To me, witnessing any kind of creativity is one of the most inspiring experiences I can have. Whether it’s watching a young mom single-handedly execute a killer birthday party for a group of kids or watching how a coder can solve a problem by rethinking his approach, creativity is everywhere and in the startup world, it can be a truly exciting thing to watch.
Simply because you’re not involved in design, marketing, or advertising doesn’t mean you don’t have the potential to be creative. Creative thinking really is the bread and butter of great startups so if you’re feeling like you’re in a creative rut, take a look at the following ways to unlock and exercise your creative side!
Communicate What Is Expected
Once you’ve communicated to your team what you expect, then let them loose and see what they can come up with. Then, the moment you witness creative thinking or problem solving, point it out and encourage it. You can truly set up the creative environment this way by nurturing it and encouraging it whenever you see it.
This way, your team begins to feel less self-conscious which at its worst, will lead to them withholding great ideas out of fear. Remember, fear is counterproductive!
Manipulate The Parameters
Sometimes creativity in business comes out of a lack of resources, so think about limiting available resources to force creative thinking. On the other hand, think about drastically changing the environment in which the team thinking is happening. Instead of using the usual conference room, huddle around a team member’s desk or if possible, go offsite.
Finding a comfortable and relaxing environment if at all possible could go a long way.
Ideas Are Not Exclusive
Make it a point to build upon each other’s ideas by taking the best aspect of each idea to work with. Don’t think that just because one part of an idea is bad, that the rest isn’t useful. Combining ideas is typically the best way to come up with a practical and creative solution to issues.
Generally, this is best executed when team members with different experiences and backgrounds get together to problem solve. So, if possible, get your marketing guru next your CFO who spent a year in Peru, next to your admin person who also works construction.
The more varied in experience and background, the more creativity you’ll see in the resulting solutions.
Zero To 60
Remember, at first it’s important to take all of the information in, observe, and get to know the task at hand before going straight to a solution. Take your time and make sure everyone understands the playing field before jumping to solutions. If you give the mind time to process information, behind the scenes solutions begin to work themselves out.
These are just four suggestions that will help deepen the creativity at your startup. Give your team the freedom and space they need, and before you know it, they’ll begin coming up with rocking solutions.
Do you have any particular strategies that work for you or your startup? Share them in the comments!