Creativity is a phenomenon whereby something new and valuable is created. These days, creativity is a highly treasured commodity in the business world where competition is strongest. Companies try to beat each other in coming out with state-of-the-art revolutionary inventions in the market. For this, they scamper for creative individuals to work for them. Unfortunately, many are looking for these “gifted” in the wrong places. In reality, they need not search high and low for them because most often, they already exist in their own companies. They only have to be motivated properly, or “dangle the right carrot” so they say, to extract creativity from these workers. Here are some tips for business owners on how to discover these gifted talents among their men:
- Anyone can be creative: Contrary to the belief that creative people are born gifted, most anyone can be creative given the opportunity to be so. Most companies create working conditions that stifle the motivation and creativity in their workers. They should give their people the chance to acquire the right experience and training. They should encourage them to develop their ability be innovative and to think in new ways. Companies should realize that people naturally become creative when they engage in tasks they are passionate about.
- Give the appropriate incentives: Unfortunately, many company owners think that money is the strongest motivators. In fact, trying to motivate people with bonuses and pay-for-performance schemes result to the opposite outcomes. It has been proven by studies that those who spend lots of time thinking of their bonuses do very little creative thinking. Although being compensated well make people feel good, research shows that many give more weight to better working atmosphere where their creativity is supported, valued, and recognized. They very much prefer to have the opportunity to engage in tasks they are most passionate about and make real progress in improving their skills.
In motivating their people, employers should be discerning in assigning the right job to the right individuals to bring out the creativity in them. They should be aware that a task too challenging may frustrate them; a task far below their skill may bore them.
- Allow time for creativity to flourish: Some employers resort to “do-it-now-or-else” tactics. They believe that time pressure can squeeze out creativity faster. Studies prove the opposite. People are the least creative under time pressure. The intense pressure to fight the clock has a temporary paralyzing effect on their creativity. Time pressure, instead of squeezing the creativity juice in people, tends to stifle its flow because of the problem it presents to the people. Creativity needs time to incubate and develop so ideas can rise to the surface. Actually, it is not the lack of time that is the problem but the distractions that do not allow enough time for creative ideas to come out. For creativity to be achieved, employers must see to it that their workers are protected from undue pressure that can disturb and distract them from their tasks.
- Play down competitions: There is an erroneous idea of business owners that intense competition encourages innovation and creativity in a workplace. In reality, it does the opposite. It has been proven that team work and cooperation among people boost creativity—one head is better than one, remember? When people compete for recognition and personal gains, they keep to themselves and stop sharing ideas. This selfish attitude of competing factions affects the creativity and progress of the entire company.
- Encourage the right emotions: It has been thought that fear, sadness, anger, or even depression trigger creativity. The popularity of people like the writer Edgar Allan Poe and painter Van Gogh seems to support this notion. However, recent studies show the contrary. Although there are some well-known depressed or suicidal creative artists and writers, their number is far lesser than those who lead lives of joy and love. Happy people tend to come up with more creative ideas then sad ones. This is especially true when they engage in a something they are passionate about the day before. It seems the excitement builds up in them overnight and makes them more creative the following day — one day’s happiness usually results to the next day’s creativity.
Tip to employers: promote a happy and friendly working environment to enhance creativities of your workers.
These tips may be construed that in order to encourage creativity among workers, business owners should pamper them. Rather, it means to allow them to engage in tasks they are skilled in, that they love doing, and wherein they can excel — then will their creativity flourish. Give them the right incentive, like “dangling the right carrot”, to keep them motivated.