What do flowers, plants and waterfalls have to do with innovation? A lot, according to an eight month study conducted by Texas A & M University. The study found that offices that included plants, flowers and waterfalls caused women to become more flexible and creative problem solvers and men to generate 15% more ideas.
Maybe it’s all that extra oxygen and negative ions in the air or just that flowers and plants make employees happier and more peaceful. Whatever it is, it can’t hurt.
A creative space is usually more open and light. There’s room for whiteboards, pushboards, art supplies, and anything else that’s unique to your industry and helps spark creativity.
But having a creative office space is more than just aesthetics. It should be a place where employees feel comfortable expressing ideas and being able to brainstorm without being judged. Innovation is all about coming up with ideas. If you want to come up with a great idea, you have to come up with a lot of ideas. And that means most of them are going to be bad.
This is why nothing should be criticized in the brainstorming stage. In fact, this is the time that everyone should be encouraged to throw out as many ideas as possible.
Ask questions and add on to other’s suggestions. Seek opinions from your fellow co-workers. This builds respect and encourages them to generate even more ideas. Everyone likes to feel that their opinions are worth something.
When your ideas are struck down, that’s when people shut down and stop participating. Make it okay to be wrong and fail. As long as you’re allowed to fail there’s no pressure to be perfect, just to keep generating more new and original ideas. Because you never know where a good idea will come from.
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