Table Of Contents
1. Stimulating Creativity In The Workplace pages 3,4 & 5
2. Blocking Creativity In The Workplace pages 6,7 & 8
3. Recommendations For My Creative Workplace pages 9,10 & 11
4. Reference Material page 12
Stimulating Creativity In The Workplace
Creativity can be stimulated in the workplace in a variety of ways to
enhance creative thinking and productivity.
1. Encourage Unconventional Thinking:
Traditional thinking that only certain people are creative has to be thrown out the window
as all of us have a certain amount of creativity within us. Everyone in the creative
workplace should be encouraged to think “Outside the Box”, (the Box being conventional
thinking). Knowledge, technical skills, every day life experiences and “thinking in new and
unconventional ways about things” are just some of the things that contribute to creativity
in the workplace.
2. Challenge The Rules of Thinking:
Humans thought the world was flat and we would fall off the edge until someone thought
the rules of thinking were wrong, challenged and changed them and set about proving
that the world is in fact round. Thomas Edison said “ If we did all things we are capable
of doing, we would literally astonish ourselves”. Let go of the old traditional ways of
thinking. There are always new ways of doing things, challenge traditional thinking, be
innovative in your thinking and encourage it in the workplace. Remove the “It can only be
done this way” mind set.
3. Recognise and Encourage Creative Talents:
Creative talent comes in many forms from cooking ,writing, designing or decorating the
home or office. Recognizing “Creative Talents” and encouraging them whenever possible
will promote creativity and productivity in the workplace.
4. Encourage And Share New Ideas/Imagination:
Open planning invites conversation and encourages interaction and the sharing of
new and imaginative ideas. The downside of Open planning can be interruption from
elsewhere in the workplace. With careful balancing between interaction and interruption,
fostering creative thinking in the workplace is possible.
5. Remove Distractions:
A tidy workplace stimulates creative thinking. Remove all of the clutter (boxes,
unnecessary papers, rubbish etc.) from the workplace.
Have a “Quiet Area” within the workplace to finalise and consolidate ideas, or maybe,
go to the park for quite reflection and consolidation of ideas.
6. Make The Office Fun:
Author Roger Von Oech wrote, “Necessity may be the mother of invention, but play is
certainly the father.” A fun office environment is essential to a creative and productive
workplace. Inspiration can come in many forms; ie: Music, Art, Plants and Animals can
enhance creativity. Creativity is associated with Joy and Love and negativity associated
with Fear, Anxiety and Anger. So whenever possible make sure the workplace is a “Fun
and Happy” environment. Todays happiness often predicts tomorrows creativity.
7. Remove Competitive Boundaries:
Studies have shown creativity is compromised when people in a workgroup compete
instead of collaborating. When people compete for information they stop sharing
information and that doesn’t stimulate creative thinking. No single individual has got all
the information required to complete the creative process. Encourage the sharing of ideas
and the ideas will benefit greatly.
8.Furnishings and Layout:
Ergonomics are a consideration that should be made as a person’s comfort is a big part
of their creativity, and the workplace layout is a big part of the creative process.
9. Brainstorming Ideas:
Have regular group meetings or “think tanks” with the Creative Team to discuss ideas for
Ad Campaigns or general workplace environment.
Flexibility is a key component of the creative workplace. Be willing to try new and
different approaches to just about anything and you will see the creative juices flow.
Value and recognise people’s talent and creativity will flourish, and
remember Creative Thinking turns great ideas into reality.
IN THE WORKPLACE
arrrg! are we going to move to the
new office or what? I can't think
clearly about anything.
look at all this clutter!
Blocking Creativity In The Workplace
Creativity can be blocked in the workplace in a variety of ways
1. Being To Practical:
Being practical is good business sense but can restrict Creative Thinking. Complacency,
lack of innovation or not trying new things to inspire and interest people can all block
creativity in the workplace.
2. Competition, Not Collaboration:
If only one person’s opinion matters then you have an unhealthy workplace. Keeping ideas
to yourself can block the growth of the idea, while sharing the idea may enhance it. If
there is no collaboration of ideas and no sharing of ideas, the Creative Process is stifled.
Too much competition can block creativity while Creative Teams sharing and debating
ideas enhances creativity.
3. Seeing Failure As A Negative:
Seeing failure as a negative will discourage a person and inhibit their Creative Ideas. Not
seeing failure as a stepping stone to new ideas would block creativity in the workplace.
