Creativity cannot be contrived. It needs a certain amount of randomness and an element of play to really flourish. As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, creativity is sometimes best left to its own devices. Fast Company recently ran an article on how to cultivate creativity at work – one place that can easily kill creativity. Here are three ideas from them and one from Saatchi & Saatchi New York’s Chief Creative Officer, Con Williamson.
- Hire and Play: Design and consultancy firm IDEO hires a diverse range of people from poets to physicists. Staff are also encouraged to interact with a Tech Box that contains old projects and prototypes to help them form new mental connections and new design innovations.
- Teach and Learn: Eventbrite holds internal ‘how to’ training events that are held by staff during working hours on a range of topics that are not necessarily connected to work. The events help boost the creative potential of the company and can help stimulate new ideas.
- Work and Surf: Clothing company Patagonia promotes flexi-time when the surf is up, meaning that staff don’t just take ten, they hang ten! The company credits activities outside of work for many of its best-selling products.
- Big Italian Dinner: Con once described his creative management style as a “Big Italian Dinner”. Get a bunch of smart, creative people into a space where they can feel comfortable being loud and opinionated, and wait for breakthrough connections to form.