It’s widely accepted that creativity is one of the largest contributing factors to the success of an organisation. Fostering creativity at work has been shown to drive business growth, improve overall culture and encourage more innovative methods of problem-solving.
While creativity and innovation have always driven our work at Savv-e, we’ve been inspired by the Harvard Business Review’s discussion of this issue. We’ve taken a good look at ourselves to ensure our culture is in the best shape to cultivate great ideas and their application.
Read on to find out about the process and benefits of building creativity in the workplace, and how we put these principles into practice.
Don’t get stuck in the mud!
Meet creativity’s number-one foe: routine. Routine keeps everyone strapped to their ordinary daily tasks and prevents you from switching up your internal processes, making each working day entirely predictable.
Sounds rather mundane, if you ask us.
Giving team members the opportunity to work on projects outside of their usual responsibilities will keep them inspired and allow them to develop adaptive thinking skills. By handing your team the power to explore ideas and take risks, you’ll create a climate of innovation where creativity is free to thrive.
With this in mind, our team was given the exciting challenge of creating a new-look Savv-e website, with each stage of the production process to be carried out in-house. Guided by the vision of a faster, fresher online Savv-e experience, our Digital Designer, Rachel Howden, took on leading the design as an addition to her everyday client work. Ideation sessions were run in and outside the office and with team members from all areas of the business. The result was a unique combination of illustrations and photography – a product of the team’s creativity that sets Savv-e apart from other company websites.
Encourage the creativity of every team member
Workplace innovation is not confined to team members employed in traditionally creative roles. Most people are born inherently creative, with our imaginations often being quashed over time as we become more cautious and analytical. Providing people with opportunities to rediscover their creative tendencies is important so that ideas can be thrown around from every side of your business. Such a strategy goes hand-in-hand with ‘design thinking’ – a consumer-focused, collaborative and innovative yet practical approach to problem solving.
At the start of each new project, we engage a small team across different disciplines to imagine a learning experience that will excite, engage and challenge. As a result, ideas are free flowing and encouraged.
And celebrating past creative solutions is just as important as encouraging innovation and creativity in the future. By showcasing your team’s efforts, you’re actively reminding them of their capabilities and providing inspiration through public recognition. We’ve added an extra seven case studies to the new Savv-e website to give you an even greater taste of our work. From non-profits to major banks, the Projects page showcases the diverse range of clients with whom we’ve created award-winning digital learning modules.
In other words, don’t be afraid to give yourselves a pat on the back!
Peer culture à la Pixar
To facilitate creativity at work and productive brainstorming, implementing a ‘peer culture’ is essential. Put simply, this is a work environment where every employee feels comfortable and safe to share and discuss their ideas with colleagues as well as management.
The company perhaps best known for its collaborative and supportive workplace culture is Pixar.
In the early development stages of a feature film, Pixar management affords great power to the organisation’s artists, writers and creatives to make decisions and conceptualise a vision to be executed in production. The rejection of micromanagement and fear allows creative direction to be given from different angles, and perhaps helps to answer the question of how an aspiring rat-chef was free to become a global movie star.
We’ve put these principles into place with a bottom-up approach to design. We’ve all been amazed at the creativity of our designers when given the opportunity to take the reins. And ultimately, we all have so much to learn from each other.
Small steps, big results
Allow creativity to thrive in the workplace by dividing up tasks into individual steps. By doing so, you’ll allow plenty of time for ideas to emerge naturally and ample opportunity to engage with different sources of inspiration.
For instance, we are inspired by websites from outside of the learning industry that have been recognised for their exceptional design.
Embrace the challenge
Finally, don’t be afraid to be challenged and to make mistakes. This means seeking outside help and always being willing to adapt to feedback, data and analytics. Here at Savv-e, we’re passionate about accessibility, but are always learning new ways to make our work more inclusive. At various stages of our production process, we enlisted the help of Intopia to provide expert feedback on our designs from an accessibility standpoint.
Well, there you have it – creativity: a tool to transform the way you do business and a sure-fire way to set your organisation apart from the competition.
Get in touch with us to see how your corporate learning strategy can build creativity in the workplace.
And to get your team’s creative juices flowing in the meantime, check out a book we’ve been loving: Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull, co-founder of Pixar Animation Studios.