People tend to underestimate the importance of creativity. In the workplace, there are times that creativity is stifled either because an idea is too far out there, or people like to stick with “what we’ve always done.” The “if it isn't broken, don’t fix it" approach is broken itself--and needs to be fixed.
The world is progressing at a rapid rate and every year companies are coming out with something new. Do you think that the ideas for these cool new products came out of an environment where creativity was discouraged? We don’t think so.
Here’s the thing about shutting down ideas and blocking the creative flow: You don’t grow. You don’t even have the opportunity to grow. When you allow the space in which you work to be one that is open to new ideas and creative thoughts, it’s as if you are in one constant brainstorming session. Someone might pop out an idea, someone else might build on that same idea, and other great ideas may stem from the first one. It’s like a tree of thought that you’re watering until you get the fruit.
So, we urge you to create a space where people feel comfortable enough to think outside the box and voice those ideas. Try this exercise: Instead of an immediate “No” response to someone’s idea, use the phrase “Yes, and...”
Example: Two people agree their office space is boring (gray walls, no decoration, bare desks) and want to change it.
“What if we painted all the walls?”
“No, you know we can't paint the walls.”
“What if we painted the walls?”
“Yes, and we could hang some pictures!”
“Oh, I know this artist who has some really vibrant paintings.”
“Yes, that would really brighten up the space!”
“Let’s give him a call.”
You never know how you, your work space, or even your company might be changed by allowing creative thoughts to flow freely! Build a culture where you encourage ideas to go further (even if you don’t like the first one or if it's not possible) because the second or third or fourth might be great.
And honestly, sometimes the best ideas come from the craziest ones.