Creative thinking for organisational results
In the current market – every organisation needs to be better, faster and more economical: That is the challenge facing every organisation that produces products or sells services. If you have any hope of successfully competing in this environment, you must make use of every strategic tool at your disposal. One of the most powerful strategic tools you could use personally and with your teams is creative thinking.
Creative thinking techniques can be applied to any organisation regardless of the sector or the type of organisation.
“The real magic of discovery lies not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes” Marcel Proust
Organisations often get stuck thinking and operating in a certain way. When that happens, other options and approaches are dismissed because they don’t conform to ‘way things are done around here.’
A powerful question to challenge this is ‘what if?’
This encourages people to think of the bigger picture which breaks down established mindsets and positively changes thinking patterns. Thinking through a task, rather than doing it the way you always have, provides results and outcomes that are more effective, quickly defined action steps, and tangible business results.
Here are some ideas that may help your organisation think and behave more creatively
Change convention- Be open to new ideas. Make a conscious decision to shed established rules about the way things are done. For example, if your company has always had the Christmas party in a certain place – change it!
Clearly define goals- In ten words or less, narrow down your objective. Be as specific as possible without limiting your options.
Gather information- Look at what is happening in the press, the news and on the internet. This may trigger some very good ideas. Don’t be surprised if some of your best ideas come from unrelated or unexpected sources.
Generate ideas- Work with your team on fun and inspiring ways to collect and generate ideas. Brainstorming is a popular way of doing this but think of other innovative ways you could find new ways of thinking.
Shortlist your ideas- Once you have a list of ideas, select the best single idea. Discuss the various ways to apply this idea in solving your organisations’ issue.
Test your ideas- Tell people what you are potentially going to do. Ask for feedback. Listen to the questions and objections they raise, and work together to arrive at solutions.
Build support- If you promote the idea internally before implementing, you stand a greater chance for success.
Just do it!- Many organisations don’t get past this! Many very good ideas never get beyond the meeting room or off the drawing board. You have allocated time and money to finding an innovative solution, now you need to commit to follow-through and make it happen.
Make sure that your organisation encourages a culture where employees are comfortable presenting new ideas. You can begin by showing your own willingness to share new thoughts and options by asking your team for input on decisions and involving them fully in problem solving. Doing so as a team encourages an atmosphere of openness and respect throughout the organisation.
The results for the organisation can be new answers to old problems and staff who are positively involved in the evolution of the growth and success of the organisation.