Tuesday, May 27, 2008

How Creative Companies Stay Creative

These ideas are about keeping innovative people happy at the companies that employ them. You may want to look these up at the source and show them to the boss; many of these ideas do not reflect the customary thinking at business schools. These nine suggestions come straight from the June issue of Inc. magazine, the commentary is courtesy of Mixonian:

1. Encourage risky behavior. How much risk can your boss tolerate? Find ways to try new things, without bankrupting the company.

2. Get multicultural. A variety of viewpoints means people working together with differing political views, ethnic backgrounds, languages, ages, social backgrounds. It could also mean having lunch at Dale's Indian Cuisine.

3. Provide lots of free time to think. Hmmmm....sounds anti-productive. But burning out employees is not exactly productive either.

4. Hire smart. Review the hiring process to encourage the qualities valued by your company.

5. Bring in outsiders. These can be poets, artists, film directors, theologians, astronauts (i.e. rocket scientists), physicists, musicians. Get their perspective on a your project, or have them talk to employees to widen everyone's views.

6. Do it for free. Reward employees for helping others. The trick is to set it up so it's not just another salary-enhancing practice, keep it unpredictable.

7. Mix up your people. Cross training has been around for awhile, and for a good reason.

8. Be flexible, very flexible. This also means being open, very open, to employee suggestions.

9. Write it down. This suggestion refers to employee-created publications, it could be a simple bulletin board. The idea is to provide a venue for employees to put out some wild ideas....one might turn into a big home run for the company.

See, creativity is for everyone. Not only does it make for a richer life, but it can lead to a richer bank account.