Five Ways To Boost Your Creative Culture Now - The Ideas Bodega
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Five Ways To Boost Your Creative Culture Now

We all want to work at a company that promotes creativity. Here are five ways you can spark creativity in your team and the workplace.

1. Ignore Your Competition
My first role in advertising was as an Account Executive on the Toyota account. A huge part of my role was to do a competitor analysis every quarter. We are trained early on in our careers to keep a close eye on our competitors and watch their every move. What we really need to be doing is ignoring them! We need to be looking for inspiration from other industries. I was very impressed by a client recently who told me that he often attends conferences that are not in his industry. He said it helps him think differently, it gives him a leg up and he gets privy to information and new technologies that may disrupt his industry in the not too distant future.Try focusing on your challenge instead of competitors in the same industry. If you are in a brainstorm ask the room “Who else in the world has solved the problem we have?”. I was recently running a brainstorm where the challenge was “How can we get people in Sydney to cross over to WA for holidays”. Instead of looking at other tourism bodies we looked at who else was an expert in getting people to “cross over”. We got great ideas from telcos, banks, electricity companies and even Star Wars!

2. Create Rituals For Creativity

Common belief tells us that in order to have a creative culture we need to be operating like the Googles and Facebooks of the world. Sure it’s nice to have a slippery slide from the top floor to the bottom floor or sleep pods built into the walls for an arvo nap but it’s not the big, expensive stuff that makes the biggest difference. It’s the small rituals that happen daily and weekly that make your culture creative. Creative ad agency The Monkeys bring in external speakers once a month to inspire and motivate staff. Factuals Channel at Foxtel have Motivation Monday where they get together as a team and watch a TED talk for creative inspiration. There are many ways you can inspire creativity the most important thing is that it happens habitually not just a one off.

3. Make Creativity Part Of Their Job

If you’re a leader why not get creativity put into the half and yearly review system. At the Monkeys, every staff member knows that every 6 months they will be asked this question “How have you contributed to provocative ideas?”. The operative word being “contributed”. It means that every one can see how their role is crucial to the companies overarching mission to make provocative ideas.  If the staff know they will be judged on this they will naturally be focused on creativity throughout the year.

4. Highlight Failure And The Lessons That Came From Them
We have been hearing about failure and the need to celebrate it for a few years now. Some companies even have awards to recognise the person who had the biggest screw up. This is great but we need to go one step further. We can’t just sweep the failure under the rug, we need to identify the lessons and disseminate them throughout the business.

5. Encourage Cross Pollination 

We spend more time during the week with our teams at work than our actual families. Research shows that teams start to think alike which can be detrimental to creativity. The key to creativity is diversity so the next time you have a brainstorm invite a member from every department in your business. Someone from Legal, HR and IT will have a very different perspective and bring a wealth of knowledge to the brainstorm.

The truth is that it’s not hard to inspire a creative culture in the workplace. It takes a bit of time, resource and management but the results can be incredible.

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