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Ronald Brown is a successful startup CEO with an extensive background in technology and consumer marketing. His new book, Anticipate. The Architecture of Small Team Innovation and Product Success is available via iTunes, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo.
Last year, reports said creativity was on the decline in the U.S. However, reports this year indicate that creativity is more important than ever to business success. IBM weighed in with a massive study, interviewing over 1,500 CEOs around the world. Those CEOs collectively agree that employee creativity is the most important talent for the 21st century.
Although it seems to be on the decline, creative capacity is more important than ever. Many large companies deem creativity a major competitive advantage.
So, where do you start? What will be your strategy to bolster not only your own creativity, but also that of your business?
First, you’ll need creative employees — then, an environment that fosters and promotes that creativity. Let’s divide these categories further.
- Hire for innate creativity. Even if a candidate’s domain skills come first (e.g. engineering, finance, marketing), stay on the lookout for creative skills – it’s easy and relatively inexpensive. Bringing people on-board with high “creativity quotients” will pay off enormously in the long-run.
- Assess current employees. Once you identify creative types within your organization, deploy them for special projects or team leadership positions.
- Train for creative thinking skills. It’s a structured and rich process, and everybody, regardless of inherent abilities, can improve their creativity with practice.
- Teach marketing principles. Since business success is so much about marketing, and marketing is so much about creativity, it would be hard to imagine a more fertile ground for sharpening creative thinking skills. Advertising and design (product and graphic) tasks are also effective in getting creative juices flowing.
- Allow for reflection time. Employees need places where they can get away from mainstream energy and potential conflicts. Creative professionals recognize solitary time as part of the “incubation” process, necessary for clarifying and polishing ideas.
- Encourage play. Impromptu team recreation builds trust and reinforces collaboration. Make it accessible on a daily basis.
- Mix it up. Multi-cultural and mixed gender teams tend to have higher creative output.
- Visit customers. Ideas are most valuable when they are put in context of customer needs and circumstances. Learn from customers, allow them to suggest ideas, and be sure to share concepts, drawings and prototypes with them.
- Encourage industry networking. Interaction with peers builds tacit knowledge.
- Define a powerful vision. Vision is the single best agent for galvanizing teams. While high performance teams need the freedom to direct their own time and efforts, management directs the process through a vision that team members can get excited about.
- Create big open spaces. There’s a reason design firms and ad agency offices are visually free flowing, interesting, and non-constraining: environmental clutter is distracting and stressful.
- Create friendly spaces. Individual workspaces should put people at ease. Some prefer music. Some work well with clutter, like piles of books or papers, while others like things tidy and minimal. The goal is to meet everyone’s needs the best way possible. Bottom line, you want employees to feel good being at work.
sumber : http://mashable.com/2011/11/08/company-creativity/