If you feel that your team is worn out, stuck and generating little new or creative ideas by all the remote work going on today, you are not alone. It is very difficult to motivate innovation with remote work – but there is hope. Here are three tools that can help awaken creativity from this slumber.
Because when we feel stuck, it’s especially important to use creativity to get unstuck.
USE WHAT YOU HAVE
The world has minted more than five million new millionaires during the covid pandemic alone. That’s in the last 18 months. Think about that for a minute – all these newly created millionaires have one thing in common: They did their best in times that were the worse for most of us.
So what do they have that others don’t have? It’s the ability to solve problems creatively. Most people view the pandemic as a burden and adversity – and indeed it really is that. But any adversity is an especially ripe time when innovation can come to play. The famous saying that necessity is the mother of all invention is especially true in times of adversity – and how we choose to move forward in adverse times will not only define who we are but also allow us to capture opportunities that others may not.
For instance, many restaurants were able to thrive during the pandemic by moving their model from dine-in to take-out. There has also been some permeance to this model simply because it works – with national chains rolling out “delivery / pick up only” locations across the country.
SEE THE WORLD AS IT CAN BE, NOT WHAT IS
When we are able to think about the issues we have with creativity, we tend to allow ourselves to see a world as it can be, not what it is. Imagine how powerful that could be? If you were to take some time and look at any particular problem you may be facing at work right now, just a simple reframing of the problem can yield incredible creative potential.
If you are having issues getting staff motivated by remote work to think outside the box or come up with innovative contributions, then try to see the world as it can be, not as it is. Instead of looking at the problem – imagine a solution.
For instance, when people see the problem, point them to a potential solution. Instead of seeing the accounts receivables 45 days late, look at it as being on time – and encourage creativity to make that happen. Just reframing the issue helps. Then, share that with the team. See what can be, not what is. And the team will immediately embrace the idea and try to carry it forward. And hopefully next time the reframing will come from others as they feel their contribution is worthwhile. It’s all about reframing the problem as a possible solution.
YOU BE YOU
Creativity is a gift that our ancestors gave to us in terms of mere survival. There would be no us here today if it weren’t for the great ancestors that came before us, forging a path forward with creativity. We literally stand on the shoulders of giants. Just a mere 40 or 50 thousand years ago, humans were being chased by beasts far larger, stronger, more powerful and in each and every way killing machines designed to make us their prey.
But then we got creative.
We found that if we took a stick and put a spear on the end of it, we could stave off the beast attacking us to live another day. And that’s creativity. We found that we shouldn’t drink dark colored water unless we filtered it first with carbon – that was creative. We discovered that we needed a pressurized cabin to head to the moon – again – creativity.
At every major milestone humanity has depended on creativity for survival– so why not do it now too? Apply your individuality to your work issues. For instance, if you are an avid outdoors person who loves to spend time outside – host the next online meeting outside. It’s hard enough to motivate remote teams – so why not try? If you are a person who loves a good happy hour – make one at the end of the day next Thursday for the remote staff. If you are able to use what it is you already have in you to make creativity happen, you will unleash genuine change.
These three tools above can yield fantastic creative potential and awaken a long dormant approach that can work for you no matter what it is that you do. Because when we look to creativity to help us solve everyday problems at work, we find an endless source of renewal and inspiration simply by practicing the above three tools. Being stuck is a bad feeling – and when a team of individuals get pulled into the doldrums it can be a daunting task to pull out of it. But our success depends on it. And armed with creativity – it is indeed not only possible, but likely.