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“Creative people are curious, flexible, persistent and independent with a tremendous spirit of adventure and a love of play.” Henri Matisse.

Creativity is a key cornerstone of any business and it is imperative that it is encouraged to thrive within the workplace. Unfortunately it is not something that you can simply turn on and off and companies need to take great care to foster it on a daily basis. Here are a few quick pointers on how to nurture and inspire creativity in your team:

1. Time

The saying “Rome wasn’t built in a day” comes to mind first and foremost, as creativity needs time to manifest. By giving your team the time and space to think you will enable innovative concepts to germinate and mature. Try to set aside time for both yourself and your team to find inspiration and to let creative ideas evolve.

2. Freedom

Sometimes creativity thrives when people work alone and other times when working as a team. Allow your team the freedom to choose how they want to work on project. Working solo can sometimes be just as important and effective as getting a diverse group of problem solvers together.

3. Read, read and read some more!

A curious mind is crucial to promoting creativity and so reading and researching should become a daily ritual.Make it a habit to share links and articles amongst your co-workers. It is a competitive world out there and both you and your team need to keep up to date with what’s going on in order to push the boundaries of creativity.

4. Write it down

Ideas come and go but they cannot be lost or forgotten if written down. The simple act of writing something down; be it on paper, on a whiteboard or in a Google doc, can help ensure that it grows into something substantial. This is essential to the creative process so whether you draw a doodle, construct a mind map, or jot down a reminder on a serviette – magic happens when you put pen to paper.

5. Play

People are their most creative when they are happy so it is important for both you and your team to let loose and play. Whether it’s an after work hobby, some form of exercise or drinks at the local pub. By simply remembering to play you can vastly increase creative potential. Perhaps try some team-building events too … this will help bring your team together and to encourage them to become more than just co-workers… maybe even friends.

6. Get out and about

Team meetings and brainstorms don’t always have to take place in the office. Why not go to a nearby beach, park or café? You’ll be surprised how just a simple change of scenery can inspire and spark some off-the-wall ideas. Routine is not great for the creative mind so why not let your team work remotely every now and then? This shows your trust in them, empowers them and may make them work even harder.

7. Use technology to help you

With many businesses spread out geographically, technology enables disparate work forces to come together and feel like one team. Technology can also help hugely with the streamlining of systems and processes so that there is more time to be creative and less time needed for general admin! See more on how systems and processes can help you, in our previous post: Do your systems and processes work for you and your team?

Be brave, have fun and always think outside the box. Your team and your business will thank you for it.

For some more information on inspiring creativity, take a look at Mashable’s post: 10 Ways to Spark Creativity in the Workplace.

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