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Today is the United Nations World Creativity and Innovation Day. The aim of this day is to shine a light on the idea that creativity and innovation are vital for harnessing the economic potential of nations. So we thought we’d take a look at how businesses can benefit from embracing more creativity and innovation.

The economics of creativity and innovation

According to UN data:

  • Culture and creativity account for 3.1% of global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 6.2% of all employment. 
  • Exports of cultural goods and services doubled in value from 2005 to reach US$389.1 billion in 2019.
  • Besides being one of the youngest and fastest growing economic sectors in the world, the creative economy one of the most vulnerable sectors that is often overlooked by public and private investment.

6 easy ways to be a more creative company

  1. Think like a tech company.

    Allowing individuals to be creative and innovative while at work is one of the areas that the tech industry has been groundbreaking in. Take for instance Google’s famous ’20% time rule’ in which employees are encouraged to spend 20% of their time working on what they think will benefit Google. This initiative gave rise to gmail, google maps and AdSense.
  1. Hire a diverse team.

    When we’re surrounded by people with similar ideas and backgrounds new ideas and ways of thinking are less likely. Hire a team that is culturally, gender and age diverse and then encourage creative workshopping.
  1. Support the arts.

    Whether or not you work in a creative field, your company culture benefits from initiatives such as donating to the arts and/or subsidising theatre or music tickets for staff.
  2. Nurture collaboration.

    Allow staff the freedom to share their ideas. If you adopt a purely top-down approach, you’ll miss out on the valuable insights and ideas of employees.
  1. Reward innovation and creativity.

    Provide incentives for staff who generate innovative ideas that benefit the business. Be open to suggestions and if you adopt one of these suggestions give credit where credit is due.
  2. Give staff autonomy and support.

    Give your team the freedom and flexibility to decide how they best approach their work. Encourage them to experiment with different ideas and solutions. It’s almost impossible for staff to think outside the box and have creative ideas if they’re stifled by a micro-manager.