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About Creative Thinking at the Workplace

by Lisa McQuerrey

Harnessing the power of creative thinking in the workplace opens doors to new ideas and concepts and creates opportunities to explore different and unconventional ways of doing things. Creative thinking engages employees and creates venues for innovation that can lead to enhanced productivity, higher morale and increased business profitability.

Support Idea Exchanges

Encourage employees to share knowledge and information and to exchange ideas that are based on past personal and professional experiences. This is especially valuable in diverse employee groups or in groups where colleagues are from different generations, and can provide widely differing perspectives on any given topic. The ability to look at problems and opportunities from a number of different directions increases creative thinking and idea exploration.

Question Standards

It's easy to get caught up in a mindset of, “This is the way we've always done it.” This type of thinking reduces the potential for creative thought processes as no new concepts or approaches are ever introduced. Let go of preconceived notions that require you to continually hold on to the status quo and encourage the introduction of new ideas.

Take Risks

Be willing to take calculated risks in an effort to generate creative thinking. Embrace and give consideration to new ideas that might ultimately prove to be unworkable, simply for the sake of engaging the creative minds of your employees. Set a standard that no idea is entirely off the table. This will encourage employees to dig deep and challenge themselves out of standard and sometimes stale business mentalities.

Communicate Through Brainstorming

Make creative group brainstorming activities a normal event in your business. Brainstorming is an opportunity for multiple people to contribute to problem-solving or idea generation by thinking off the top of their heads and throwing out ideas no matter how outrageous. Directed brainstorming then funnels different aspects of the best ideas into workable concepts.

Reduce Stress

Workplace stress can diminish creative thinking, particularly when employees are overworked, on tight deadlines or are required to mass produce rather than quality produce. A work environment that builds in time to creatively assess different aspects of a project or endeavor increases the potential of developing a work product that is unique, creative and individualized to your business.

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