Do You Allow Your Team to Get Creative? Are You Sure?

Today’s post is written by our wonderful colleague Robert Mapstead. Robert is a Director of Learning and Instructional Design for our NextGen Services Team. And one of the many things we love about Robert is that he brings unbridled creative thought into every conversation. So, who better to share some thoughts today about the topic of creativity? Enjoy!

Like many organizations, The Latimer Group is taking the health crisis, and its impact on our work, one day at a time. Things are crazy for lots of businesses and lots of people, and we aren’t complaining… we are acutely aware that there are many who are truly suffering right now. 

But with travel bans, budget reductions, and lots of uncertainty, we have reserved the extra time to take some good hard looks at our business. We have pulled out the figurative “we wish we had the time to…” file, and are leaning into lots of ideas, both big and small.

I had a fascinating conversation with a few members of my team yesterday, and (specific details not important to the story) someone put on the table an idea that was BIG. The big idea would require a major change in the way we present some of our content. And the idea made me squirm in my seat. Literally. We were in a video meeting, and my colleagues got a good laugh out of being able to see my reaction. I was beside myself, and every instinct in my body was telling me to shut the conversation down. My head was screaming “Shut this down NOW!”

But calmer and quieter heads prevailed, and it was a fascinating conversation. Ultimately I realized/remembered that this conversation was a great example of the great value in really examining certain elements of our business, even the ones that seem sacrosanct. Even if we decide not to adopt this big idea, and all its requisite implications, there is value in having discussed it.

You never know where those conversations will lead, and even if they lead nowhere, there is value in the energy such conversations create. There is value in allowing your team to dream and play and mess around a bit. The value might come in that exact conversation. Or it might come in some other way. But it will come.

I wish I could say that I always handle those types of conversations with a wide open mind all the time. But that wouldn’t be true. Sometimes, when I am not in the mood or don’t have the capacity to dream about the big idea, I will get super practical and steer us towards safer ground. But yesterday the creativity flowed and it was highly valuable, especially during a period when there is much anxiety and so many unknowns. At base, it created a fun conversation, during a time when fun is a little harder to find.

So I write about it here, for your benefit, and mine.

Have a great day.

Does your team:
– Take too long to make decision?
– Fail to ask for what it wants or needs from you?
– Make things too complicated?
– Deliver unconvincing or disorganized presentations?
– Have new hires who are unprepared to communicate in the workplace?

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Dean Brenner

A book about change

The Latimer Group’s CEO Dean Brenner is a noted keynote speaker and author on the subject of persuasive communication. He has written three books, including Persuaded, in which he details how communication can transform organizations into highly effective, creative, transparent environments that succeed at every level.