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Why is it so Important to Encourage Creative Thinking?

Leadership Development Training Encourages Creative Writing

One of the cornerstone concepts of our Integral leadership development programs is that we always encourage creative thinking. In today’s competitive business environment, creative thinking is essential for firms that want to “stay ahead of the curve.”

One of the key transitions in the journey from employee to leader is development of the ability to create solutions when confronted with problems. While adhering to “tested and true” techniques is often enough to maintain an effective level of performance, every leader is eventually going to face a situation where his or her leadership will be defined by the ability to create a previously unseen solution to a contemporary problem.

Even employees who don’t currently have leadership positions and haven’t undergone leadership development training can be encouraged to employ creative thinking to solve problems at their level of expertise. Today’s creative problem solver is often tomorrow’s executive.

Here are some methods that can be used to encourage creative thinking at all levels of your business.

Motivate to Create

On any level of any business, employees and executives alike must be told that creativity is important or they have no motivation to do anything other than the status quo, which is often perceived as “safe.”

Venturing “out of the box” to create can cause fear and apprehension in those who have no experience–it is human nature to stay within one’s comfort zone. In an environment where creativity is expected, recognised and rewarded, personnel are more likely to explore new avenues to solve old problems.

Support is Essential

Support is nutrition on which creativity exists. All ideas must be responded to with enthusiasm and appreciation, even if they appear outlandish. Our current paradigm is fully populated by “outlandish” ideas that later became reality and are now taken for granted as part of everyday life.

One of the more important aspects of supporting creativity is to be tolerant of mistakes. If a person takes a risky approach to a problem with mixed results, focus on the positive aspects of what they did while gently pointing the way for them to learn from their mistakes.

Brainstorming and Innovation Techniques

Those who have attended any of our management courses in Perth know that we encourage innovation and brainstorming. Our Integral leadership development programs have enabled many Perth businesses to become more effective by fully developing creative potential on both the employee and executive levels.

Brainstorming sessions, in which a group of people bandy ideas about how to help solve a particular problem, are particularly effective because they allow for individual creative thought within a team concept. The creation of a team often results in an entity that is more than the sum of its parts. As individuals on a team encourage and support each other, they are often able to create solutions that are far superior to any that they could have created as individuals.

Training your staff in brainstorming and other innovative techniques, such as mind mapping or lateral thinking, makes your business stronger and more able to compete in a contemporary environment.

Cross-Training

If you can create enough time for employees to experience each others’ jobs, even for a day, it can cause paradigm shifts which result in better teamwork and better understanding of the company as a macrocosm rather than a microcosm. Many firms encourage employees to know their own jobs but don’t encourage or even allow them to gain insight into other positions within the company.

While this can create focus on one task, it can also deprive the employee of the context that can help them create solutions to problems that may affect their company’s ability to compete in the marketplace. Often, an employee who is simply observing another’s duties and methodology can provide an objective viewpoint and help improve their company’s product.

The Open Door Policy

We believe that those in charge should always solicit ideas from those at subordinate levels in the company. Suggestion boxes are a great beginning and should be distributed around the workplace, but an open door policy on the part of management is even more effective at encouraging new ideas.

As we mentioned earlier, employees who ask to speak to management and offer suggestions, ideas or solutions should be thanked for their input, whether or not it is ultimately used.

Integral Development

We have conducted leadership development programs, management courses and executive coaching for numerous Perth businesses; we specialise in developing leadership and creativity to obtain superior results. Everything we teach is based on Ken Wilber’s integral theory, an all-inclusive framework integrating the best of 6,000 years in human psychology, philosophy, spirituality and science.

Call (08) 9242 8122 to learn more.

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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