Thursday, 11 March 2010

Top Ten hints on how to be more creative at work

A lovely piece in Director Magazine from Kursty Groves

Design consultant Kursty Groves offers 10 tips to help you get creative at work

1. Limit your budget
Great creative spaces don't have to cost a fortune. Many exciting workplaces are modelled using reclaimed furniture and objects. People on a budget become more resourceful and inventive.

2. Give people freedom
Allow employees to create their own "home" at work. When workers are permitted to express themselves by displaying items that interest them, closer connections with colleagues are forged.

3. Collaborate
Generating a buzz is easier when colleagues have ample opportunities to bounce thoughts and ideas around.

4. Engineer collisions
Create more opportunities for staff to bump into each other throughout the day. An effective way to do this is to provide a free kitchen and use food as a lure.

5. Friendly competition
Set teams the challenge of decorating shared spaces. Pick a theme and choose areas where customers don't enter to lower any fear factor about getting it wrong.

6. Breathe life into dead spaces
Hallways are often overlooked as tools for communicating and generating excitement. Hang stimulating artwork, soon-to-be-released products, business updates or information about staff. And keep updating the exhibits to grab people's attention.

7. Writing on the wall
Shared thinking allows ideas to be developed and honed as they happen. So create plenty of opportunities for staff to scribble ideas on the walls for others to see. Transform entire surfaces into a canvas, and make sure there's an abundant supply of colourful marker pens or chalk.

8. Change the pace
The creative brain works best when it is fed a problem and then allowed to reflect. Create deliberate barriers in well-used paths or provide places to play games. Such techniques slow people down and gives them the space they need to think.

9. Design places to escape
Sometimes we need to get messy to create. But often, especially with "clean desk" policies, people don't feel free to test ideas. Provide hidden spaces where teams can experiment without fear of judgement.

10. Get away
Even the most inspired staff in innovative companies need to go offsite. Getting away from the hyper-connectivity of the wireless world is essential for ensuring a team achieves focus. But make sure that the venue is set up to challenge thinking.

I Wish I Worked There! A Look Inside the Most Creative Spaces in Business by Kursty Groves and Will Knight is published by Wiley, priced £39.99

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