Creativity & Vibrancy in Business
This is a favorite topic of mine. One of the benefits of being able to assess many types of businesses is the different experiences you encounter. In some instances you can tell immediately the first time you walk in the door whether the issues are human resource-oriented or not.
The ability to be creative and vibrant in your work is what creates endless ideas and makes the workplace an exciting place to be. This is particularly important if you have thin margins and can’t necessarily pay for top-notch talent. However, talent can be developed by allowing your staff some autonomy, ability to express new ideas, and generally working in a fun, invigorating and energizing environment. Most will realize that they may not get that opportunity at another company although they may be offered a higher paying position. I have seen it on multiple occasions.
This is not the same as someone who doesn’t want to make a change because they don’t like making changes, even if they dislike going to work. I am talking about employees who enthusiastically enjoy their work and work environment and get up in the morning excited to go to work.
I have also walked into businesses that are like walking into a morgue…a place where people go before the afterlife. Seriously, no vibrancy, no energy, solemn looks on people’s faces, and guess what, usually no revenue growth or profitability. If you add lower than industry pay to the equation, the company’s future has been sealed.
No matter the industry you’re in, some more than others, I believe that any company requires a certain degree of creativity and should allow some autonomy in its people. It’s how you grow and progress, and if there are a few experiments along the way that go awry…well there is the old adage “if you’re never failing you’re not trying hard enough”. You can get creative ideas from almost everyone in your organization, from the receptionist to the VPs. I once was tasked with cutting the admin expenses for a rather large company. I set up an incentive program for the admin staff that if they came up with an idea that resulted in savings for the company, they would receive a certain dollar amount of bonus. The response was overwhelming and resulted in a 25% reduction in admin expenses, and some pretty happy employees for getting great bonuses (not just $100’s of dollars, but meaningful amounts). The 25% reduction included the bonuses so a win-win for everyone and thereafter they had a pretty stringent purchasing and usage policy essentially put in place by the employees rather than management.
Good fortune is what happens when opportunity meets with planning.”
― Thomas Edison