4. Following The Rules:
Following the rules of Standard Business Practice will keep your business moving forward,
but too many rules and boundaries or a lack of flexibility can block creativity in the
5. Inhibiting Creative Talents:
Restricting people to one area of work and not allowing interaction and sharing of ideas
will block creativity in the workplace, as will failure to look at new and innovative ways of
6. Group Think Mind set:
Peer pressure can cause people to agree to something they wouldn’t normally agree
to. This “Group Think” mind set stops people from being creative; people will “agree to
agree” because the Boss may think a certain way and this blocks peoples creativity in the
7. Failure to encourage or recognise talent:
Failing to recognise talent in people will block their creativity, so it is important to
recognise and encourage that talent.
8. Too Many Distractions:
Clutter (boxes, papers, note pads, etc), lack of space, wrong furnishings or the lack of
flaura can all contribute to blocking creativity in the workplace.
9. Creative Boundaries:
If you restrict people in their creative thinking by giving them boundaries then you block
their creativity. True creativity has no boundaries or restrictions placed on it so remove as
many boundaries as possible in the creative thinking process.
An unwillingness to be flexible with your thinking will quickly block creativity and lead to a
general unhappiness in the workplace. This lack of creativity will eventually cause you to
Fail to value and recognise people’s talent and creativity will never flourish,
and remember Creative Thinking turns great ideas into reality.
i want more space! you guys are gonna
have to move out of here!
my cogs have stopped turning and i
can't think straight!
Recommendations For My Creative Workplace
1. Open Plan Layout:
My Creative Design Studio would have an open plan layout in a old industrial warehouse
located in Balmain, overlooking a park with Sydney city visible through one end of the
Studio. The workplace would have plenty of window space, helping to facilitate a range
of different atmospheres/moods (natural light, difused light,etc).
At the city end of the workplace area I would have workbenches built from old railway
sleepers (cut to a 2in thick) bolted together for the workstations. These workbenches would
be sanded and then French Polished and accompanied with high back ergonomic chairs
and then placed along the wall with the city in full view.
At the other end of the Studio to one side would be a glass brick wall to partition an area,
set aside called “The Quiet Room” for quiet reflection of ideas and finalizing Designs
and Concepts. The “Quiet Room” would also have a large whiteboard on one wall and
a large table made from railway sleepers and accompanied with high back ergonomic
In the centre of the workplace would be a lounge area for client meetings when necessary
or for a lounge and R&R area.
The kitchen, bathroom-toilet and storage area would be opposite the Quiet Room and be
open plan style, made from railway sleepers. The kitchen appliances would be 1950’s
-1960’s style (bright colours).
The Art and the colour scheme would be brainstormed for ideas for any themes, i.e:
Rustic, Modern, Art Deco, etc.
A Mini Snooker table or Table Tennis would be in the Lounge area to facilitate R&R.
2. Have Regular Brainstorming Meetings:
I would have Brainstorming Sessions with an emphasis on “Looking for new ways to
Enhance Innovative and Creative Thinking”. These sessions of team thinking provide an
opportunity for ideas to be explored.This would be very beneficial to the Creative Process.
3. Introduce Mind Mapping:
Introduce Mind Mapping to your workplace to encourage and facilitate new ideas to
enhance the “Creative Thinking” process. Mind Mapping is fast becoming a great way to
manage all areas of creative design and can be used for just about any situation in life.
Recommendations For My Creative Workplace
4. Encourage and Recognise:
Wherever possible I would recognise great design and encourage the creative talents of the
team. Maybe a financial or gift incentive for best quarterly designs, a massage or a night
on the town.
5. Emphasize Team Creativity:
I would encourage a mind set of “Creative Brainstorming” and emphasize the Studio as be-
ing a place where great ideas can become even greater with “Team Creative Thinking” as
no single individual has all creativity embodied within them. Sharing ideas and expanding
those ideas would bring about a much better result. No idea would be dismissed and think-
ing “Outside The Box” would be encouraged always. Too much competitiveness would be
discouraged, and collaboration encouraged greatly.
6. No Clutter:
Too much rubbish or clutter (boxes, packages, papers etc.) on desktops or around desks
can distract from and stifle the “Creative Thinking Process”.
Music can be a huge part of the creative thinking process and any type of music (individual
or group) choice would be encouraged, with an emphasis on headphones if and when
quiet is required.
8. Fun Environment:
At all times I would have the workplace a fun place to be. Music, Sydney city views and
a great creative team with new and imaginative ideas would all help create a fun work-
place for all. Although the workplace environment needs to be productive this needs to be
balanced with a sense of enthusiasm and occasional frivolity (charades at lunchtime, table
tennis, Snooker table, or something fun like wearing Jeans on Fridays).
9. Be Flexible:
Flexibility is a must in the Creative Workplace and in the Creative Thinking Process. A suc-
cessful Creative Design Studio has to be flexible in all areas to survive and thrive in the (here
and now) competitive world in which we live.
Value and recognise people’s talent and creativity will always flourish, and
remember Creative Thinking turns “Rocks into Diamonds”.