Corporate Creativity: What Makes It Tick?


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February 9, 2016

There is much noise around corporate creativity and innovation.

So many books, blog posts and pep talks.
But the real essence of corporate creativity is lost in the clutter of innovation key-words.

When experts talk about creativity and innovation in the corporate world, they churn out phrases like “Get out of the box!” “Break the boundaries!” and other high-sounding terms. Right brain? Left brain? Whole brain? These make great headlines but don’t make much difference when it comes to fresh thinking in the workplace. 

Because the real secret of corporate creativity lies elsewhere.

It’s subtle: In one of my recent innovation training programs, a participant perceived it well. We had four teams. All teams were creating ideas for various aspects of their micro-finance business. After a day of intense idea generation and lively discussions a participant told me:

“I am wondering why, but first time in a workshop we participants are not competing. In fact, we are all helping each other to create better ideas. Even when they are from other teams!”

In that one comment lies the secret of corporate-creativity success.

If we can cultivate this kind of atmosphere: where people appreciate each other…and help each other develop ideas, everything else will happen. People won’t be able to make great speeches about creativity. But ideas? They sure will have plenty of it.

On the other hand, without this ingredient, nothing will move. Big banners on the wall, pep talk by experts, even rewards won’t work. It will all be sizzle and smoke but no real meaty ideas.

Trust is the number one condition for corporate creativity. An atmosphere where people can express their ideas without inhibition, without fear of retribution and laughter. And others can challenge an idea without fear of losing a friend or a promotion.

When everyone understands the deeper agenda, that they are not challenging each other to win a battle or a war but to make the idea better, to make it happen, then everyone wins.

Once employees realise it, we don’t push the creative agenda then. They do.

A positive atmosphere makes that happen.

Let’s make that our agenda!

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[pullquote align=”normal” cite=”Puneet Bhatnagar”]Trust is the number one condition for corporate creativity. An atmosphere where people can express their ideas without inhibition, without fear of retribution and laughter. And others can challenge an idea without fear of losing a friend or a promotion.[/pullquote]

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About the author 

Puneet Bhatnagar

Puneet Bhatnagar, popularly known as Creative Punito--is a business innovator. An expert on SME business growth. He is a well-known creativity and innovation trainer, author, columnist and storyteller.

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