Turning the office into a place of artistry.
- Creativity in the workplace requires flexibility and a strong company culture.
- Experts encourage lateral thinking and meditation.
- A diverse and inclusive company also spurs creativity.
Foster a diverse and inclusive environment<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="55764239ae91d5081e7a919b8d71e3e6"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/4G9VhexzIc4?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>Every company starts with a great team, where personal connections are developed through a fun loving and collaborative environment. Everyone should be drawn together in the common pursuit of their company's goal. Breaking down company silos is of the utmost importance in the pursuit of this goal.</p><p>Writers should mingle with programmers, managers should spend some time chatting with the workers servicing the clients on the ground floor. A pollination of cross-disciplinary roles mixing together keeps everyone thinking on their toes. </p><p>New ideas and inspiration will flow freely from one department of the company to the next. </p><p>The additional opportunity for diverse cultural and ethnical backgrounds to come together with their respective backgrounds also creates new opportunities for growth.</p>
Encourage unconventional problem solving<div class="rm-shortcode" data-media_id="19znDf2l" data-player_id="FvQKszTI" data-rm-shortcode-id="30e81539a14a4c74fba115dc3a83e85f"> <div id="botr_19znDf2l_FvQKszTI_div" class="jwplayer-media" data-jwplayer-video-src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/19znDf2l-FvQKszTI.js"> <img src="https://cdn.jwplayer.com/thumbs/19znDf2l-1920.jpg" class="jwplayer-media-preview" /> </div> <script src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/19znDf2l-FvQKszTI.js"></script> </div> <p>Managers and executive staff should be open to new ideas from their workforce. Some of the most revolutionary ways of doing business have been put forth by employees. All workers should have a piece of the action when it comes to solving problems. Dan Seewald, CEO of Deliberate Innovation believes in a<em> lateral thinking</em> process that encourages unconventional solutions.</p> <p>The best way to boost creativity is to abandon logic at the onset of a brainstorming session. He believes that asking provocative and ridiculous 'what if?' questions puts us on a path to coming up with unique solutions to complex problems. It's brainstorming completely detached from any logical grounding. It's something that you can easily try out in the workplace without the fear of judgement of any bad ideas.</p>
Provide flexibility in how work gets done<p>Studies have shown that just changing <a href="https://bigthink.com/technology-innovation/creativity-innovation" target="_self">where you sit at work boosts creativity and innovation.</a></p> <p>Sometimes a simple shift of perspective is all you need. Switching up where you work can do wonders. Every now and then, take the work home with you and telecommute. By embarking on new places outside of the office, you can unlock new ways of thinking. </p> <p>A flexible work policy increases work productivity. It helps to cut down on transit time and allow for a healthier work-life balance.</p>
Establish a company culture<div class="rm-shortcode" data-media_id="qtdbKyYm" data-player_id="FvQKszTI" data-rm-shortcode-id="5ad3c5090f2f711c46ae17ecba606808"> <div id="botr_qtdbKyYm_FvQKszTI_div" class="jwplayer-media" data-jwplayer-video-src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/qtdbKyYm-FvQKszTI.js"> <img src="https://cdn.jwplayer.com/thumbs/qtdbKyYm-1920.jpg" class="jwplayer-media-preview" /> </div> <script src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/qtdbKyYm-FvQKszTI.js"></script> </div> <p>Wherever human beings congregate you're bound to find culture. We have many varying degrees of culture. The micro-cultures that arise around a company can either be incredibly fulfilling or toxic. Company cultures must be driven by a singular shared focus. When workers are given reasons to be excited to come to work, you've succeeded in creating a great company culture. </p> <p>Dysfunctional company cultures on the other hand can seriously impact employee's creativity and overall mental health. The simplest way to establish a company culture to spur creativity is to just give your employees purpose. From purpose, a culture blooms.</p>
