Everyone wants to be creative and find new ways to get more sales or to get things done quicker or cheaper... Or not? Sometimes, being creative is tough because it requires you to step outside of your comfort zone. Everyone has always done this X thing at your company this Y way - who are you to suggest a new way to do it? Well, you are the one to suggest a new way to do something and your employer, if they are smart, will want to hear and potentially implement your ideas...
So how does a company encourage this type of thinking? One way can be by encouraging episodic memory. Time.com has the theory in place with an article about Harvard University psychology Ph.D candidate Kevin Madore's study that shows detailed memory making can help a person be a more creative problem solver.
I would assume this could be something addressed in a training program. Maybe a small roll out of training maybe one afternoon to mimic the study results - having your employees take note of every detail in a meeting such as where people are sitting, hair color, etc and then seeing if this helps unlock their creativity in problem solving. I am a detail-orientated person and my whole career (and my education, too for that matter) was helped by my extensive note-taking and attention to detail. Especially as a Project Manager, having the documentation was a massive help in getting projects done on time and (usually) under budget.
The Mashable article by Andre Durand talks more about the actuality of increasing innovation - from always listening to the "crazy ideas" and to also be comfortable with failure to help increase the innovation of your company. An interesting item is about the parable of the Stone Soup - so to always keep your ideas as open-ended to keep working on it with other people and never consider something "cooked", I guess, and also to always have conversations around "What If".
What do you think about these ideas around increasing innovation and helping encourage creative problem solving? Can you see them working at your company? If yes, why? If no, why not? Happy Hunting.
Time.com Creative Problem Solving
Mashable 4 Tips to Foster Company Culture of Innovation
Lisa Vento Nielsen