How managers inspire creativity

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To solve complex problems in a fast-paced business climate, organizations need inventive, original thinking. A company that generates smart, innovative ideas is positioned to achieve lasting success. Getting there calls for leaders who are not only comfortable with creative approaches to the organization’s challenges, but skilled at bringing fresh ideas out of their employees.

Online MBA programs provide myriad opportunities to learn strategies for nurturing creativity in a team. Graduates develop a thorough knowledge of business principles, gaining hands-on experience in working with a group of professionals to apply the latest tools and strategies. By combining this knowledge with thoroughly cultivated soft skills, leaders are able to guide others toward new ideas that are more effective and efficient.

Welcome fresh concepts

A manager garners creativity from a team by demonstrating an open, encouraging attitude when members bring their thoughts to the table. McKinsey & Company noted that innovative organizations tend to be the ones that treat novel thinking as part of their overall narrative and ingrain imagination into daily practices. Investing time and money in fresh ideas makes an organization more agile and spurs workers to come up with new ways to serve customers.

When a leader is always willing to listen to what other professionals have to say and give their words serious consideration it creates an environment where everyone feels comfortable expressing themselves. Of course, managers don’t have to agree with or act upon every suggestion that comes from team members. Being able to judge which ideas are impractical or out of line with the organization’s goals is just as important as maintaining an open mind.

Be flexible

Allowing some flexibility in the workplace is another way of inviting unique perspectives. Some leaders get great results by changing schedules around to let people come into the office at hours that better suit their needs or allowing more breaks. At times, a simple change of scenery, like stepping out for a walk in the park, may be all it takes to bring the creativity out of people.

When time is short and resources are limited, it’s often vital to have stringent plans for completing projects. In other cases, however, there may be room for a looser approach involving experimentation. Recognizing these opportunities and seizing them can open the door for processes that take the team in exciting new directions.

Provide extensive information

Organizations today have access to deep stores of data about their customers and industries. By sharing some of the insights that come out of that information with team members, leaders enable them to contribute more and better ideas for growing the business. When workers have a deep understanding of how a company operates and where its biggest challenges lie, they are likely to come up with relevant suggestions for streamlining processes and making operations more effective.

Collaborate across departments

One of the best ways to inject some different ideas into a stagnant process is to stretch out and engage people with different specialties. Often, the best way to solve a problem is through cooperation, bringing additional resources and sets of expertise to bear on tough questions. Cross-functional teams break down the traditional silos in a workplace, getting people with diverse backgrounds involved in contributing their perspectives and generating suggestions for carrying out tasks with broad implications for the future of the business.

These teams may be organized in a variety of ways with differing degrees of hierarchy. However they are set up, it’s important to have clear direction and strong leadership. With the right strategies to draw the best out of everyone involved, a team can reach a cohesive plan for moving forward.

Learn the skills to fuel creativity

Today’s businesses move fast, and they require a constant influx of intriguing concepts and smart problem-solving. A good leader makes the most of creativity by being prepared to draw viewpoints from an array of team members and set an agenda that advances the organization’s goals. The education and experiences that graduates gain from online MBA courses ready professionals to drive creative, productive processes.

Villanova University School of Business teaches professionals the skills they need to direct creative thinking and attack tough problems from unique directions. Courses in topics like management for innovation and creativity or team leadership and group dynamics produce leaders who know how to get the best thinking out of employees. Visit the program page to learn more and find out how you can apply.

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