As a general rule, true creativity is lauded across the globe. From the iconic Burning Man Festival, which is held annually in the Black Rock Desert, Nevada, to ever-diversifying International Women’s Day, there are recurring events that celebrate the innate abilities and the creative potential that exists within us all.

Conversely, creativity is typically viewed as an inherently disruptive force in the world of business and commerce. After all, the boldness and distracting nature of innovative thinking is often considered to be detrimental to the basic mechanics of business management, while the endless pursuit of productivity often forces entrepreneurs to eschew creativity in favour of something more reliable.

3 Ways in Which Creative and Innovative Thinking Can Empower Productivity

Across the globe, however, we are seeing signs that this trend is beginning to change. The UK recently celebrated the National Manufacturing Awards, for example, which celebrates the very finest in commercially viable creativity and engineering.

This, and similar events, highlight the growing influence of creativity in the workplace, particularly as markets become increasingly well-populated and competitive. Additionally, there is also a growing belief that creativity can actively drive productivity at work, across a number of variable markets and industries.

To understand this further, let’s look at the following examples: –

Being Creative in the Morning Helps Employees to Hone and Maintain their Focus

While the truth about Google’s notorious ‘20% time’ rule (which empowers employees to work creatively on a host of projects that have the potential to benefit the brand) has been debated at length, there is no doubt that some of the company’s representatives continue to benefit from this philosophy on a daily basis. This is thought to encourage creativity and innovative thinking, and has inspired numerous businesses to deploy a similar commercial strategy.

There is also some scientific reasoning behind this philosophy, with a recent essay published in the journal Science exploring the notion that the human mind is at its freshest at the beginning of each day. It also suggests that this time is best spent pursuing creative and inspirational projects, in a bid to help maintain employee focus and empower actualisation of ideas and individual work tasks during the course of a typical day.

So if progressive SMEs recognise this and restructure their working directives to accommodate the pursuit of creative projects at the beginning of each day, they may benefit from a refreshed and more productive workforce.

From an employee perspective, the main challenge would be to determine how they expressed their creative urges, whether penning a basic song structure or indulging their passion for online innovation and development.

Promoting Creativity Helps to Tackle Substantial Commercial Issues

We have already touched on the fact that creativity is often thought to be detrimental to the everyday demands of running a business, and clearly there is some merit to this assertion. After all, the notion of business productivity is based on efficiency and repetition, while encouraging small operational changes that improve processes incrementally over time.

Small businesses that focus solely on driving operational productivity can lose sight of their wider vision, however, while also encouraging the type of small and self-contained thinking that makes individual and collaborative growth impossible. This has a detrimental impact on the ability of your staff members to take initiative when cultivating their skills, as well as causing your venture to stagnate and struggle with wider, strategic problems.

Ultimately, developing a culture of creativity will empower both your employees and your business to become more strategic and visionary thinkers, while also leveraging an existing, productive focus to tackle impactful commercial problems.

Depending on the infrastructure of your business and the size of the workforce, this should help to make the output of your employees more meaningful without compromising on their everyday productivity levels.

The Ability to Think Creatively Negates the Fear of Failure

If you think of a typical financial or corporate entity, your mind will instantly conjure up images of a risk-averse and rigid culture that stifles individual creativity. Now while some may argue that this is necessary in corporations that handle money and investments on behalf of their clients, this type of culture can easily be replicated in small businesses when employees and experienced managers are recruited from other sectors.

Over time, this can have a detrimental impact on productivity within your business, as the fear of failure gradually consumes employees and leaves them incapable of showcasing initiative.

Regardless of your philosophy as an entrepreneur, the ability to at least conceive big ideas and occasionally run the risk of failure is central to a prosperous, sustainable business model. This is where creativity can enter the fray, as promoting a culture that is underpinned by innovation and initiative removes the fear of failure and affords employees the autonomy to think expansively without consequence.

It is through such open-mindedness and progressive thinking that new productivity heights are attained, as the boundaries that constrain employees and SMEs are gradually challenged, extended and eventually removed.

Read more: Stats on Creativity That Will Change the Way You Do Business