industry thoughts from Clarteza

04 August
Mag Retelewski

If you wish to create a more Innovative Culture: Cultivate These Two Elements.

As we grow up, our creative expression tends to diminish and I believe it’s time to reverse the course and make the point to include it permanently in our lives again!

Creative expression is important for problem-solving, inspiration, new perspectives, new ideas, and, yes, even happiness. Doing something that we love, can also put us in the ever-so-elusive state of “flow”!

The issue is that our creative effort is a window that bares our soul, and it might feel risky to show it. It makes us feel uneasy to be truly seen.

It is often because someone, at some point (typically during childhood) said that were were NOT good at THAT something. Even if we loved it, so we hide. We might even believe that what someone else said decades ago is still true.

It’s the vulnerability we feel, when we are asked what we really think, or when we draw, dance or sing in front of others. We fear criticism and rejection. Typically, the more powerful professional title we carry in our lives, the more risky it feels to look foolish.

Innovation in the corporate environment is very challenging for this exact reason. All of us need creative expression to be inspired, but equally important, we need psychological safety to be able to share our wild ideas and honest point of view.

The goal of innovative environment then, is to create a climate where people can speak up without fear and be themselves. It’s not just about creating a bubble where we can share what others expect of us. Psychological safety is essential for any honest interactions within a company.

For those of us in leadership who wish to see more innovation:

  1. Create the right environment. Make people feel safe to share their ideas.
  2. Champion creative expression. Encourage it. This is how those innovative ideas are born!

 We need the seeds but we also we need the soil for the flowers to grow.

As Brené Brown said, “Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity, and change,” . If you wish to have an innovative culture, it’s time o embrace it!