Here’s a great leadership post by Lily Kreitinger. Lily specializes in helping leadership effectively train team members. Follow Lily at LilyKreitinger.com, or on LinkedIn. You can guest post as well! Read how to here.
Ages ago, I wrote my dissertation for my Bachelor’s Degree on Creative Expression. My hypothesis stated: Children who are allowed to express themselves creatively will improve their reading comprehension significantly.
I did the required research and then I designed a creative expression workshop for third graders. The results were astounding.
In the study group, all of the students, ages 8 and 9 increased their reading comprehension skills dramatically after a 6 week program designed to create an environment where they could express themselves in many creative ways.
The theory indicated that if students understood the permanence of written language, they would seek this way to express their ideas and feelings. We guided them through expressive dancing, which they found out was not permanent.
Then we allowed them to express themselves through painting and drawing, but they found out that others couldn’t understand what they meant to depict. Finally they went back to writing, which had the advantage of being conventional and permanent.
What does this have to do with you and your team?
- Do you have a need to increase your revenue?
- Do you have a need to produce better products or offer new services?
- Would you like to design something to fit your clients’ needs at a better cost?
- Would you like to improve your processes?
- Would you like to be more productive?
All these goals can be achieved by fostering a more creative environment in the workplace. “But, we need rules and regulations, and can’t have people running around like it’s a zoo,” you will say. I will mention some names such as: Disney, Pixar, IDEO, Apple… and I’m sure you know of others.
What do they all have in common? Outstanding products and a very creative office environment. People are allowed to dress any way they like, design their own “cubes”, some of them with no walls. Boundaries between work and play are sometimes not clear.
People get paid to dream, think, make mistakes and in return produce the craziest, best ideas they can…and make tons of money in the process.
Question: If a group of 8 year-olds could improve their grades in school because they were allowed to play and dream, what can you do for your team today to foster creativity and produce amazing results?