Developing Your Talent

Innovation in the Workplace: Declutter Your Mind and Make Room for New Ideas

By Helene Cavalli on January 7, 2013

A commercial from a few years back depicted a manager entering an employee’s office only to find him with his feet propped up, staring out the window. When the manager asked what he was doing, the employee replied, “thinking.” Without missing a beat, the manager replied, “Good – we need more of that around here.” And we do.

Employees today are overwhelmed with distractions and interruptions that clutter the mind and impede creativity. In her recent article “5 Ways To Spark Your Creativity”, Sarah Zielinski discusses the recent increase in studies on creativity and offers five “surprising simple” suggestions from the experts: “take a shower” (or perform another undemanding task); “work in a blue room” (which promotes tranquility); “live abroad” (provides a fresh perspective); “watch a funny video” (an upbeat mood sparks creativity); and “sleep on it” (during sleep, the brain unleashes new associations).

Readers of the article then volunteered their own successful tips for jump starting the creative process. And one psychotherapist posted: “Being able to discipline the mind to ’empty’ creates a peaceful and fertile space for the mind to later be actively engaged in creative thought.”

As a leader you rely on the creativity of your team to develop fresh ideas, solve problems and discover new ways of doing things. Reflective time can rejuvenate the brain to allow for new perspectives.

Help your employee open up the pathways to creativity by creating an environment that inspires and fosters innovative thought. Implement a page from Mark Zuckerman’s playbook. Occasional “walkabouts” could yield your next big idea.

One Response to “Innovation in the Workplace: Declutter Your Mind and Make Room for New Ideas”

  1. kathy carmean

    Helene, thanks for sharing this with the community. It is so true, yet not encouraged by many leaders because of the tyranny of the urgent and the bombardment of data and competing demands. Good food for thought!Kathy


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