However, team creativity may not be a fully-utilized component of your current company DNA. Let’s do something about that, shall we?
Creativity refers to the ability to use one’s imagination and incorporate originality into the production of art or in the creation of solutions for customers.
Take a look around your workplace, your board room, your manufacturing facility, your business units. How creative are you?
Very few workplaces hire for creativity. Yet individuals and teams within your organization may be highly creative and original. However, these folks feel marginalized and stifled. They won’t let their creativity shine through until and unless they are asked to do so by enlightened leadership and management.
When your management focus is team creativity, your customers take note. Your team creates enduring and sustainable outcomes for your customers.
Findings from the 2012 Adobe State of Create study ring true today. Here are some nuggets:
- 80% of the 5,000 respondents surveyed felt that creativity is valuable to society.
- 75% of respondents perceive they are pressured to be more productive at work than they are encouraged to be creative.
- Which means than only 25% of your staff is bringing – and injecting – creativity in your company’s output.
Where do you start to uncover and unleash team creativity in your existing workplace? How do you catalyze the case for creativity in a corporate culture that may be mired in the status quo?
Look at your current customer base. What percentage of your business is based on repeat orders or repeat designs? Those customers may have formed the building blocks for your company. However, are yesterday’s customers and their projects holding your company back from injecting innovation and creativity into tomorrow’s output? When you are regarded as a company of order-takers, your company and your teams get pigeon-holed by customers.
Look at your leadership. Over the years, your leadership team made a trade-off. Creativity was sacrificed because it was perceived as an impediment to operational stability. Yesterday’s leaders fell in love with the status quo. As a result, everyone became complacent, instead of creative, innovative and competitive. Your collective attempts to discuss with upper level management are ignored or stifled. If your executive team doesn’t value creativity, how can you win business with tomorrow’s A-List customers?
Look at your hiring habits. Over the years, your hiring processes started to reinforce those status quo company-building blocks. You hired for stability and devalued creativity and innovation. Your company is now full of individuals who are producers and order-takers, rather than creators and innovators. These individuals are dedicated to preserving The Way Things Are instead of the way things need to be for tomorrow and the future.
There are more than a few disconnects in these customer, leadership and hiring scenarios. Most importantly, lack of emphasis on team creativity indicates that your company is self-focused on their own preservation. Your company is not customer-focused.
Chew on this: According to the 2012 Adobe State of Create data, team creativity is being tapped in only 25% of your current employees. What happens when you take the steps to realize 26% of that creativity, then 27%?
Identify a few new building blocks. Some creative building blocks.
Build your company for tomorrow and the future by making a slight pivot in your focus. Generate revenue by focusing on the competitive advantage that team creativity showcases. Your customers – new and existing – will thank you.
Babette N. Ten Haken builds innovative, productive and profitable teams focused on excellence in the execution of strategy. Her Playbook on collaboration hacks, including tools, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com.