Businesses are built on ideas. Sure, hard work and great people play a big part, but without a stream of ideas, progress is limited. Of course, winning business ideas don’t just fall out of the sky, but there are some ways creativity can help businesses from any sector find solutions and gaps in the market.

Foster an ideas culture

A common motivation killer in many workplaces is the feeling of invisibility. While a select few are expected to dream up new products and services, many workers lack the same sense of self-determination. Not only do people do better when they see how their contribution affects the organisation’s success, they also respond positively to having their ideas heard. 

Respecting everyone’s expertise is worthwhile. And don’t underestimate the insight that can come from unexpected quarters. Getting the perspective of a mixed group instead of segregating by business unit or job title can pay dividends. Actively seek input from a range of people and use your collaboration tools to put in place a formal suggestion process. Best of all, make sure you build a culture that encourages everyone to contribute their thoughts about how to improve. 

Cross-disciplinary training

Creativity is spurred by putting together knowledge from different sources and making a connection. While training is commonly funded in specific areas directly related to each employee’s job, what if staff were encouraged to spread their wings a little? Your customer service team may think of a great new delivery option after training in a productivity app, and who knew your logistics manager could write such great business blogs after a creative writing course? 

Even informal training from others within the organisation can be a great way to break down barriers and prompt new ideas – and you can easily use collaboration apps like Google Meet to maintain the flow of ideas and information while people work remotely. In fact, this may make it easier to include those who would have missed out on the traditional, in-person gatherings. 

Technical experts must be highly creative problem solvers. Learning about different parts of the business and gaining new skill sets is always put to good use. Those new skills don’t have to be business-related either. Spending time on arts or whipping up a new recipe can get the creative juices flowing, and when people are in the habit of creating, they are at their most innovative.

Create the right workspace

Margaret Heffernan — who has been the chief executive officer of InfoMation Corporation, ZineZone Corporation, and iCast Corporation — said in her Dare to Disagree TED talk, “For good ideas and true innovation, you need human interaction, conflict, argument, [and] debate.” Those chats by the water cooler, or fierce debates between meetings, have been as much a part of the biggest business success stories as the more formal boardroom discussions. 

In the work-from-home, COVID-19 era, unscheduled interactions may have dwindled, but with the right workspace tools, the debate can be stronger than ever. One Queensland business leader said they use the first 10 minutes of online meetings for each participant to share something they learned that week. Other times, staff will describe a problem they’re struggling with so the team can contribute their ideas towards a solution. 

Just as those water cooler chats may involve staff whose roles seldom overlap, it can be valuable to bring together diverse groups to discuss the business and throw around ideas. One of the great things about using collaboration technology, like Google Workspace, to facilitate this sharing of ideas is meetings can be recorded and shared with a wider group, the discussion can continue on Google Chat afterwards, actions can be directly added into the calendar, notes can be shared, and all resources can be connected to make it easy to catch up. There are also some powerful search functions thrown in.

The Datacom team wants to help you get a head start on fuelling creativity in your organisation. Don’t miss the chance to download our Google Workspace toolkit — ask us for a free trial today. 

Related industries
Professional services
Related solutions
Cloud services Hardware & licences