The Colourful Effects of Free Thinking
Last week we’ve discussed the difference between productivity and creativity. Now you also know why encouraging only logical thinking in a workplace can limit your business from leaps of growth. If you’ve missed it: read the first article here. Now, let’s talk about what happens when you apply the free thinking time!
The question we’re tacking today is: how will your average person react to applying some free thinking time? For one, freedom is like a rich soil for the seeds of creativity. With proper direction, it can significantly boost out of the box thinking. It’s worth noting, that as described by Betty Edwards in her book ‘Drawing on the right side of the brain’, when approaching a previously unsolvable problem from the nonverbal angle of our minds, the teams attending her workshops would often get the ‘Eureka!’ moment. Forcing your employees’ brains to stop thinking in learned patterns gives way to completely new resolutions and ideas. Once trained and nurtured, the shift between modes of thinking becomes more natural and easy.
One fascinating thing about the divergent mode of thinking is that a task doesn’t have a beginning, or an end. It’s getting tackled somewhere in the middle (coincidentally, this chapter was the first one I’ve written in the article). This approach will allow for bypassing some blocks that your company might be struggling with. Some of those blocks you didn’t even know existed! Retro-Events, for example, has completely redesigned their customers’ journey all thanks to a few sessions dedicated solely to thinking and talking about the business, accompanied by dance and art exercises (Bless our Dancing with the Stars choreographer, Giulia Settomini). More importantly, you can surely accomplish that too. Additionally, should you lack the creative powerhouse in your team, you can always HIRE ONE to do the job for you. There really is no excuse for not implementing something so important to your workplace.
Passion and loyalty are illogical
Have you ever seen a workhorse be loyal to a brand? A task-driven accountant passionate about their job? How about a painter devoted to his craft? A songwriter crazy about music? This is not to say that responsible, logical jobs do not inspire people. They could (and often do), if they applied at least a fraction of creative stimulation that the ‘artistic’ jobs entail.
Think about it, it makes little logical sense to be loyal to a company. It’s impractical, non-efficient and most of all, not as rewarding as working for your competitor at double the rate could be. Rationally speaking, of course. Why would we expect people operating exclusively on the logical side of the brain to think and feel anything but what they’re conditioned to?
Divergent, or creative thinking, on the other hand, is heavily tied to emotions. Passion stems from freedom, a feeling of involvement, making a difference and simply: from having fun. Those are all right-brain qualities. Satisfaction, freedom, fulfillment and a plethora of different emotional benefits are what an artist might answer to the question ‘Why do you intend on creating art when you could earn much more somewhere else?’ I think it’s illogical to not inspire this kind of thinking in a business (see what I did there?). Devoting some time and effort into stimulating employees creatively can and will go a long way. Those few wasted hours a week turn into years of loved, inspired fruits of labour. It is a known fact, after all, that a happy employee is an efficient employee. An employee that loves their job will work much harder than your average one.
To sum up: yes, logic and pragmatism are important. You wouldn’t get anywhere without them, really. However, feeding the other side of someone’s brain makes the time spent in the left hemisphere much more productive and pleasant. The creative and emotional right hemisphere is the one that will find passion in what the person is doing, after all. And, in the end, emotional values you give to your employees are much more difficult to replace, unlike the tangible earnings and tools to do their job productively. So get involved, get creative and overflowing productivity will soon follow!