“Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious…and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”
― Walt Disney Company
Creativity is the lifeblood of modern business. People who are creative excel in their work and get promotions. But how can you become more creative?
The Secret of Creativity
A recently released *study from the University of Texas in San Antonio helps us understand some other things that are behind creativity in the workplace. They tell us one thing that hurts creativity and then share three things that help it.
First the Bad: Necessity Is Not the Mother of Good Invention
This research backs up what many have known for a long time: stress is the killer of creativity. Yes, if a new solution is necessary we will try to find a solution, but the more stressed we are about it, the less creative we become. Scientists think that this is because the creative process is chaotic process and stress has always been known to limit our solutions to problems.
What Helps Creativity?
According to this study, three things will help creativity.
1.) To be creative, people need the proper experience. If people have been creative in the past, they will be more creative in the future. Success breeds success and this is certainly true with creativity.
2.) To be creative, people need confidence. I have spoken before about self-efficacy in this post, this post, and this post, so I won’t go into detail here. The quick and dirty point here is that if you think you are creative you probably are creative and if you think you can find a creative solution, you probably can find a creative solution.
3.) To be creative, people need the help of their boss. This is one of the most surprising things about the study. Leaders who recognize and encourage great creativity will receive it from their co-workers. This is created especially through excellent interpersonal relationships. The authors say this should include “an emphasis on trust, loyalty and mutual professional respect.”
If you are interested in more of this, I deliver several excellent workshops on how to improve these leadership qualities.
So What Should I Do?
Here are four things that will help your team become more creative.
1.) Create a work atmosphere that is safe and free from stress.
2.) Think back and remember times when you were creative in the past and recall those experiences.
3.) Use those experiences to purposely build your self confidence in your creative abilities.
4.) If you are a leader, recognize and encourage creativity in the team when you see it. If you are not the leader, give them this post so they will start encouraging you!
Follow these 4 suggestions, and your team will be on their way to growing in the their creativity and becoming creative giants!
*Lei Huang, Dina V. Krasikova, Dong Liu. I can do it, so can you: The role of leader creative self-efficacy in facilitating follower creativity. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 2016; 132: 49