Creativity is important for business owners and executives because it can help you respond to changing conditions or unprecedented times. It can also help you get a jump on your competition and lead to innovation that benefits your company for years to come. Following are seven tips for boosting creativity in your business.

1. Take Time to Think

It's easy to get caught up in the day-to-day activities involved with running a business, but try to set aside time each day to tune out distractions and be alone with your thoughts. This will give you a chance to let your creative thoughts build into bigger ideas, rather than being crowded out and potentially being forgotten. It will give you time to analyze ideas and decide if they're really worth pursuing. Write good ideas down so you can revisit them at another time.

2. Eliminate Deadlines When Possible

You will probably want to see creativity from your employees. Eliminating deadlines can help because it lets people have more time to think about what they're doing rather than completely worrying about getting something done on time.

"Although necessity may be the mother of invention, that does not mean people will only be creative or be more creative when their backs are up against the wall," says Michael Noice at Entrepreneur.1 "In fact, deadlines have been shown to make people less creative. So, while you may at times be forced to be creative when an 11th-hour problem strikes, you'll probably be at your creative best in a more relaxed environment when you are not under the gun to deliver results quickly."

3. Spend Time in Different Environments

Sometimes simply going someplace different can inspire creativity. Visit other businesses and see how they do things. Travel and see different parts of the country and/or the world. You never know when inspiration might strike. The more you see and experience, the more your brain has to draw upon for new ideas.

Changing up your workspace might lead to new ideas. If you spend most of your time on the computer, try taking your laptop outside or to a coffee shop to work. The library is another great place for this because you'll literally be surrounded by information from a wealth of sources. Take a break and look at a book or two while you're there.

4. Surround Yourself with Creative People

Simply spending more time with people who are creative can inspire you to be more creative yourself.

"This may sound obvious, but find people who make creating a priority," says MossyBrain co-founder Jessica Beresh.2 " Half the battle is where the rubber meets the road. In other words, we can dream and think and plan all day, but until we actually take the steps to make, to create, our journey is abstract. Look for people who are hitting the pavement, and actively investing in a creative life. You’ll know them when you talk to them; they don’t keep this part of themselves a secret. Talent is secondary to a creative mindset and expressions."

5. Increase Diversity

There are plenty of reasons to put together a diverse workforce, but one benefit is a boost in business creativity. When you have employees with different backgrounds, you are naturally bringing different perspectives into the company. Having people on your team who may think differently than you can bring fresh ideas to the table and help you think outside the box.

6. Spend Time Doing What You Love

People are often inspired when they spend time doing things they love. If you are passionate about something, chances are you are already spending a lot of time thinking about it, and if your work is related to what you enjoy, then this can directly impact how you think about your business. Even if you have passions that lie elsewhere, putting your mind in a state of enjoyment is good for creativity.

7. Be Open to Feedback

When you have ideas, bounce them off other people and consider the feedback you get. A good idea might be made better when another perspective brings something to it. Be creative as a team, and not just as an individual.

Businesses that make the biggest impacts are those that are creative and stand out from the crowd. Make boosting creativity a priority this year.




The information provided is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal or business advice. Any views expressed in this article may not necessarily be those of Nevada State Bank. Nevada State Bank is a division of Zions Bancorporation, N.A. Member FDIC