Let employees take risks and experiment<div class="rm-shortcode" data-media_id="BotArQWs" data-player_id="FvQKszTI" data-rm-shortcode-id="402266fcbf973679120009a7edbeaceb"> <div id="botr_BotArQWs_FvQKszTI_div" class="jwplayer-media" data-jwplayer-video-src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/BotArQWs-FvQKszTI.js"> <img src="https://cdn.jwplayer.com/thumbs/BotArQWs-1920.jpg" class="jwplayer-media-preview" /> </div> <script src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/BotArQWs-FvQKszTI.js"></script> </div> <p>Cultivate a culture that isn't afraid to take risks. One that also rewards new creative experimentation. Most of the time employees aren't proposing new solutions or ideas because there is a fear of making a mistake. Employees need to be given support, guidance and allowance that they can fail in the pursuit of creation.</p> <p>One of the best ways to implement this is by being open to feedback and suggestions from your workforce or fellow employees. Sometimes this means having an open door policy or creating an anonymous space for people to share their ideas.</p>
Look to coworkers with great emotional intelligence<div class="rm-shortcode" data-media_id="gD2sw5jS" data-player_id="FvQKszTI" data-rm-shortcode-id="69ff6fd9506c251e96af8a3f52e24671"> <div id="botr_gD2sw5jS_FvQKszTI_div" class="jwplayer-media" data-jwplayer-video-src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/gD2sw5jS-FvQKszTI.js"> <img src="https://cdn.jwplayer.com/thumbs/gD2sw5jS-1920.jpg" class="jwplayer-media-preview" /> </div> <script src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/gD2sw5jS-FvQKszTI.js"></script> </div> <p>The workplace can be a great place for knowledge sharing. There's a great opportunity to learn various skills and garner new knowledge from your peers in the company. Encourage others to share what they know with different parts of the team.</p><p>This can help workers discover new interests and spark new creative pursuits that they can bring back to their role. It's also important to develop your emotional intelligence and look to others who display high rates of it for guidance.</p><p>Author Daniel Goleman, who's researched emotional intelligence in business, found that it is more important than IQ for success in the workplace.</p><p>"This turns out to be one of the strongest predictors of success in any field… The surprise was this: IQ correlated zero, zero with their success as rated by peers. Emotional intelligence correlated very, very highly."</p>
Create a space for self-reflection and meditation<div class="rm-shortcode" data-media_id="U7LGIyO3" data-player_id="FvQKszTI" data-rm-shortcode-id="588d17477ec756dbb8a2db5c2a0587a1"> <div id="botr_U7LGIyO3_FvQKszTI_div" class="jwplayer-media" data-jwplayer-video-src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/U7LGIyO3-FvQKszTI.js"> <img src="https://cdn.jwplayer.com/thumbs/U7LGIyO3-1920.jpg" class="jwplayer-media-preview" /> </div> <script src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/U7LGIyO3-FvQKszTI.js"></script> </div> <p>When the busy season strikes, it's easy for people to start getting too focused on their work and forget about the bigger picture. During times like these, creativity is lacking. The best thing to do during a time like this is to step out of the madness for a few mindful moments everyday. </p> <p>Getting people into the habit of conducting self-reflections can help them center themselves and avoid stress or burn-out – two things that limit creativity. Just a simple check-in with yourself does wonders. Cultivating a regular schedule of meditation will take this to the next level. </p> <p>Emptying the mind is a great way to fill it.</p>
We think of self-actualization as a lofty goal, but research suggests it may just be another way of obeying our biological programming.
- Maslow's hierarchy of needs sets self-actualization apart from many of the "baser" needs, like needing food or belonging.
- However, research in evolutionary psychology suggests that self-actualization may not be so different after all.
- Instead, it may simply be another way of attaining status, ensuring that the self-actualized individual can acquire a mate and care for offspring.
