Launch @ Inc.: 4 Ways To Unlock Creativity In Your Team

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Getting your staff out of the office mindset will boost innovation and morale.


Building a culture of teamwork is only one part of the equation when it comes to a startup’s success. You also need to build a culture of innovation. How do you inspire people to open their minds in a way that unlocks creativity within your organization and achieves the best results?

In order to foster creative teamwork, you need to find a way to get your staff out of the office mind-set and open their minds. You need to tap the genius within each of them and do so on a regular basis. Remember, being creative applies to all aspects of your business (no matter what the industry), from building something cool to breaking down barriers when trying to sell your product. Just because you need to get your staff out of the office mind-set once in awhile doesn’t mean you have to spring for a weeklong company trip or an extravagant event. There are a number of simple ways you can inspire your team to unlock their creativity.

Combine Business with Pleasure

Take your workers out to play for a few hours, whether it’s to the ballpark, to karaoke, or for a brainstorming session over a round of drinks. Or, bring the fun to the office. Have pizza delivered every Friday for lunch or install a dart board and play a round each afternoon for half an hour. Getting your employees out of their comfort zones and interacting with one another can open their eyes to new possibilities (and let loose and relieve stress, even if it’s just for an hour).

Encourage Experimentation

This is another way to get your employees out of their comfort zones. Try enforcing a rule where, for a few specific hours each month (say, Mondays between 2pm and 4pm), no one is allowed to use their computer, smartphones, or any form of technology. Instead, they can only use a notebook and a pencil. Whether they choose to write, sketch, or diagram, they have two hours to put their thoughts and ideas on paper. The shock of putting pen to paper will force them to think in a different way. After the exercise, encourage them to tear pages out of their notebooks and post them up on a brainstorming wall.

Make Small Bets

Encourage your team to experiment with side projects. Many of these will fail, but the odds are that one of them may turn into your next big idea.

 Celebrate the Fact That Your Team Took a Shot

People who are the most successful and creative are the ones who take risks. The greatest entrepreneurs we know today are those who failed hundreds of times before succeeding. They tried, they failed, and they learned from their mistakes. Create a culture where taking a shot at something new is celebrated, as long as something is learned. Your team shouldn’t be afraid to fail; instead, they should be afraid of not taking chances and putting their ideas to work.

 Remember, these four ideas are just that: ideas. Test them out with your team, see if they work, and if they don’t, get back to the drawing board and develop new ways to inspire creativity.

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