Today on one side, companies are adopting everything thing and anything that has the AI tag on it; while employees fear their jobs being replaced by robots. But either party fails to look at the one crucial thing that humans have that robots do not; creativity. Looking at the coming of the robotic age as the time when people will lose jobs is not the right perspective. It’s not losing jobs as much as evolving jobs. Like Alvin Toffler had predicted illiterates in the 21st century wouldn’t be those who cannot read and write but the ones who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn. World Economic Forum states, in 2020, creativity will be one of the top three skills employees will be needing.
In some alternative universe, workplaces might be synonyms with creative spaces. Because here on earth, workplaces remind you of routines, formals, and structured meetings. If the concept in itself turns you off, then actually expecting creativity out of your employees is next to impossible. But before making a note of how to spark creativity in your employees, you first need to understand why. James Taylor, a recognized leader in creativity and innovation, has introduced the concept of, ‘The myth of the lone creative genius. Creativity is not an individual pursuit, but a collaborative act achieved largely by highly social, stable individuals. While you may praise single individuals for genius ideas, it’s through the additions and subtractions of other people around that makes the idea valid enough to be used.
Here are some ways to augment human creativity in workplaces:
• Allow people to make their own decisions: Often, good leaders also fall in the trap of making decisions on behalf of someone because they don’t want them to fail. But this might not be the best approach, let everyone allow from their mistakes unless it’s a massive cost to the company.
• Have informal meetings: Rather than just sticking to conference rooms, take your team to a pretty café or a small cozy restraint. This will help them get out of the office rut and bring in a fresh mindset.
• Hire a diverse team: This is a no-brainer. Bringing together, people from different backgrounds offers more perspectives and pushes people to think beyond one’s upbringing.
• Give honest feedback: This does not necessarily mean that you disregard an idea or be harsh. Basically, you need to explain to an employee why their idea isn’t the best and how they can improve it.
• Encourage Networking: Dedicate some time in introducing different teams and getting them to work on any project. This will help them understand other roles in the company bringing about better ideas on their own.
Of course, there are way too many things that can be added to the list, but it needs to be customized as per your need. Start by looking into your organization and understanding what loopholes can you fill in to bring about more creativity.
AI should be a tool that reinforces the value of human creativity. The best approach to adopt for efficient working modules is automating routine cognitive tasks. This will enable and empower employees to use their creativity in solving more significant problems. According to research, by Dr. Kim, creativity has been on a decline in the United States since 1990. And it won’t be long before other places start getting affected which will hamper productivity and growth in workplaces.
James Taylor also talks about the concept of SuperCreativity, the coming together of robots and humans to create things that either one alone couldn’t have done it. A combination of the two will bring growth in business in a digital economy and additionally create new job roles. With so many articles and talks on how the future of work is changing and bringing it new opportunities might seem fascinating, it could also be challenging. To overcome these challenges, business leaders must be ready to rethink, re-imagine, and redesign the way things are done.