Before we explore how to generate light bulb moments and make them happen in your business, it is worth finding out what stops them from occurring in the first place.
In my experience, it is the culture of a business that is the key enabler here. Get it right and then creativity flows in all aspects of the business. Get it wrong and you end up with disaffected employees, staff churn, unhappy customers and a problem with the bottom line.
These are seven ways to run a business such light bulb moments are stopped in their tracks. I am sure you will have experienced one or more of these mechanisms somewhere you have worked. They are often the tactics used by inexperienced or naive managers with the aim of controlling a work force.
1. Instil a lack of security
Nobody whose job is under threat feels like being creative. This is a bit of shame as when a company’s back is against the financial wall, innovative thinking is often just what is needed.
2. Breed a climate of fear
Fear of failure and fear of ridicule are an anathema to creativity. If you come into work and are afraid of suggesting new ideas or, god forbid, that something is less than perfect, any light bulb moments you receive will never materialise.
3. Take love out of the equation
People love to love and love to be loved. We like it when someone likes us and likes what we do. Love is a word that somehow doesn’t get mentioned in business. When you love the work you though, you will never ‘work’ again.
4. Fail to communicate
Communication works two ways in successful businesses. There is a flow from the top down and the bottom up. It is the responsibility of management to get the conversations going. People like to talk and if you don’t give them something positive to talk about, the conversations will turn to gossip and back-biting.
5. Lack of vision
You would never think of driving a car blindfolded, or blindfold your passengers, yet many businesses don’t see where they are going. We need visibility to function and this vision gives perspective. We can watch for pot holes ahead and also learn from looking at where we’ve been. With this clarity, we can be inventive of about planning the route ahead.
6. Quash free thinking
As human beings, we are only able to hold one thought at any one instant. If that thought is spent rehearsing a conversation yet to be had or replaying one that didn’t go so well, our brains are tied up with internal dialogue. A still and quiet mind is a creative one and thrives when given a challenge and an opportunity in a supportive and appreciative environment.
7. Be a killjoy
This is not about dress down Fridays or Paint Ball days. It is obvious that a happy worker is a productive worker. Apparently it takes less muscular effort to smile than it does to frown. Fun places to work become sought after and hard to leave. So simply start the day with a smile …