Where do you do your best creative work? As CEOs, we often ignore this simple question, believing that we have to be seen in the office to be seen to be leading. Few of us are creative when we are chained to a desk. As the ultimate leaders of our businesses, we have to be the most creative individuals of all. Which means that we need to be aware of those places and activities which give us our most creative ideas.
Beyond yourself, what makes the individuals in your organization creative? Have you set up an environment where they can be creative? I know CEOs who make sure they go for a walk when they need to be creative, but then expect their employees to stay glued to their desk and be creative.
In today’s information economy, the winners are those who create and innovate the best as teams. For people to collaborate and create together, they have to have the structures and the setup to make it possible for them to be creative.
To create an environment where you, your employees, and your team can create innovative new solutions for your business and markets, tune in to these aspects of what you as CEO can do to enhance and accelerate the creative experience.
Tune in to You
Start with yourself. Whether it is music, hiking, being in the garden, playing with your children or grandchildren, find those activities where creative ideas can bubble to the top. I have learned that I can be incredibly creative at Starbucks. Do I know why this works for me? Not really and it doesn’t matter. I just know it works. Find what works for you.
Tune in to Your Employees
What kind of environment do your employees need to be creative? Quiet. Loud. Foosball tables. Be curious and find out what works for them. Know that every individual is different. Some may need to get out of the office to let their creative ideas show up. While tasks do need to get done, make sure that task slavery does not stifle the creative process.
Tune in to Collaboration
In Plan Your Dreams, I wrote about getting off site with your senior management team to co-create the plan for your business. Getting out of the office is one of the keys to getting you and your team to be creative, explore new ideas, and come up with a solid plan for the business. In the office, make sure there are enough white boards, meeting spaces, and creative tools to let your employees come together and easily create together.
Innovation is Now
Creativity and innovation are driving the 21st century economy. How will you tune into your creativity today?