Trying to understand how to become more creative is a mission shared by people from all walks of life. It’s not just artistic minds who are on this quest; managers can use creativity to break through plateaus and find innovative solutions to difficult problems.
But creativity doesn’t mean you skip the planning phase. With all the great will in the world, if you don’t have a plan in place to foster creativity, your lack of direction will turn into a lack of results. But help is at hand. Bitrix24’s five steps will take you on a chronological journey, featuring strategies to enhance creativity that are ideal for both in-house and remote teams.
It might seem obvious, it might seem like a shortcut, but your recruitment strategy is the first port of call on how to become more creative as a team. There’s little point in implementing the following four steps if you’re dealing with individuals to whom creativity is a curse word.
We hear a lot about the advantages of diversity these days, but have you ever stopped to wonder why it’s so good for team creativity?
Imagine you’ve got a team of five graphic designers. They’re all absolute experts, but they went to the same college and learned from the same professors. If you throw them all the same task, you’re likely to get pretty similar results.
However, when you incorporate diverse perspectives, experiences, and skills, you create a veritable melting pot of ideas. With divergent thoughts pinging around the room and your creative juices flowing, you open up the door to serendipitous discoveries that can break through frustrating deadlocks.
The more work you put into your strategy, the better the team you get out of it. When considering how to become more creative, actively seek out individuals who bring something different to the table. For example, they might have a left-field professional history for a cross-sector perspective or an international background that opens up new markets.
Forget Post-it notes and clunky Excel sheets to track your progress. There are plenty of excellent human resources tools designed to give you a structured, methodical approach to your hiring efforts, so make the most of them. New recruits will seamlessly flip over into your employee database when they’re hired, where their new colleagues can view their profile and get to grips with their special flair.
This way, from day one, you help to weave the social fabric between your teams, which is an element that will foster creativity in the time to come.
No matter how detailed your recruitment process is, it’s not the ideal environment to truly get to know someone. Therefore, once you’ve assembled your team, your next step is to gel them all together into a cohesive unit of diverse thinkers.
Nothing is more nightmare-inducing for a new recruit than having to provide new ideas early in your job. You don’t know your colleagues, and you don’t know how your boss will react, so the most understandable response is to clam up and play it safe. That’s why one of the most common features of creative teams is an understanding that everybody is allowed to fail.
To encourage creativity in your team, lead by example and create an atmosphere where failure isn’t frowned upon, but viewed as an opportunity to learn and grow. Confidence is key here, and consistently strong leadership on your part will unlock the door to creative potential. Once you’ve built a level of trust, ideas can flow freely, whether they’re good or bad.
Intrinsically linked with creating a safe space for failure is the incentive for trying out new ideas. Put simply, it’s positive reinforcement, offering praise to those brave enough to push the boat out and start something fresh. Whether it’s a simple word of recognition, an acknowledgment in a team meeting, or a token of appreciation, it can go a long way in keeping those creative juices flowing.
If your company has an internal social-media style platform, let everybody know about the revolutionary new ideas coming out of your department. Post an announcement to appear on everyone’s newsfeed and watch the likes and comments pour in. Not only is this a direct reward for the person who came up with the idea, but it also inspires others to do the same, which can improve team creativity across the board.
These measures together form powerful strategies to enhance creativity and confidence. Over time, your patterns of behavior will crystallize into a company culture that demonstrates how to become more creative and attract the most creative minds to your organization.
Until now, we’ve been discussing how to be more creative as a team on a broad scale. Now, we’re going to go into detail with tips on the what, where, who, and how of facilitating creative sessions.
It might seem counterintuitive, but to improve team creativity, you need to have a few structures in place. For example, one of the most common excuses for a lack of creativity is “I just don’t have time.” So if you’re serious about encouraging creativity in your team, it’s down to you to make time for it.
Just like your more day-to-day meetings, block out time on your team calendar when everyone lays down their tools (or closes their laptop), and heads to a dedicated room to get creative. Creativity thrives when given room to breathe, so encourage people to leave their worries and deadlines at the door and focus on the task at hand.
For best results, you can’t restrict your team creativity sessions to a one-off event. Like your biceps and quads, you need to train your creative muscle, so schedule regular innovation workshops to strengthen your team. As people relax into the format, their guard will drop, and their creativity will come through.
