Leadership & the Creative Mindset

I work in a creative industry. For me, creativity comes naturally but this is not so for everyone. How can you inject creativity into your organisation?

First of all you need to identify what’s stopping your team from being creative. Once those roadblocks have been removed you can start to encourage an innovative mindset for everyone who works with you, from the cleaner to the CEO.

Both physical and psychological barriers to creativity exist. Physical barriers include uninspiring workspaces or an organisational structure that discourages the cross-pollination of ideas. Psychological barriers are those where your employees are afraid to throw a “silly” idea in the ring for fear of ridicule.

Awesome ideas are usually not found sitting behind a desk. Anyone who’s seen an episode of Mad Men will know this. We tend to drink less in the studio these days, but the principle is the same. We have couches and their use is not frowned upon.

Recently my team worked on a seafood project. We knew we weren’t going to get an authentic experience sitting at our desks so we woke up well before the sun rose, drove four hours to the middle of nowhere and got ourselves onto a real life trawler with real life fishermen. Talk about inspiring. Creatively, the results we achieved were brilliant as the team had a genuine connection to the brand and product.

Creativity feeds on creativity and there is no such thing as a bad idea. There is only bad filtering of ideas. In the blue-sky period, encourage anyone and everyone within the organisation to throw their hat in the ring.  Something a junior says might spark a thought in a senior employee, who might feed the ideas of someone in finance to come up with the winning idea. Creative leadership is about facilitating the environment to let these conversations thrive.

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