What can managers do to encourage creativity?

Think freely - 10 tips to increase creativity at work

Being creative is often only ascribed to certain people: designers, artists, authors,…. Creativity is an important component in the think tank for innovations. In addition, creativity helps to solve problems better or to develop new strategies. Creativity is therefore also a key to success for companies and their employees. And the best thing about it: creativity can be learned. We give you ten tips to increase creativity.

In everyday working life you often sink into a routine. You shimmy from one task to another and want to deal with it as quickly and productively as possible. In doing so, however, one loses sight of one thing: Certain tasks require a certain degree of creativity. Because ideas are generated through creativity. And these lead to innovations, new strategies and problem solutions. Even good decisions require more than just an analytical and logical mindset. Because sometimes it is the options that go beyond the traditional that offer the best solutions.

But creativity is often seen as a minor matter at work. Even in creative professions, time pressure and stress as well as tight guidelines curb the creative mind. Many employees end up in creative lulls or blockages. Fostering creativity can help break down well-established thought patterns, take on new perspectives and generate new ideas. We have put together some specific tips for you to increase your creativity.

# 1 Turn off analytical thinking and criticism

Fostering creativity is primarily about turning off analytical thinking and criticism for a while. Because that prevents ideas from developing and maturing. Something completely new is often thrown out with practical questions, objections or doubts. Such evaluations should not even be made in the idea phase. After all, it's not about what is already up to date, but what could be. Instead, one should distance oneself from the problem or the current situation and open up to new thought patterns and options. We have put together more tips for better brainstorming for you.

# 2 Free association

Free association exercises help to grasp new options and ideas. Here you write down everything that comes to mind spontaneously on the subject - no matter how absurd, without censorship. Later you can try to make connections or to form groups of all terms. Promising ideas can then be thought further. This method works on its own. In the team, however, even more ideas come together and are inspired and developed by others.

# 3 visualize

Visualizations help to speed up the brainstorming process. Ideas and relevant information can be graphically represented in mind maps, for example. Whether by hand or with the help of digital tools - visualizations help the team to get an overview, to grasp connections and to remember the information better. You can, for example, visualize the important areas of your business model very concretely in a business model canvas.

# 4 Be curious and learn new things

Studies have shown that confrontation with something unknown promotes creativity in general. Searching for new knowledge, new ideas and perspectives activates networks in the brain that are responsible for imagination and inventiveness. For you this means: Open yourself to the other. Try new things like cooking classes, exotic countries or books on completely unfamiliar topics. Speaking of countries: Scientists found that people's creativity increases the more time they have spent abroad or the more foreign languages ​​they speak. Spending some time abroad as a digital nomad could unleash new creativity for your business.

# 5 Accept mistakes

Nothing ventured nothing gained. When trying out new ways and ideas, there is always a certain risk that it will not work. Those who accept that mistakes and setbacks can happen have less inhibitions about taking the step anyway. A healthy error culture should apply in the work context. Only then will employees dare to move forward with new ideas.

# 6 Take your time and take breaks

Creativity doesn't come at the push of a button. Those who suffer from time pressure and stress are rarely creative. Good ideas usually come when you are relaxed and your brain has enough time and freedom to freely associate. Therefore, give yourself enough time and mental freedom. Otherwise the brain blocks. If you are faced with a difficult decision or problem, you should also simply take a conscious break. Just let your thoughts wander and gain distance. Then the ideas come naturally.

# 7 movement

If things get stuck somewhere, exercise also helps to promote creativity. A simple walk, a jog around the block or maybe a bike ride? Movement - and fresh air - relax the mind and get creative energies going.

# 8 interaction with others

We know the phenomenon in brainstorming sessions, conferences and workshops. When a team works well together, very good results can be achieved. Individual employees complement and inspire each other. This advantage should also be used in informal situations. Because the interaction with others can also promote the development of ideas over a coffee, a phone call or in the hallway.

# 9 Leave your comfort zone

Always sitting in the same place can stifle creativity. Just leave your workplace and sit down to work in an unknown place. The new environment can be inspiring. Whether it is a café, park or the office of a colleague who is not there at the moment does not matter. The main thing is to feel good and see something new.

# 10 Write everything down

Creativity cannot be timed. Sometimes we are working on a completely different task or we are in bed in the evening before going to sleep. And suddenly you have a flash of inspiration. Always write these ideas down immediately. Otherwise you will forget them again and the good ideas will never be realized. You can always take your time later to work out the idea precisely.

Would you like more creativity?

From brainstorming to the cake method: on Für-Gründer.de we show you how you can use creativity techniques to find a business idea. We have also put together a few crazy business ideas with which creative founders have dared and then even won.

Tags:InnovationCreativityEmployeesProblem Solving