7 Ways To Spark Creative Ideas in the Workplace

Updated September 30, 2022

Businesses rely on creativity and innovation to stay relevant in a constantly evolving marketplace. Learning how to create new ideas and motivate team members to think creatively can lead to greater success and increased employee morale. In this article, we discuss why innovation is important in business and we offer seven methods for creating new ideas in the workplace.

Why is creativity important in business?

Creativity can be a valuable tool in the workplace. Encouraging team members to think creatively can lead to innovation in products and processes, which in turn can help companies stay competitive and profitable. Creating new ideas is also important for employee motivation. Exploring new ideas and new ways of accomplishing goals can help team members feel more connected to their colleagues and supported by their supervisors.

Related: How To Encourage Innovation in the Workplace (With Examples and Tips)

7 ways to create better ideas

If you're looking for strategies to incorporate more creativity in your workplace, here are seven ways to help you and your team develop new ideas:

1. Be open to new ideas

Being open to new ideas can sometimes start with being alert to your surroundings and taking inspiration wherever it might arise. Take a walk and notice all the other buildings on your street and the people who work there. Stop in a coffee shop and take in the aroma of freshly brewed coffee. Observe the baristas and the patrons and pay attention to any music that’s playing. Learning to notice your surroundings can boost your creativity.

2. Expand your professional network

Making new connections and socializing with people outside your usual circle of friends and colleagues can help you gain new and creative perspectives, especially with people who are in your industry. Meet with friends of friends or reach out to new coworkers to explore new networking opportunities.

3. Do more research

Researching your project can help you find new approaches to your goal and might even help you make adjustments to your overall goals. Read as much as you can online, but don’t forget to scan trade magazines for success stories and profiles of innovators in your industry.

4. Take lots of notes

One way to promote creativity is to keep a journal or notebook handy and write down ideas whenever they occur. Even random ideas can lead to more concrete goals, so try not to edit yourself as you write. Use your journal to record your feelings, thoughts and experiences. Getting into the habit of writing down your thoughts may help you better develop your ideas.

5. Manage stress to promote creativity

Some of the ways that help us reduce stress can also promote creativity. Going for a walk or engaging in sports can help your brain refocus and problem-solve. And practicing meditation techniques can help you relax and brainstorm new ideas. 

Related: 12 Ways To Improve Concentration at Work

6. Try structured brainstorming

Brainstorming sessions with specific rules can be an effective way to dedicate time and energy to creating new ideas. For example, consider setting a timer for a short amount of time and challenging yourself to write a list of at least 50 potential solutions to a problem. While you may not write 50 ideas in the allotted time or like all of your ideas, you have a starting point to develop the best solution to your issue.

Related: 15 Brainstorming Exercises To Generate Ideas

7. Change your perspective

Challenge your assumptions and thoughts. Try to change your thinking patterns to see situations from different perspectives. Ask yourself why you think certain things, and use this to help you develop a new way of thinking. You could also try thinking in reverse. Ask yourself, what are the outcomes you want to avoid, rather than the goals you want to achieve.

You could also try reframing the context of your problem. This may help you identify solutions you haven't considered yet. For example, if you're developing a new product, try to focus on what would best benefit your customers instead of focusing on solutions that would make the most profits for your company.

Related: 18 Creativity Exercises To Improve Creative Thinking and Problem-Solving at Work


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