy your customers. When growing you need to be creative in developing new solutions that keep clients coming back for more: creativity is a real business advantage and your clients will notice this when working with you.
In most people’s day jobs, creativity is about how you create something together as a team when working on a product or project. It’s not about a single person’s artistic work—most of us are not designers, artists, or writers—although I believe that artists and writers may be better at listening to what their target market wants, and the better they are at collaboration, the more successful they will become.
Your language and behaviour will matter for everyone in your team, so raise your awareness, as it’s your team’s collective muscles that will make the change happen. If part of the team is only using some of their muscles, new ideas are not likely to grow.