Creativity or generating new ideas helps businesses to become more innovative, when these ideas are practically implemented in products or services. Lubart T. & Stenberg R. (1999) show that
Creativity = Originality + Value.
To develop originality in employees and discover the added value of ideas, it is necessary to provide such environment and atmosphere that spark creativity.
There are several factors contributing to creativity in a business:
Employees should feel at ease and unrestrained to be able to come up with new ideas. Interior design plays a big role here. One way to trigger new ideas is association. That is why many idea stimulating techniques and creative games are based on associations with variety of elements. Not many associations will appear for an employee working daily in a white wall space with no design elements. As Einstein said, “Creativity is intelligence having fun,” so the premises should be cosy, friendly and informal.
Communication, Energy and Trends
To create, evaluate and develop ideas, the team should feel free and energetic while working together. Burnout and exhaustion become more and more common and only stifles creative thinking. So it is wise to organize a range of creative activities for the staff and teams on a regular basis to have a break from the routine work, unite them and get them inspired and motivated. To make these activities more exciting and worthy, you may integrate some of the new global trends, for example, ‘experience over possessions’ — people spend more money on exciting activities and services such as bungee jumping, ‘escape rooms’, etc. rather than buy items. These trends may help you make activities for employees to get rich experience that will boost associations later when generating ideas.
Another curious trend is a digital detox — a moment without digital devices — this kind of event may also be interesting if you want employees to focus on the surroundings, observe and derive ideas without using digital devices.
Idea Generation Techniques and Games
There are plenty of techniques and games to encourage new ideas. With such techniques and games you may generate something very useful in a fun way. To get more original ideas during creative sessions, allow all the company employees to participate — of different ages, interests, and education. The more diverse people in a team, the craziest and, at the same time, most useful ideas may come up. During the session, it is wise to use both visualisation and writing techniques, as some perceive and develop associations more easily through images, while others – through words.
Some techniques worthy to consider: SCAMPER (a technique suitable also to look at different perspectives), Pipe Organ technique (use associations for solving a specific problem), Role-play technique (an expert opinion from a different position), Six Thinking Hats (evaluate an idea from different viewpoints), Brain mapping (for solving multiple problems).