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Bringing Creativity Back into Your Company Culture

Creativity in the Workplace

Creativity is the lifeblood of achievement. In today’s competitive business culture, no organisation can afford to stifle creativity, but that is exactly what happens in many. Here are some immediate steps you can take to bring creativity back into your company culture.

Flexible Vacation Time

Most organisations dictate to employees how much vacation time they are allowed. Some organisations offer so little vacation and put so many restrictions on them that a practice that should create good will and a sense of renewal only serves to remind them how restrictive the policy is and how little time they are allowed to “re-create” themselves.

This sends a message to employees that they aren’t capable of determining how much time they need to “keep the creative juices flowing.” In other words, it stifles creativity. While many people think that offering unlimited vacation time would create ample opportunity for abuse and result in an empty office every Friday, the reality is that, in most cases, it allows people to decide for themselves when it is appropriate to work.

Allow Employees to Work Remotely

This blog piece you are reading right now was written and posted remotely. Before we had the Internet, it was necessary for people to congregate in an office to work. Now, thanks to technological advances, many positions can be worked from anywhere. This offers a plethora of benefits to both the employee and the organisation.

Think of how many jobs in your organisation could be worked from a remote location such as home. Think of the money this would save your organisation. Could you cut your office space in half? How much would this decrease personnel conflicts and “office politics?” From the employee’s standpoint, it would save them money on transport, parking, meals eaten out and the time it takes to commute, thus providing them with a higher de facto income.

Most of all, remote working removes some of the main obstacles to creativity: time-wasting and possible exposure to negativity or interruption from co-workers.

Are Your Meetings Really Necessary?

Monitor every meeting in your workplace over a period of time. Chart how much time is actually spent getting anything done and how much is spent on procedure, rehashing things that everyone already knows and other time-wasters. We guarantee that it will be an “eye-opener.” Sadly, the “solution” most companies have for the lack of production in the typical meeting is to have even more meetings.

This only makes your workplace less productive. This creates a “time crunch” on employees which detracts from their creativity.

Cooperation, Not Competition between Departments

While breaking organisations into departments is essential for efficiency, it can often be a source of conflict. Often, department goals can cause competition where cooperation would be the more efficient option. There is also a lot of time spent in creating department goals, reviewing and justifying whether or not they are met, and adjusting department goals, starting the cycle over again.

Departmental goals are often in conflict with each other, causing departments to compete for resources and causing departments to rely on other departments to help with their goals. This is a recipe for internal strife and underachievement.

The solution is to create company mega-goals. This frees up a lot of time and relieves employees of a lot of pressure, fostering a more creative environment.

Feedback

Employees need feedback to know how they are doing. While we never encourage micromanagement, we do encourage feedback in a timely basis whenever needed as opposed to waiting for the rubber-stamped monthly, quarterly or yearly reviews.

Integral Leadership Program

The Integral Leadership Program is the flagship offering among our leadership development programs. It is based on Ken Wilber’s Integral Theory and helps develop the individual as a leader according to its four quadrant approach. Integral Theory is a unified “theory of everything” that includes the best of more than 5,000 years of human thought in the fields of spirituality, psychology and philosophy. Mr Wilber calls this “a cross-cultural comparison of most of the known forms of human inquiry.”

The program’s goal is integral individual development in the areas of excellent customer service, mindfulness, working together for the whole, caring for the environment, unconditional respect and doing valuable work. Using the four quadrants of the intentional, behavioural, cultural and social, the Integral Leadership Program helps develop leaders by working on the individual and the collective, both internally and externally.

This development helps strengthen both individuals and organisations by enabling and encouraging cooperation, collaboration and creativity. If you want to bring a creative culture back into your organisation in Perth or in your area, contact us today on 1300 176 789.

Ron Cacioppe

Ron Cacioppe is the Managing Director of Integral Development and holds a BSc, an MBA and a PhD. He has taught in the Graduate School of Management at Macquarie University, Curtin University and the University of Western Australia.

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