Home Marketing & Media Dear Business Owner, Do you stifle or foster creativity among your staff?

Dear Business Owner, Do you stifle or foster creativity among your staff?


As a business owner, being open to ideas is what separates the great from the ho-hum. Often business owners talk the talk, yet they’re quick to stifle creativity from staff members when even the simplest new idea is put forward. Go figure!

Here are three short ideas to get the best from your greatest creative asset.

1. Give your team time to play

Great creative comes from a very clear brief, but must also be accompanied by the requisite time for the team to research the idea and bring it to life.

Delivering a ten-minute brief and expecting top class results the next day is not realistic; like anything, the outcome directly correlates with the time and effort put in.

Often the best results come via a creative workshop, as one idea can quickly spark another. Involve everyone, as the quietest member of the team can ignite a chain of thought that takes everyone into new territory.

Sometimes a great creative idea is born within minutes; sometimes it can take several days. What fuels great creativity is the process of exploring multiple possibilities instead of dogmatically pursuing a single line of thought to reach a ‘solution’.

2. Get brainstorming

A word about brainstorming: it’s not about people making a suggestion and everyone tearing it to shreds.

Get all the ideas out on the table first. In fact, some of the most creative ‘brainstormers’ — I’m talking about sitcom writers, no less — start with the worst ideas they can think of. This takes the pressure off and can be used to truly fuel creativity.

Then, have the team evaluate each against a set of criteria generated from the brief.

Brainstorm further to develop the top two or three concepts.

3. A picture says a thousand words

Sometimes it’s not until the stage of visual exploration — of an idea coming to life in pictures — that one can see if it fully meets a brief.

The Holy Grail is the perfect fusion of the visual expression with the written word, which takes a deep understanding of what the goal of the communication really is.

Jane Toohey is strategy director for Lumino Brand Design Agency in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley. Lumino was started more than 15 years ago by Pip Mcconnel-Oats and has powered through recessions and two partnership changes to become one of Brisbane’s leading creative forces.

Image by: Simon Blackley