Creativity is the lifeblood of any organization, whether volunteer or for profit. It is the vital force that rejuvenates old‑line groups and the seed that causes new ones to spring forth. A leader who understands how to create the atmosphere that allows workers to exercise their latent creative skills cannot help but be a success. Following are some things we can do to establish a positive atmosphere that will allow for creative change.
1. Create a risk‑free environment that is established on the idea that some failures along the way are the price to be paid for ultimate success.
2. Give credit to the team for successes and be willing to accept the blame when things go awry.
3. Keep an open mind by not getting stuck in the past or continuing to harp on the way things have always been done.
4. Encourage everyone to find as many answers as possible to any given problem.
5. Treat all ideas submitted by the staff as valuable suggestions.
6. Be willing to let other staff members step into command roles when special expertise makes them the best qualified leaders for a certain part of the project.
7. Bring as much expertise as possible to bear on the problem by asking for input from other departments, suppliers, and even customers.
8. Give positive feedback and encouragement to the team members.
9. Set aside an uninterrupted time for the creative process so that the team can exchange ideas.
10. Make the process fun for all involved.
These ten suggestions for establishing creativity in an organization may sound simple, but instituting them is not an easy task. The lack of any one can and will cause the creative process to come to a halt. Indeed, if it were easy to institute them, fewer companies would fail. To know the rules is one thing, but to apply them is another. However, those who will not only commit them to memory but practice them will have great success in harnessing the creative energies of all those around them.