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Data Meant to Inspire: Fostering Creativity in a Organization

How does one find inspiration in the workplace? Considering the importance of innovation, giving employees the proper inspiration will help boost their productivity and innovativeness. Data might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you talk about inspiration but the fact is that Data Meant to Inspire does, in fact, provide inspiration. It can come in different forms but provide employees with data that shows an inspirational message does in fact, inspire.

Ways that Data Can Inspire

There are ways that an organization can use data to inspire its employees

Share Beta Testing

When an organization has been working on a new technology for a while, say years, it can get quite demoralizing for employees and even stakeholders is they want to see results fast. Sharing the positive results of a Beta test can go a long way to bring new found inspiration to the workforce. For example, when Google launched its revolutionary new mail service, it did so in “beta,” which meant that it didn’t consider the service quite finished but released it to the public anyway. It quickly gained traction and overtook the market leader, Yahoo.  Nevertheless, Gmail remained in beta for five years, long after it had achieved dominance.

Seek Outside Help

Sometimes, an innovative team might start to get stale with no new ideas and nothing exciting happening. Bringing in an outsider either in the form of a consultant or hiring new employees can go a long way to revamp moral and get everyone excited again. Hire creative people who can bring new and fresh ideas and evoke new ideas in the existing team members.

Build a Diverse Team

Kind of leading off of the previous point, make sure you have a team that is well diverse. Diversity could mean a lot of things so don’t narrow it down to just what you think it is. Some ways a team can be diverse is through race, gender, age, background, nationality, experience, education and even beliefs and life philosophy. When you have a diverse team, you get a plethora of different ideas and different ways of looking at things that you would not have thought of by yourself.

Make Innovation the Norm

Make innovation an integral part of the company culture. This means embracing all ideas no matter how weird and quirky they may seem. It also means fostering a culture where employees and team member feel comfortable speaking up when they have an idea. Make innovation become such an integral part of the organization’s way of doing things that employees don’t think twice before the implement innovative ideas.

For innovation to be reliable, innovation needs to be addressed systematically, like any business issue in which you define the problem and then solve it: What do we want to accomplish, and how? What resources will we need? Who will be on the team? How do we motivate and reward them? And how will we measure success? In the current market, creativity and originality are one of the most sorts of business talents (even though businesses still don’t know how to value innovation).

Many still see creativity is the process of having great-amazing-groundbreaking ideas every day with no to little effort. This is not the case as to get constant high-quality creativity, individuals need to be fostered, fed with data and information, and be placed in the right creative environment. Unfortunately,  the perception of the creative process is still based on self-limiting assumptions about eureka light bulbs flashing over the head of some inspired genius rather than the well-managed diligence of ordinary people.

This innovative culture should be encouraged at all levels of the organization. It should be an integral part of the organization’s culture is such, creativity and leadership should not be perceived are opposites. If there’s a disconnect, it means that innovators often lack the visibility and clout to compete for the resources necessary for success. Only when innovators operate with the credibility of leaders will innovation become a productive part of everyday business.

Encourage Bad Ideas

This might sound counterintuitive but those in the creative space understand the importance of this. If the phrase”encourage bad ideas” shocks you, then it’s a good thing you are reading this article. An organization that wants to be innovative should encourage a culture where there’s no such thing is a bad idea. This is part of making innovation the norm (discussed above).

Employees have to be comfortable sharing their ideas with the team with the assurance that they won’t be made fun off or worse still, lose credibility. This is a common practice of modern-day startup companies that seek to revamp the workplace. They have brainstorming sessions, they ban the word “no” and instead replace “no” with “yes, but” etc. This fosters an environment of positivity and constant trial and error till something fantastic is created.

Have Fast Cycles

I work best when I’m under a deadline. The more stringent the better. And this is true for most creative people. Give people too much time, and a project can become a breeding ground for internal politics. Likewise, too much money can become a crutch for creative thinking (this is why bootstrapping is a good thing for startup companies). Firm deadlines and tight budgets keep people focused on creating viable products and getting them to market as soon as possible.