Three Ways to Encourage Creative Thinking in the Workplace

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By: Dylan Wodrich – Social Media Manager of the Customer Service Institute of America

There’s no denying the importance of creative thinking. From these thoughts stem new ideas and concepts, which can lead to countless new innovations. In order to tap into the potential of the minds of your employees, you will first need to create and encourage creative thinking in the workplace. It takes time to develop something that works for your specific situation; so, to get started, here are three simple ways to encourage creative thinking in the workplace:

  1. Create a Communal Space for Creative Thinking

whiteboardOne excellent way to encourage creative thinking is to create something that is easily accessible for employees to jot down their ideas. Try posting up an oversized white board, with plenty of bright, fun colored markers, and encourage employees to write down any unique ideas or improvements they may think of throughout their day. This not only encourages employees to think creatively, but it also allows other employees to piggyback off of other’s ideas and make them even better.

  1. Offer Incentives for Creative Ideas

pile-o-cashAdmit it: We all like cash and prizes. Have a manager think of a common problem that their office may face. Then, host a friendly competition where employees compete to come up with the best solution. Offer your employees an incentive of some sort, such as a small bonus, or something similar. This not only encourages creative thinking, but offers a reward to inspire employees to put more effort into their thinking process (plus, who doesn’t love a little friendly competition?)

 

  1. Praise ALL Ideas

There is no such thing as a stupid idea. No matter what, find the positives in every idea that your employees come upsmiley man with and make sure they know you like it. I am firm believer that there can be good found in everything, no matter how silly the idea may seem at first. No one likes to be told their ideas are dumb. By encouraging and praising EVERY idea that is thought of, people will be more comfortable thinking outside of the box. In my opinion, nothing inhibits creative thinking more than listening to your colleague get shot down by your boss for coming up with a “stupid idea”. By praising and encouraging all types of ideas, you will cultivate a positive, encouraging culture that will nurture creative thinking, resulting in more ideas coming together that could become the next big innovation breakthrough in your company or industry.

 

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