How to foster creativity in the workplace – it may be easier than you think

Companies all over the world are wondering where they can order an unlimited supply of creativity. What is the secret sauce and how much does it cost?

To unleash the true creative power of your workforce, start by examining your work environment – says author Jonah Lehrer in his new book, Imagine: How Creativity Works. 

For one, “scientists have determined that people in a relaxed state and a good mood are far more likely to develop innovative or creative thoughts”.  Yes, this seems obvious to most, but it may cause us to stop and think about “office perks” that are actually creativity boosters, if used correctly.

The neurological implications of relaxation and happiness are what matters here.

We know two things:

Happiness and laughter release dopamine which contributes to stress reduction.

Stress reduction and an overall relaxed state triggers responses in our brain that coincide with inhibition – and the ability to have more insights.

In thinking about training and wellness programs, Jonah Lehrer spent some time researching Improvisers at Second City in Chicago.

When we improvise, we turn off a part of our brain that deals with inhibitions, which as we know can contribute to a substantial increase in creative insights.

Lehrer spent time learning how Improvisers prepare for spontaneous creativity on stage. The key is to “create without worry” – to relax the brain enough to free up room for creativity.

Improvisers do this by participating in warm ups that help them to:

1. Let themselves go

2. Get rid of their censor

3. Fry their brain

4. Relax

5. Get  “out of their heads”

Consider if there are constraints in your company that keep creativity at bay. What can you do build a culture where people can “create without worry”?



2 thoughts on “How to foster creativity in the workplace – it may be easier than you think

  1. Pingback: Teach yourself to be more creative « Tools for Navigating Business Without a Script

  2. Pingback: Innovation is…putting the obscure to work for something useful « Tools for Navigating Business Without a Script

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