There are a lot of ingredients that go into making the ideal team and driving your business forward; from mutual respect, open communication, organisation, and shared objectives, to innovation, collaboration, and creativity.
Unfortunately, day to day pressures and responsibilities can cause individuals and businesses to sacrifice creativity in the pursuit of “getting the job done”. However, to ensure your team are energised and focused, coming up with new ways to achieve shared objectives, you need to foster creative thinking and problem-solving. That is why we have an entire portfolio of outdoor and indoor team building activities to promote creativity and collaboration in the workplace – to help drive your business forward.
The importance of creativity in business has even been the topic of study at institutions like Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. But, if you’re still on the fence as to whether or not creativity should be a priority for you and your team, keep reading.
Ultimately, creativity is the magic behind some of the world’s biggest brands and best innovators. From technological development as seen by the likes of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates to different world perspectives from visionaries like Walt Disney.
There is a strong and enduring relationship between creativity and the key to business success, with both calling for the same approach to thought and activity. This is perhaps best summed up by Mary Lou Cook who once said: “Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.”
Creativity relies heavily on imagination and invention. Whether this involves creating something entirely new, or re-imagining something that already exists from a different perspective.
Business calls for the same thing. An invention is the product of good ideas, and good ideas are brought about by open communication, dynamic collaboration, and creative thinking.
No one gets it right the first time. Even those who do, don’t. They will have a cupboard full of drafts, brainstorms, ideas, and so-called ‘failed’ attempts long forgotten about. None of this means they failed though. Art and creativity, like business, is all about experimentation.
"He who never made a mistake never made a discovery." - Samuel Smiles
Of course, it’s more than throwing paint at a canvas and hoping it sticks nicely. In art, you try out new materials and techniques to see if you can create the desired effect. In business, you have an idea, which you test out to see if it fits your hypothesis – X% growth in 12 months, for example – and you run with it.
This experimentation lets you observe and collect data, so you can see if a) it worked as you’d predicted and b) if anything needs to change next time.
Creativity feeds the mind. Indulging in art and crafts or abstract and creative thinking allows an individual to experience new perspectives and helps them grow. The same is true in the workplace.
Through creative thinking and collaborative communication – think team brainstorming sessions for a new project – you can strengthen relationships with others, as well as confidence in your own ideas. This is also a great opportunity to reignite passion and dynamism, which in turn will help your business, and the individuals within it, to grow together.
Being creative is brave. Taking a personal idea, belief, or perspective and putting it down on paper, canvas, or in any other medium is a big step for many as we remain self-conscious about how others perceive us. The same can be said for the workplace, where individuals, and sometimes even whole teams, can hold back on sharing ideas for fear of embarrassment, judgement, or getting it ‘wrong’.
But no risk, no reward. By encouraging your team to take chances in something as low-risk as a creative teambuilding exercise, you can encourage them to take the same sort of risks back in the workplace. This is a great mentality for the business to have too, though your risks will need to be more calculated. But can you imagine what the world would look like now if the minds behind Google, Apple and Facebook hadn’t taken a risk with ideas they believed in?
This one should be done within reason. When it comes to creative expression, rules are – for the most part – there to be broken. You can use coffee to paint, lipstick for sculptures, build furniture from Lego or whatever else you fancy.
In the business world though, breaking rules means challenging ideas. You don’t need to break rules and guidelines to re-imagine them. If your company policy has always been to do things a certain way, but you need to shake things up for the better, why not try something new? Challenge the 9-to-5 with flexible working hours, swap the meeting room for a coffee shop or revolutionise your industry with a new idea that goes ‘against’ everything your competitors have traditionally done.
In both the corporate and creative worlds, there are no mistakes. Rather, there are lessons. Something might not go to plan, some may even say it goes ‘wrong’ – but all you’ve done is practised the process of elimination, found out what not to do for the desired effect, and learned something along the way.
Once your team harnesses the power of making mistakes – and appreciating the mentality that mistakes are just lessons to help us improve further – the fear that holds back so many individuals and companies will be gone.
Last but most certainly not least, encourage your team to have fun! Creativity is fuel for, and fuelled by, fun. If you are passionate, enthused and engaged with what you are doing, you will do it so much better. This is perhaps the most important takeaway; make the journey to achieving a common objective fun. You really will get the best out of your team.
Our Big Picture activity is a great example of how everyone can have fun and be creative, expressing their individual ideas while contributing to something larger than the task at hand. A great metaphor for business goals and objectives, driven by a focused and forward-thinking team.
So, consider injecting some fun into your next team building event with one of our creative team challenges, and see if your business can unlock new ways of thinking and leading! Get in touch now to find out more.