In marketing, it seems that teams lack creativity and motivation. It's not enough to have a great product or service. You also need people who are inspired and empowered to do their best work.
The main cause of low team creativity is when teams feel unempowered to do their best work and let their ideas soar. They often feel like they're just cogs in a machine, rather than valued members of a team who can make an impact on company goals and culture.
This post is to encourage more creative thinking by your marketing teams through exercises and activities that help them build skills in areas such as ideation, brainstorming, critical thinking, collaboration and much more!
In marketing, creativity is a key skill in your team. But creativity takes time and energy to develop, and it's often lost in the fast-paced environment of many organizations today.
The best way to encourage creativity is by empowering your team members through exercises that will help them build skills in areas such as ideation, brainstorming, critical thinking, collaboration and much more! This post shares some ideas for how you can do this with your own team. If you have any other creative techniques or activities for boosting creativity at work, please share them here! The more we all know about what works well for others on our teams - the better off we'll be.
Ways to make your team feel more empowered or creative
Field trips to local museums, art exhibits, zoos, and other creativity enhancers. If the team is across country or even in a different city – Skype, Teams or HangOuts are great for this purpose.
Organized team outings that build creativity – such as seminars on creativity training, workshops on creativity techniques, etc.
Less deadlines and more creative opportunities with time to work out ideas within a reasonable time frame without external pressure from upper management or clients.
Invite guest speakers who can inspire creativity among your teams via conversations or presentations about creativity in their lives and careers. So much inspiration comes from just being around those who excel at something we want to learn!
Get out of the office - Park, lunch at a new restaurant, walking dogs, nature hikes. Any activity that gets your team out of their normal routine and opens their creativity.
Team Growth. Teams need time to grow beyond what they already know or are comfortable with to change the status quo. This doesn't happen overnight, but creativity comes by learning new things!
Team activities outside of work hours help build creativity through common interests such as sports, hobbies, etc.
Encourage fun events such as picnics/potlucks for teams during office hours so creativity can be developed while socializing and building relationships within the company culture.
Creative environment – encourage creativity in any way you can with creativity posters and creativity in the office. Maybe even creativity breaks in the form of a coloring book or Wiki-Stix in your workspace.
Involve creativity when brainstorming company goals and strategies so everyone is on board with what's expected of them and why they're doing it. This adds creativity to training new processes, systems, etc., which helps more people become creative out of necessity if this is something they need to learn/accomplish within their role.
VOTE for creativity! Make it a part of your culture from the get-go by encouraging funny, yet relevant pictures that support creativity! These can be posted on a whiteboard or in a prominent location.
Reward creativity! Show that creativity matters by rewarding creativity with creativity awards. Give your team creative trophies to add a playful element of creativity to their work environment.
Encourage the practice of creativity in front of others for new presenters, giving presentations, and engaging in any public speaking opportunities. Whether it's practice time or participation time – creativity shines when we do these things in front of others and get feedback!
Encourage brainstorming sessions and exercises at lunch with co-workers or even clients/customers during off hours either onsite or remotely through phone/video chats.
These ideas allow creativity to flourish while also exposing your team members to new creativity inspirations, which is always a plus! There are so many more ways to encourage creativity, but these ideas will get you started thinking about creativity in different ways that may be completely counter-intuitive to your team's current mindset.
Encouraging creativity is always an uphill battle when you're dealing with people who believe creativity isn't what they do or creativity doesn't apply to them, but creativity is ALWAYS intertwined in everything we do so creativity needs to be addressed at some point. Creativity can come in many forms even if the result doesn't turn out how your team might think of creativity because creativity comes in all shapes and sizes!
So, encourage creativity simply by allowing opportunities for creativity, starting creative conversations around business no matter how irrelevant it might seem to some, and encouraging creative thinking whenever you can! We don't have a choice about whether our work will require creativity, so let's embrace creativity today and all throughout our lives to continuously grow!
Some creativity examples to reference when encouraging creativity in your team:
"Creativity is the essence of change, and change agents are almost always seen as suspect. In business circles you can be labeled a "creative," which often means that creativity is something you do late at night on weekends. Or it's something that's forced on us— like creativity crises." (Wired for Thought)
"The consumer is not only pulling the strings of creativity; he or she has become its driving force." (How Brands Grow)
One creativity book that I recently read was The Creative Curve by Allen Gannett (good read if anyone wants to read more about creativity). “Creativity is the essence of change, and creativity can be found in everything we do.” Whether you're a marketing manager or not, creativity should always be encouraged to help your team grow!
Get creative whenever you can! Take new paths and be open minded because there are no rules when it comes to creativity. If anything, having too many rules about creativity. Creativity and curiosity go hand in hand so encourage your team to be curious about everything they do, no matter how mundane it might seem. Curiosity is creativity's best friend because if someone is curious enough, they will find a creative way to solve the problem at hand. Never stop learning! Never stop experimenting! Never stop pushing boundaries! Never stop being crazy or weird even when people think you're nuts for thinking outside the box! A "perfect" solution doesn't exist, so experiment with anything you can to learn more about your industry/field of work because every action counts as an experience which equals knowledge which equals growth.
I want you to understand that fostering creativity isn't just for creativity's sake... creativity's benefits are far-reaching, and growth can benefit everyone and everything within a company culture. Creativity thrives on anything, and everything so experiment with new ideas on creativity growth! Play games! Draw sketches! Take a painting class you always wanted to take! Never stop exploring your creative side because creativity costs nothing but pays dividends exponentially.
Thank you for reading! I hope that you enjoyed it and that it has given you inspiration for creativity growth within your team. Please feel free to add in anything that I may have forgotten or overlooked (although creativity is creativity and creative growth requires creativity so don't limit yourself). The point is to inspire creativity growth everywhere and anywhere... do what inspires creativity within your company culture!