There are times when creativity levels in the workplace decrease due to long working hours or repetitive tasks, which then decreases creative flow and impacts productivity. There is a certain belief that by expanding a creative department, an office environment will suddenly become more creative as a whole. A leadership team may miss the fact that creativity flourishes if it's encouraged throughout the entire company. Expanding a creative department not only costs money, but is also unlikely to foster creative thinking, confidence, or innovative ideas.
There is also another view that only 'creatives' can be creative. The truth is that 'non-creative' employees, whose job is not related to, for example, design or production, might have as much innate creativity but simply don't have the opportunities to demonstrate it.
Creativity is something that is hard to develop. If you want to generate it within your company, you must understand that it can only grow when people are not self-conscious or insecure about expressing ideas. The key to this is providing the right environment where employees can contribute openly without fear of judgment.
One such example is InVision which allows designers to build interactive, high-fidelity, realistic web and profile mockups and prototypes. They have an approach called 'bad version' that is based on throwing 'out the top-of-mind ideas' and 'gut reaction' solutions to whatever product, marketing campaign or other creative challenges they have. The key is to foster an expressive environment. According to InVision, by saying 'here is my bad version' a person then acknowledges that the idea is raw, but there is no insecurity in saying it. Others can then contribute with suggestions on improving the idea, and with this collaborative thinking it has a better chance of becoming a viable project.
However, a team is unlikely to be able to create this approach by themselves. The leadership team need to demonstrate an effective strategy to encourage and promote this kind of environment. Rather than isolating themselves from these kinds of actions, leaders should share their ’bad versions' too and work within the same system as all other employees.
Business leaders tirelessly chase productivity which may manifest itself in hiring decisions, new software purchases or reorganization. Creativity, on the other hand, is different because you can't quantify or measure it, it is simply there or not. However, nurturing a workplace with different creative techniques and providing a fear-free environment will allow creativity and productivity to co-exist peacefully.