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How to enhance creativity in your company?

Published on 9 November 2014

How to transform the Design room in a creative Design Lab? Enhance creativity by infusing the startup's Silicon Valley mind setup! DESIGN awesome products and services!

DESIGN awesome products and services. How to transform the Design room in a creative Design Lab?
I propose to infuse the mind setup of a Start-up of Silicon Valley. It’s not so hard to enhance creativity!

Design Lab

First of all, rename your “Design room” with a modern name, like “Design Lab”. It sounds more modern.

To create the motivation, you must create an impulsion in the team, to initiate a productive cycle. In this way, the designers will come to your office in full positive way, with creative & new thoughts.

I suggest to instil to the designers that success is collective, that your company has huge projects, and if each designer do better, we will reach together an appreciable level.

Exchange

Creativity comes from designers’ exchange. If they don’t share between them, no creativity can come. You have to create (improve) a positive ambiance with a set of tools that will make them more relax.

Win-win contract

To empower their motivation, the company can manage the Design Lab with a new style.
More an employee is creative and productive, more we give him trust.
You respect the Creative Zone, You get more from our organisation.

You say to the designers “We trust you. We believe in your potential so we are creating a design Lab with a Creative zone. Today, we are studying how to improve the work of each other by an innovative way. If we succeed, our organisation will be empowered and profits will be shared.

Ambience

Angry birds wall in open space office
In the Design Lab, you have to display nice ads, posters, artworks, positive thoughts, websites to visit, last best contract got by the company, some pictures of trade fair attended by you, some picture of world’s gurus designer like Steve Job.

You have to make them dream. From dreams comes imagination. From imagination comes creativity. And more your team feel free, more you enhance creativity.

Training

Every great CEO will tell you: “train your team to keep them!
You should initiate a cycle of training. You identify where your team lacking skills, which kind of work your customers would love to get. So realize where your team can’t answer by a successful outcome. You have 2 way to train your designers.

1. Design lessons

I suggest 1 or 2 afternoons per month in the beginning according your work load.
Ask your team what they want to learn and explore.
Then operate training in the Design Lab and you do concrete & practical exercises directly useful for the upcoming jobs.
From Internet and specialized magazines, you can find tones of ready to use lessons and tutorials.

2. Auto-training

Every month, you select the best work done by one of your designers. And you give one afternoon to this selected designer to teach, explain & demonstrate how he reached to this result.
This strategy has several good advantages:

  • It gives recognition,
  • Cost zero rupee,
  • Auto-improve knowledge,
  • Increase the motivation,
  • Because the designers want to be selected, they will boost themselves to do better.

Creativity Zone

AirBNB openspace office


How to help them to exchange? How to encourage originality, inspiration, to try new methods, to explore new things?

I suggest you to setup a zone, where designers don’t work on computer directly but think. An area where they have time to think about their profession and look for something new. They need to create a new skill: imagination. And from imagination comes from creativity.

It is the beginning of mutual trust. “I give you this space, give me creative artworks.

This Creativity Zone must has:

  • A comfortable sofa for 4-6 persons + some chairs,
  •  A small coffee table,
  • A small shelf and a nice panel of books about design, tools, methods…,
  • Several tablets connected to Internet (you can use cable locker if needed), provide headphone to listen music, notepad, pens…,
  • A query box where designers can submit ideas, training topics, suggestions,
  •  Creative wall decoration: big posters, logos (like Facebook, Pinterest, and famous design studio of the word…)
  •  Setup a nice & soft carpet, blue/violet/green soft lights, one green plant…

You run this Creativity Zone and you adjust the regulations to avoid abuse. Of course, it will depend on your organisation, what designers you have, etc.

  • Maximum 5-6 people in this zone at the same time,
  • Each designers can spend 1 hour a day in this zone,
  • Designers go in this area to think, stay quiet and should talk about design.

Management tip: to operate properly, designers have to get clear objectives: which work I have to do today? For tomorrow? This week?
If it’s clear, they know much free time they have to go in the Creativity Zone. It’s a way to induce them to do a better and faster work.

To make this Creativity Zone a success, this zone must provide something to do: read, exchange with colleges about technics, and discover new creative ideas from Internet.
Internet is a free, big & wide resource!

Inspiration resources

If your designers are not creative, it’s because they don’t have the resources to be.
So we must give them the tools and ideas to initiate virtuous circle of creativity.

For that, you should use internet. A lot of website can give us free of cost hundreds of ideas & tips.

So every 2 days, you can print a colours A2/A1 poster “Tip of the day” with a nice design, which give a useful short lesson, a webpage to visit, a thought, a tip…

In the Creativity Zone, you should have some posters who show which websites and communities to visit on Internet to get inspiration and tutorials.

One more resource is to let create or participate your designers to some design workshops & exhibitions. Also, you can imagine a program that select
the 5 best designers of the year and your company let them go & attend to some workshops.

Posters & quotes

Enhance creativity through management

Several elements can enhance or disturb creativity. And the management strategy has a very important impact on imagination & creativity.

What kills creativity?

To summary, few points which literally kills creativity:

  1. Restricting freedom,
  2. Rationing time and resources,
  3. Micro-managing (trying to control everything),
  4. Limiting group diversity,
  5. Putting people in the wrong jobs,
  6. Providing no feedback,
  7. Demanding immediate returns,
  8. Forcing all employees to work the same way,
  9. Shooting down ideas immediately,
  10. Providing no support,
  11. No listening,
  12. Giving employees no incentive.
  13. When introducing a project, spend 90% of your time describing the intended goal and only 10% on how you expect it will be accomplished.
  14. Don’t answer all the questions your team may have. Instead, ask them questions right back so they think creatively and strategically.
  15. Give them more rope than they expect. Point out to them just how much rope they really have.
  16. Figure out the likely solution to a project and listen for when your team is on the right path, so you can provide lot of encouragement. That way, they have ownership of the ideas being developed.
  17. Always start a brainstorming session with a clear objective and a list of solid, probing questions. Better yet, have someone other than you facilitate the session to allow the maximum freedom to contribute creatively.
  18. Have a “Plagiarism Friday” where people bring in great ideas from outside your business category and ask them to share what makes the ideas innovative and creative. (And yes, I “borrowed” this idea.)

Some example of things to do

Listen to new ideas before you start talking or even thinking about what you’re going to say