I am deeply inspired by the ingenuity of the human mind, especially as I have observed it over the past few months. In the midst of the pandemic, many companies quickly transformed to meet the changing demands of our current world. Some changed how they delivered products and services, while others created entirely new offerings and lines of business to better serve their clients. Restaurants, for example, moved to delivery services, while manufacturers restructured their production lines to make personal protective equipment. In these examples, we see creativity and innovation born from times of incredible stress. Those who looked beyond the fear and trauma, and imagined what could be possible, were able to seize great opportunity. We know imagination has the power to transform and lead to creative and new solutions – but how do we harness this transformational power of imagination for the benefit of our company’s culture?
As leaders, we can help unleash our teams’ creativity by giving them the tools to tap into their own innovative power. To do so, we must create the space for our teams to bring their imagination to their work.
To be fully cultivated, imagination needs:
- Structure and Space
Structure and Space
Imagination needs a place to take root. This space could be literal, with a physical room for creativity where people can dream big; or, it could be allocated time in their day dedicated to creative thought and collaboration. This offering is a license from leadership to think big, to dream beyond the lines, and to use our imagination to think past the limitations of what currently seems possible. Structure helps guide the team and allows employees to keep moving forward towards the innovative light. When space for imagining is created and encouraged, employees feel that they are using their creative time wisely and intentionally and not being mistaken for slacking off or daydreaming.
To thrive, imagination needs to be fed. What does your team need to help guide them through the creative process? Maybe, it’s quite literally providing snacks to feed their brain power. Maybe it’s comfortable chairs or couches. Or perhaps it’s meetings with colleagues or managers with the pure agenda of bouncing ideas around and collaborating – so, really no agenda at all. Nourishment can also take the form of encouragement. Acknowledging people’s contributions, no matter how big or small, can make a significant impact on their desire and ability to keep imagining.
Like a child facing something new and unfamiliar, or an adult for that matter, imagination needs courage to develop and mature. Encourage your teams to fail and to learn from their mistakes. Failure is part of every process. Remind your teams that we grow stronger when we stumble and fall, as long as we have the courage to get back up. Dare to give it another shot – chances are, your imagination will bring you to new heights. Allow failure to be a part of the creative process and celebrate the effort and the learning along the way.
Imagination is the pathway to creativity, innovation, and ingenuity. It is time to be intentional about not only encouraging imagination in the workplace, but also creating space for it! Dream on!
Hollister Staffing has been helping connect companies with the right resources for over 30 years. We have a bench full of vetted, talented candidates at your ready for either contract, perm, or even project work. Let us do the hard work of hiring.