Self-actualization and evolutionary psychology<p>But first, what really is self-actualization? Maslow asserted that baser needs, like satisfying hunger, took priority over higher ones, like social needs. But even once these needs were satisfied, he wrote,</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"we may still often (if not always) expect that a new discontent and restlessness will soon develop, unless the individual is doing what he is fitted for. A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately happy. What a man can be, he must be. This need we may call self-actualization."</p><p>But self-actualization may not be so distinct from those baser needs. In Kenrick and colleagues' <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0146167217713191?journalCode=pspc" target="_blank">research</a>, they found that most people conceived of self-actualization in way that suggested it was really just another approach to ensuring one's genes could be passed down to the next generation.</p><p>Evolutionary psychology takes the position that no human behavior arises by accident; natural selection prunes our behaviors to ensure that only those that enable our genes to pass down remain. If you die of starvation, you're not going to have much of a shot at finding a mate or care for any resulting offspring, so we are driven to find food. If you don't feel fear or anxiety, dangerous predators might ambush you in the jungle, or you might fall off a cliff. If you don't feel affection for your kin and want to take care of them, the closely related genomes they possess might not get passed on.</p><p>Based on this perspective, Kenrick and colleagues surveyed more than 1,200 people, asking them to reflect on what they would be doing if they were self-actualizing. Then, they asked the study participants to rate which "fundamental motives" were most reflected in their answers. These fundamental motives were developed based on Maslow's hierarchy of needs but recast Maslow's model according to an evolutionary psychology perspective. So, the participants were asked whether they thought their versions of self-actualization reflected fundamental motives like self-protection, affiliation (or finding friends/allies), mate acquisition, mate retention, disease avoidance, status-seeking, and caring for kin.</p><p>The results were clear. When asked what their version of self-actualization would be like, most people gave responses like "Getting a 4.0 and studying for my exams," "If I were self-actualizing right now, I would have a job in performance — probably theater. I would be a successful, admired, wealthy stage actor, maybe on Broadway. I would also have many strong, close friendships," and "I'd be writing the great American novel." When asked to reflect on what fundamental motives they thought were reflected in these perceived versions of their self-actualized selves, most respondents indicated that status-seeking was the biggest component.</p><p>In evolutionary psychology, status-seeking plays an important role. Higher status individuals have a better shot at acquiring a mate, keeping that mate, and providing for any offspring. Thus, Kenrick and colleagues concluded that self-actualization wasn't actually so distinct from the lower levels of Maslow's hierarchy; instead, it was simply another way of fulfilling those "baser" needs.</p>
What would Maslow think of this?<p>Maslow believed that only the lucky and driven few could attain self-actualization, so it's likely the case that few if any of these individuals were self-actualized. When asked about their vision of what self-actualization would be like, the study respondents may have instead simply related under what circumstances the need they were feeling the most would be satisfied, confusing it for self-actualization. In Maslow's hierarchy, status-seeking would likely fall under the need for esteem, which lies just beneath self-actualization.</p><p>To counter this, the study authors point out two important facts. First, Maslow pointed to several historical figures whom he believed had achieved self-actualization. Without exception, they were historical titans, high-status individuals like Abraham Lincoln and Albert Einstein. Under Maslow's model, self-actualization doesn't require an individual to have achieved high status. Rather, the natural motivation for self-actualization might encourage it. But his selection of only high-status historical figures suggests that status-seeking may indeed be the deeper motivation behind self-actualization.</p><p>This counter point is diminished somewhat by the fact that Maslow also studied several contemporaries of his that he <a href="http://s-f-walker.org.uk/pubsebooks/pdfs/Motivation_and_Personality-Maslow.pdf" target="_blank">knew personally</a>. He simply didn't want to publish their names. They could have been high-status individuals as well, but they could also have easily been humbler folk.</p><p>More compelling is the argument that functionally, it doesn't matter whether the pursuit of self-actualization is the pursuit of status. A self-actualizing individual might not care for status at all, but the pursuit of self-actualization often results in status. If this desire for self-actualization is indeed hardwired into our genetics, then those who achieve it will have an easier time acquiring a mate and caring for offspring, resulting in that programming being passed on to future generations. Does this somehow debase the idea of self-actualization? Hardly. Instead, research such as this and evolutionary psychology merely grounds Maslow's theory, bringing it closer to the realm of the empirical rather than the merely conceptual. </p>
The thoughts on ruthless leadership by Italian politician and writer Niccolò Machiavelli resonate today.
Researchers study the "paradox of happiness" to find out how get into "flow activities" that would make us happiest.