Over the years we have recognized that creativity can be a desirable trait for a good Continuous Improvement (CI) Leader as well as for project team members.
Consider that a creative mind can be a great asset when trying to identify the difference between the status-quo and the way “things could or should be if everything were right,” which is a clear definition of waste.
Although not often associated with leadership, establishing a creative culture of continuous improvement can help managers in their efforts to achieve higher levels of team performance. Specific steps for doing so include encouraging new ideas, orchestrating “no bad ideas” brainstorming sessions, tolerating failure and using it as a learning experience, and recognizing the achievement of those involved in applying creativity to improvement initiatives.
In addition, creative thinking can be a tool for helping people accept and adapt to change.
But it is important to realize that many people fear that they are not creative or believe that they lack the ability to think in a creative fashion, which tends to prevent them from putting forth an earnest effort.
Can You Become Creative?
Fortunately, according to data shared by Entrepreneur, Inc. Magazine, and others indicates that only “10% of creativity is genetic,” and that there are a range of activities that can help people develop a creative way of thinking. These include:
- Consume content that’s outside your comfort zone
- Maintain a positive outlook (often “fuels” creativity)
- Participate in brainstorming activities
- Test new ideas
- Recognize that very little in this world is original, and that creative solutions more often come from improving what’s current
- Apply strategic constraints to your ideas– this is a component of “Imagineering,” which involves first setting the “sky as the limit” when we imagine what “could or should be if everything were right,” and then engineer it back to earth for practical application