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The ability to create, invent and innovate is crucial to keeping up with your competition. The problem is knowing what strategies to use and how to implement them. Thankfully, a lot of research has been conducted to better understand how organizations can increase innovation and boost workplace creativity. Studies continually show that when certain strategies are set into motion, an organization can remodel its culture into one where innovation routinely occurs and new inventions take place. Below are five secrets to fostering innovation in the workplace:


Allow Workers To Enjoy Themselves

On the surface, this may seem to fly in the face of common wisdom, but research shows that a relaxed employee can generate more innovative ideas and produce more invention ideas. Leading tech companies such as Facebook and Zynga are instilling their workplaces with pool tables, gardens, games, and even slides. Of course, “playtime” doesn’t necessarily have to entail playing pool. You can implement any activity that encourages employees to clear their mind and regain their focus. The social interaction aspect also increases brainstorming, which of course leads to enhanced creativity and innovation.

Envelop The Office In Vivid Color And Photos

An excessive amount of structure and regimentation can stagnate free thinking. Inundating your office with too many charts, can result in limited innovation and idea design. Try substituting some of those charts for bright and refreshing images of nature. Light blues have been proven to increase mental focus, while reds can incite hostility and heighten ill feelings towards co-workers. Studies also indicate that reds can narrow an employee’s perspective, making them focus on specifics rather than the whole picture.

Boost Intercommunication And Synergy

Free flowing ideas between employees can bolster innovation and production. One strategy to increase employee interaction is to alter your office’s physical environment so that private work stations are limited while adding more key meeting points where employees can talk with each other. Many organizations are installing coffee bars where employees can chat while sipping on a comforting beverage.

Blend Employees Of Various Backgrounds And Experience

Workplace diversity is absolutely essential to fostering creativity, innovation and new inventions. An office with a healthy blend of cultures and experience levels will give rise to varied ideas. Businesses that ignore this practice routinely experience employees producing similar ideas which stalls growth and quickly puts an end to innovation. Sure, it’s natural to want to work with similarly like-minded people, but similar people often have identical preferences and outlooks and will most likely reach the same conclusions.

Correct Brainstorming

Organizations have long seen brainstorming as a critical component of idea generation, but many businesses actually incorrectly implement this strategy. In fact, common brainstorming sessions frequently quell free thinking and can diminish each employee’s creative thinking. Contrary to popular belief, not criticizing a co-worker’s idea may actually be detrimental to the creative process. According to author Jonah Leher, criticism and debate are paramount to creating original ideas. Without impartial analysis of why a specific idea won’t work, employees will consider every idea a good one. And creativity will be stifled. Charlan Nemeth, a noted psychologist states that correct criticism advances innovation as employees feel the need to enhance someone else’s idea. Enjoy this article? You've got time for another! Check out these related articles:   Photo Credit: Shutterstock
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