Powerful tips for sustaining creative culture in your firm.
Posted on July 17, 2011 by d e, One of Thousands of ADD ADHD Coaches on Noomii.
Do you want to enrich the culture of your company? Creativity coach David Eyman gives you 7 easy to integrate ways to help your company innovate!
Fresh out of college I landed in the design department of a large corporation. Like most big company design departments, there was a good mix of designers that collectively formed the culture. There were graphic designers, industrial designers, design managers, and even a photographer or two in the mix. What stood out to me more than the role each person played, was how the personality of each designer played more of a role than their function in the department dynamic. There were two of us that were mainly the creators. We spent most of our time producing the things, ideas, and pictures that led the other designers work. Eventually we were let go, but in the meantime I called us the “creatives”. The rest of the department was filled with designers that were not so creative, yet produced an endless flow of good quality design work that was almost always implemented. I called these the “producers”.
What we can learn in this case is that there are ways to influence the creative designers to produce more, and the producers to create more. We call this dynamic a culture of creativity.
Creative culture is a complicated mess of many things like management, environment, personalities, etc. and addressing each ingredient in baby steps can help us create, nurture, and enhance the creative culture as we are willing.
The following excerpt from our workshop on creative culture is intended to help you find ways to nurture your firms creative culture.
7 tips to help you create a culture of creativity
1. Know who you’re dealing with! The creative persons mind is unlike a production oriented persons mind, and the work habits you can expect from each are different to suit. There are ways to help creatively intelligent people produce more effectively, and to help producers be more creative. You may gain some insights into your team members lives, and remember that NO-ONE is happy if a person isn’t being used to do what they’re best at!
2. Mix and mingle people. Influences come from in house, and out of house. A consistent stream of influences from various areas of life can inspire creativity. A river of influences can result from mixing and mingling internal departments, and a flood of influence can result from mixing departments that bring experiences from their own lives and aren’t afraid to share them. Opportunities to mix people up can be as simple as group lunches, or as productive as architectural changes to the physical space.
3. Reward the sharing of influences. Whether this is a wall of pictures, or telling each other about your weekend, it’s valuable in creating a more diverse database in the right lobes of your team members. Remember that creativity is the unlikely connection of things in the neural pathways. The more randomly cached knowledge the more likely the unlikely will happen.
4. Don’t shame mistakes! Mistakes can be solid gold. Try to turn mistakes into learnings that can lead to your growth as professionals and as a company. Not dwelling on the downside of mistakes empowers your team to make suggestions for change and growth in the form of good mistakes.
5. Get real! This isn’t lofty idealistic thinking in an academic sense, it’s realistic on the ground idea making. Innovation isn’t something that happens elsewhere, innovation happens everywhere, all the time yet it’s rare for us to recognize small innovation. Knowing that some ideas start really small can help. When we see small possibilities as valuable innovation, and we have the courage to back our ideas, big things can happen.
6. Make meaning. Making your work into meaningful, life improving work can be the impetus to get your team into action. We humans have a common value system, and there are few of us that aren’t inspired to action by having meaningful work. Big talk is inspiring, like when you talk about your “mission”, “calling”, or “vision for a better tomorrow”. You might also try talking up the contributions your company has made over time. Saying great things about others can help inspire great things in all of us.
7. Make time to create. While all businesses exist to make money, you may consider balancing creativity with profitability as the aspirational target. If one operates solely on the premise of making money, they will, yet the work they produce may not meet the cultural expectations for your firms creativity. A reasonable allocation of time for creating, then calling it done when it’s done might be the answer to balancing profitability with creativity.
David Eyman is a Creativity Consultant, and Coach for highly creative people. For more information, visit www.eymancreative.com