To really put the excuses to bed, make sure you’ve got the right tech to facilitate your sessions. Remote teams might need video conferencing tools and collaborative documents so everyone can share their ideas in real-time, no matter where they’re located. Similarly, you can schedule repeat weekly sessions through your calendar, with an automated reminder an hour before.
Continuing with the theme of structured creativity, you should always try to strike the right balance between encouraging free-flowing creativity while still working toward a goal. Therefore, when working on how to become more creative, provide clear, yet open instructions. As opposed to free brainstorming sessions, it’s often important to have a specific goal, even if the path to achieving it is open-ended.
Smart prompts and instructions require a delicate balance between guiding your team and giving them freedom, but once you master it, you have a powerful strategy to enhance creativity.
Connect with your team online and create professional development pathways to boost creativity.
Who said playtime is just for kids? Creative teams from Apple to Monty Python champion the importance of play for finding breakthrough ideas. The concept is simple. By putting yourself in a childlike state, you open your mind and break down mental blockers, giving way to a sense of freedom and fun.
If you’re wondering how to become more creative using play, start by messing around with new tools and ideas. Perhaps you’ve just launched a company TikTok account but have no clear direction on what your voice should be. In a free-for-all, pressure-free zone, your team can play with text, filters, music, integrations, and any other functionalities they can find. The fact that there is no goal in mind gives people even more of a sense that there is no “wrong” answer and they can truly by themselves.
The same can work for more work-focused tools too. For example, see who can create the most efficient sales workflow in your CRM. You’ll be amazed at how many automations, segmentations, templates, snippets, and shortcuts your team can find when given the freedom. Diverse teams thrive in these environments. More logical minds might go for a purist route-one efficiency, while younger digital natives could use intuition to connect dots you aren’t even aware of.
Yes, the traditional approach is that quality trumps quantity every time. But we’re not being traditional here, we’re learning how to become more creative. When your business is faced with a unique issue, you’re going to have to come up with a unique solution. Perhaps the market is crowded, and you need some special sauce to help you stand out.
Encourage your team to brainstorm freely, allowing all ideas, no matter how outlandish, to flow. To get the ball rolling, you could pose the question, “How would you solve this issue if money was no object?” Some of the most innovative solutions come out of group sessions like this, and there’s no denying it’s a fun, team-building exercise in any case.
Our final step in how to become more creative focuses on the long-term — investing in your team. Ultimately, people are your greatest asset, and a process of upskilling adds new tools and fresh motivation into the mix.
Investing in your team has major crossovers with your efforts to inspire confidence and trust. As a key part of your management and leadership approach, you are demonstrating that you want the best for your people, both on an individual and team level.
Each person is unique, with distinct talents and creative potential. By taking someone under your wing, you can be decisive in identifying and harnessing their creativity. Set a time frame for your mentorship, and schedule recurring check-ins to monitor progress and answer any questions. Once your team grows in size and confidence, you can delegate the role of mentor to senior profiles. This peer-to-peer support is excellent for the development of both sides, with the mentor gaining managerial experience and the mentee getting a creative push forward.
Training programs are a surefire way of improving team creativity. As people learn new skills, they bring them back into your melting pot of creativity, making new synergies along the way.
Dedicated training shows that you value your team and what to help them improve. It is a major reassurance for people and gives them the psychological safety net of feeling that you’re on their side. The confidence that results from professional development opens up a more liberated way of thinking which is fertile ground for innovative ideas.
Now you know how to be more creative as a team, what’s the next step?
If you really want to accelerate your team’s creativity, head over to Bitrix24 and see how you can set the scene for your efforts to encourage creativity in your team.
With Bitrix24, you can:
Build winning recruitment strategies and workflows
Connect with your team via video, phone, email, instant messenger, and more
Work together simultaneously on collaborative documents stored in the clouds
Schedule your creativity sessions and book rooms
Create professional development pathways for your team
With all of your tools on one platform, all you need to do is inject enthusiasm and passion, and you’re ready to take on the world.
Sign up for Bitrix24 today and get those creative juices flowing.
To foster creativity in a team, managers need to apply a multi-pronged approach of fresh activities, open communication, trust in their team, and freedom to explore new ideas.
The five ways to promote creativity are:
A creative team brings a wealth of advantages, primarily based on finding innovative solutions to problems, unique ideas for growth, and improved adaptability. All of these combine to give teams a competitive edge in the marketplace.