Creativity occurs in a calm environment away from interruptions. According to Dawson and Andriopoulos (2017), one can create boundaries by creating specific blocks of time and choosing selective environments where disruptions are unlikely to occur. One way of managing time is through making sure that all work is accomplished in its set time. For managers and supervisors, it is advisable to make sure that people are assigned tasks that can be completed within the set time. Working according to schedules allows employees to relax and concentrate on personal development. Employees should not leave office in evenings worrying about the tasks they have not accomplished.
When structuring time, it is also advisable that one creates flexible schedules for social activities. Employees could consider taking lunch in a group as they interact. People tend to learn from others when socializing. Schulte (2014), however, discusses the importance of setting constraints. Supervisors should make sure that they limit the number of people in a given task or break the job into blocks. When people are allowed to work in small groups, they tend to brainstorm and yield solutions. Additionally, small groups foster focusing on and concentration on given tasks while at the same time enhancing creativity.
Sleeping plays a crucial role in fostering dreaming and problem-solving, but scholarly evidence is limited. This is probably because scientific studies often focus on evidence, but it is impossible to study what goes on the human mind directly. Nevertheless, the anecdotal evidence that many complex problems have been solved through dreams makes it necessary for firms to encourage sleep and dreams. Considering the assertion that the issues at the end of the mind may progress into dreams, it is possible for one to develop a solution that will turnaround the problem in the organization.
The human brain continues working even when we fall asleep. This is an indication that we can utilize it to solve problems. Sometimes I have gone to bed with difficult issues on my mind only to wake up with a solution. I am an ardent supporter of the belief that dreams are a natural way of solving problems that affect us. I think that managers and supervisors could capitalize on his natural ability by teaching employees about the power of dreams. Once employees have understood the value and importance of using dreams to solve problems, managers can consider assigning them some challenging tasks and asking them to work on them with a promise of rewards when they come up with solutions. This would encourage employees to take advantage of sleep and enhance creativity in the workplace.
Experience is the key to creativity in any given environment. I think that this is because each experience has a hidden lesson for a person. In January this year, I was appointed by my team members to lead the group in a public speaking function. My parents and some of my friends describe me as an introvert, and I have grown up believing that I cannot deliver a public lecture. However, I am surprised by how I used the public speaking session to shape my communication skills. I spend three days practicing in my room. I can remember how I could walk from one corner of the room speaking to myself and addressing my imaginary audience. I started taking up minor challenging tasks in preparation for the work of the day.
The experience above shows how anyone can work hard and become creative when faced with challenges. During my preparation for the lecture, I could visualize myself addressing my audience in sleep. Sometimes It appeared real, only to wake up and find that I was tugged in my bed. I have developed self-confidence and can address a multitude of people by maintaining eye contact. Additionally, I have created a YouTube channel where I post some of my speeches. Each time I look at what I learned from this experience, I feel that I can do more in public speaking.
Experiences are good for creativity because they teach lessons that help us avoid repeating mistakes. I am, however, of the opinion that experiences stifle creativity and innovation. A study by Tien and Chang (2018) found that experienced employees are often trapped in their experience, making it nearly impossible to train them in new tasks. I am a victim of my experiences. When tackling new assignments, I often find it hard to concentrate because my mind assumes that I know what I am doing. I cannot go into detail or pay attention to everything required. I feel that I am wasting time. I think that the best way to foster creativity is to look at a problem with a new mindset. I have approached complex issues by trying to convince my mind that I had not met such issues before.
In spite of the limitation of experiences on creativity, they also have some positive impacts. They help create and develop self-confidence in tackling issues. Experienced people are risk-takers compared to novices. They are willing to go out and experiment. This makes it easy for them to be creative when they realize that the old method cannot solve a problem. My experience in leadership has helped me harness the efforts of others in spite of cultural differences in groups I have dealt with. I understand that people differ in strengths and weaknesses. It is the responsibility of the leader to help team members overcome their deficiencies by utilizing their competencies.
The primary advantage of creativity is that it disrupts habits. Creative managers do not say “this is the way we do things…” They are, instead propelled by a desire to try new ideas and experiment with new ideas. Creativity makes leaders do things differently. Exposure to new environment and training programs could prove essential in fostering creativity. Managers and professionals should be assigned challenging tasks to brainstorm solutions. They should also be allowed to interact with other professionals in the field to exchange ideas. Benchmarking programs can help them exchange ideas and learn from their counterparts in different companies.
Empowerment is another preferred approach to promote creativity in workplaces. Empowered people can take responsibility for their actions. An organization that wants to be a leader in the market should not limit the ability and freedom of its leaders. It should instead, create supportive programs through the human resource department. It is also advisable to have supportive plans in place. When managers and professionals come up with new ideas, the organization should support them by implementing the concept. If the concept proves fruitful for the firm, the person should be compensated and helped to patent the idea. The firm should not steal ideas from its employees as this will demotivate them.
Dawson, P. & Andriopoulos, C. (2017). Managing change, creativity, and innovation, (3rd Ed.) London: Sage Publishers
Schulte, E. (2014). Eleven simple ways to push your creative boundaries. FastCompany. Retrieved from https://www.fastcompany.com/3040037/11-simple-ways-to-push-your-creative-boundaries
Tien, H., K., Chang, L., B., & Kuo, Y., K. (2018). Does experience stimulate or stifle creativity? European Journal of Innovation Management, 2 (7). Retrieved from https://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/pdfplus/10.1108/EJIM-02-2018-0042