3 Tips for Getting Great Ideas Out of Your Employees

For many entrepreneurs and business owners, the professional journey started with a single idea. Whether it was an original design, a new product, or an innovative service, that initial idea was likely the force behind their company’s initial progress and success. If you are an entrepreneur yourself, you likely still remember the weeks – or perhaps even months – you spent polishing your big idea, the personal and financial sacrifices it took to implement it as well as the feeling of success when your company first took off the ground.

Now, however, as your business is developing and adapting to the ever-changing demands of the market and your customers, you may begin to realize that your company has already outgrown your initial idea. In order to keep thriving and successfully tackle all the challenges that will inevitably come its way, your business needs a steady influx of original ideas that have value.

Thankfully, you don’t have to count only on yourself or your own creativity to come up with the ideas you need. As the great American poet Oliver Wendell Holmes once said: “Many ideas grow better when transplanted into another mind than the one where they sprang up.” So do not be afraid to tap into the creative power your employees may bring to the table. Here are a few practical tips on how you can facilitate creativity in your workplace and get great ideas out of your employees

  1. Ask for Ideas

Your employees may not even know that you’re hunting for new, original ideas. They may be unsure if their ideas are welcome. They may also be afraid that they will be negatively judged if their ideas don’t get accepted. Therefore, you need to strive to create a workplace culture that will nurture employee input. In order to do so, you first need to make it clear to your employees that their ideas are welcome and will be valued. However, you also need to establish a clear, transparent process by which they can submit their ideas and receive non-judgmental feedback on them.

  1. Brainstorming May Not Foster Creativity as Much as You Think

For more than 50 years, group brainstorming was thought to be the most effective way to generate original, valuable ideas. The technique’s goal and its main premise are to generate as many ideas as possible in the shortest time possible. The reasoning behind it is that, first, quantity should eventually lead to quality (the more ideas you have the biggest possibility that at least some of them will turn out great) and that working in a group can have a motivational effect on an individual’s performance.

However, scientific data on the actual effectiveness of brainstorming in the workplace leaves little room for doubt – brainstorming can actually hinder creativity and performance rather than foster them. People actually work less in a group then they would on their own. Additionally, the introverts in the group may be anxious to put their ideas forward for fear of judgment and the most talented members will usually try to match their performance to their less gifted peers. In fact, studies have demonstrated that people tend to come up with more ideas if they work on them alone rather than in a group

  1. Implement Techniques That Nurture Creativity

Routine is probably one of the greatest enemies of creativity. If an employee performs the same set of tasks in the exact same way for 8 hours a day, day in, day out, it is unlikely that he or she will come up with a revolutionary idea about the process. Therefore, try introducing activities that can foster and nurture your employees’ creativity. For example, role swaps or shadowing may give your employees a much-needed break from their routines but they can also lead to the exchange of ideas and breed new perspectives on well-known challenges and problems.

Fostering creativity and raising productivity in your company is perhaps one of the greatest long-term challenges that your business will encounter. If you need professional advice on how to tackle this challenge, or if you’re dealing with any other business issue that is hampering your company’s growth, contact BRADFORD, LTD. Our law firm is composed of professional and experienced business adviser that can help your business and employees tackle a wide variety of challenges. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

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Bradford LTD specializes in IP protections and maximization for startups and small businesses. We also provide scaled legal services to our clients, including fractional legal counsel and value-based rates. From trademark, copyright and service mark protections to patent protection and outside inside counsel, we help position entrepreneurs and owners for long-term success.

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