The father of modern management, Peter Drucker, once said something about how “Business has only two basic functions – marketing and innovation.”
And Drucker was right, the two functions that continually power corporations is marketing and innovation.
What powers the marketing and innovation behind companies? Creativity, of course.
But how can a company that is dependent on marketing that works, and dependent on techniques that are proven to pay, stay creative? How can the employees of corporations remain creative while still getting things done?
Keeping creativity flowing in a corporate setting isn’t actually as hard as you would imagine. Here are a few things you or your company can do to keep production high and creativity even higher.
1. Switch job tasks for 20 minutes. Have employees do something they don’t typically do. One day a month have employees switch job tasks for just 20 minutes. Let designers think up marketing campaigns, let copywriters mock up websites, let programmers answer emails, anything but what your typically job has you do.
Doing something that is new at work (and being responsible for it) is a great way to keep creativity flowing, while still producing money–making results. And even if the results of switching job tasks aren’t spectacular, the creative juices will definitely be flowing.
2. Change direction. Instead of focusing on making money, aim to lose money, discover ways to expand the physically company, or focus on making your customers happy. Anything but what your company is focusing on now.
Finding ways for the company to earn money can get boring. Boredom can lead to a lack of creativity. A lack of creativity means the company can’t produce innovative products, services, or advertisements and therefore loses money. So why not change direction, even if only for a little while? A short change of corporate direction – especially when it’s changed to something abnormal, like trying to lose money – will help employees generate a lot of creative ideas.
3. Accept more ideas. Most companies are willing to listen to an idea, but when it comes to trying an idea out, most companies don’t do a thing. To really keep creativity flowing in a corporate setting, try accepting more ideas… and from anyone too.
The potential of any idea can’t be determined until it is acted upon, and the only way to make any idea into a brilliant one is to act on it. It doesn’t matter who came up with the idea, or what the initial costs appear to be, get started on the idea and see where it takes the company. If anything, you’ll be doing what all of your competitors aren’t: accepting more ideas.
While keeping creativity flowing in a corporate setting can be difficult at times, it’s not impossible.
Try out these techniques, ask your manager to consider them, and don’t be afraid to do things that aren’t typically of a business. There isn’t a single, major company in the world who got where they are today doing what was expected of them.
Original photo by Joe Loong.