The Secret to Creativity and Play in the workplace

As the Creative Director of The Global Group, my job regularly involves thinking of creative ways to solve design problems.

It can be tricky though, to keep those ideas flowing. However, it seems the key to unlocking creativity is adopting a more playful approach to the way you work.

Research has shown that those who lack creativity tend to be more rigid in their thinking and less spontaneous, whilst those who are creative are more spontaneous, more productive and better at solving problems.

As an employer, if you can instill a more playful culture in the workplace, you will soon reap the rewards. If people enjoy their job and don’t focus on the end result they become absorbed in and enjoy the process, rather than seeing tasks as just something to get through and complete.

Furthermore, learning by doing increases our engagement and understanding and strengthens the pathways our brain uses to learn and develop. Essentially, play helps us become better in our jobs.

Companies, who want to ensure they have happy employees, should understand that play isn’t a time waster, instead it fulfills needs such as autonomy and competence and all that fun in turn reduces stress and boosts the immune system. So not only do you have a happy team, you have a productive and healthy team.

The next time you need to give your creativity a boost, why not try some of these ideas:

1. Gamification

Introduce game mechanics and rewards, for example have teams competing against each other to meet targets.

2. Risk-taking

Know that taking risks and failing is ok in order to succeed sooner.

3. Exploration

Allow time for people to explore different solutions and try them out to make progress when solving problems.

4. Storytelling

Everyone loves a good story and this is no different as adults. Stories can be a great way to provide context to solutions.

5. Constructive play

Allow your team to build and design as they go. Sometimes making ideas tangible can help uncover solutions that may not have been previously considered.

Darren Mooney

Darren Mooney – Creative Director at The Global Group

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