When we talk about creativity in business, the focus is typically on how to generate more and better ideas. Yet, the ability to generate more and better ideas relies on a more foundational conversation: Do we have the environment or culture necessary for creativity and innovation.
Does our personal environment or business culture support creativity and innovation? Or, does it hinder it?
Are our processes, systems and general ways of working conducive to fostering great ideas? Or, do they block idea generation and create obstacles to progress?
Are the people around us and the culture we are creating with and for those people supportive of risk taking? Or, is staying safe and not taking chances the underlying (even if unspoken) message we are sending or receiving?
Most importantly, are we thinking consciously and acting intentionally to design and forward an environment and culture that sets the stage for genius?
Many of us come to our more creative existences directly from the corporate world, and we tend to, even if unconsciously, apply what we learned there to our new situation. In other words, what we’re used to we keep re-creating again and again.
Fortunately for all of us, there are a lot of people who are now working on throwing the old rules on their head and starting from scratch. Informed by mindfulness, spiritual principles and, often, just general common sense, these people are reinventing the way companies do business and we entrepreneurs, small business owners and creative professionals can tap into what they are doing to re-imagine our own environments and the culture we want to forward.
Personally, I’ve been very inspired by what’s going on in the tech space. In particular, what start-up founders who cut their teeth at places like Google and Facebook are bringing to the corporate culture conversation – and what they’re doing at their new organizations to overcome obstacles to fresh thinking.
Below are four resources that will give you a glimpse into the conversation that’s taking place today and, perhaps, trigger ideas for designing your own creativity-supporting environment and business culture with increased intentionality and consciousness.
At the least, I think you’ll be heartened as much as I have been by how much the old ways of working with others, sparking greater productivity and increasing innovation are changing. For those of you who came from old-school companies where risk-taking and creativity were demanded, but never well received (because failure was simply not acceptable), it just might make you cry.
To re-thinking the culture we want around us.