How to enhance creative thinking in employees?

Creative-thinking skills
It encompasses personality characteristics associated with creativity, the ability to use analogies, as well as the talent to see the familiar in a different light. For instance, the following individual traits have been found to be associated with the development of creative ideas: intelligence, independence, self-confidence, risk taking, internal locus of control, tolerance for ambiguity, and perseverance in the face of frustration.

The effective use of analogies allows decision makers to apply an idea from one context to another. One of the most famous examples in which analogy resulted in a creative breakthrough was Alexander Graham Bell’s observation that it might be possible to take concepts that operate in the ear and apply them to his “talking box.” He noticed that the bones in the ear are operated by a delicate, thin membrane. He wondered why, then, a thicker and stronger piece of membrane shouldn’t be able to move a piece of steel. Out of that analogy the telephone was invented.

Undoubtedly, some people have developed their skill at being able to see problems in a new way. They’re able to make the strange familiar and the familiar strange. For example, most of us think about satellites and going to mars. But how many of us have considered that inventing any satellite or discovering any planet?

Intrinsic task motivation
Another component in our model is intrinsic task motivation the desire to work on something because it’s interesting, involving, exciting, satisfying, or personally challenging. This motivational component is what turns creative potential into actual creative ideas. It determines the extent to which individuals fully engage their expertise and creative skills. So, creative people often love their work, to the point of seeming obsessed.

Importantly, an individual’s work environment and the organisation’s culture can have a significant effect on intrinsic motivation. Specifically, five organisational factors have been found that can impede your creativity:

  • External motivators: emphasising external, tangible rewards;
  • Expected evaluation: focusing on how your work is going to be evaluated;
  • Surveillance: being watched while you’re working;
  • Competition: facing win–lose situations with your peers and
  • Constrained choices: being given limits on how you can do your work.