The number one factor for a company to reach success is creativity. As stated in a report by IBM, leaders of companies from all around the world have chosen creativity as the key to the development of any organisation.

However, one way or another, leaders unconsciously inhibit creativity at work. Catherine Courage explains that many companies’ corporate culture doesn’t encourage creativity and, therefore, innovation and growth slip away.

Creativity is innate

Creativity is commonly related to artists, writers or musicians, people who use the right side of the brain. The ones using the left side, such as engineers or programmers, are thought to have a less creative capacity. But, is that true? Why can’t a programmer be creative?

Everybody is born creative. As we grow up, we lose that capacity; we stop using our imagination and we let ourselves get caught by routines. Company leaders must encourage creativity among employees, as it is a powerful tool that not many of them use. Catherine Courage gives us three keys to increasing creativity at work.

  1. Modify your working environment. Many companies’ working atmospheres are simple and uninspiring, which induce boredom instead of creativity. You need to create places that encourage imagination, ideas and creative thinking. Think of classrooms for children. They are full of colours, shapes and creativity-encouraging places. Companies such as Google or Microsoft have already created environments more akin to a primary school classroom than to an office.
  2. Don’t be afraid to fail. Experimenting, failing and trying again is the key to learning and innovation. Encourage your employees to take risks, to think out of the box and to fail. Today’s failure is just an aspect of tomorrow’s success.
  3. Use the power within stories. Forget about data without context and information without emotion. Stories generate empathy and get us involved in them. Communicating with your employees through stories can increase their commitment and create conversations that can provide new and innovative ideas.

As Courage says, creativity is a part of us since we’re born, but only a few take advantage of it. We need to bring out the kid in us and let it experiment. Just by getting rid of customs we will be able to be creative and innovative.

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