Using Creativity in the Workplace

If you have been wondering why creativity is a business buzzword, you’re not alone.

Nearly every aspect of the gig economy, from Uber and AirBnB to corporate consultancy, focuses on this ability to innovate, to think outside of the box and question conventional wisdom.

This is because creativity is one of the key abilities for surviving the ups and downs of the coming decade.

In addition to mastering technical skills, organisations need people who can creatively approach problems and tasks across all business roles, from software engineering to HR. In fact, data from Burning Glass shows a 200 percent increase in creative positions (arts administration, graphic design, advertising) since 1997.

Planning for an increasingly creative world is requiring many businesses to rethink their talent development initiatives.

Recognising the need to essentially re-skill workers, Nom@d Learning is focused on this changing workforce landscape, researching creative assessment tools to measure the creative thinking abilities of individuals and teams across industries.

Online tools and assessments such as Creative Skill Check provide a method to assess the creative thinking abilities of employees and prospective candidates. In fact, companies like Microsoft and IBM use creative tools in the recruitment process to gauge the creativity of prospective candidates.

Creativity in the workplace is not easily defined; it’s a state of mind, and many companies have a culture that discourages it because they believe it leads to unnecessary complications, or they doubt its ability to produce tangible results.

But you can’t be productive without creativity, and you’ll lose out on opportunities for big wins if you downplay its importance.

Introduction to Team Dynamics and Why They Matter

When a new project is launched, team dynamics are generally given little consideration. There seems to be a general assumption that once a team is put together, they will automatically gel—and that’s true, to some extent.

But this implies that no extra effort is required. Dynamics, however, require attention and effort in order to be optimised.

Every aspect of a team’s operation is influenced by team dynamics. These intangible intricacies of how people behave, relate, and communicate in a group context may either set a project up for success or make it feel like a losing battle.

What matters is that you understand these underlying dynamics and how you and your team can positively alter them so that your projects are as efficient and productive as possible—and even pleasurable.

Communicate with others

  • Start a conversation about it if you’re unsure how to assess and enhance your team’s chemistry.
  • Engage your team in a discussion about what’s working, what isn’t, and where people feel stuck.
  • Recognise individual skills and styles, and consider how to best apply them.

Encourage others to share—and to listen—to help tear down barriers and open lines of communication. Then you’ll be able to spot the unseen forces at work on your team and assist in moving your project forwards.

The key takeaways

Team dynamics are the unseen forces at work on your team and can make or break a project.

Engage your team in a discussion about what’s working, what isn’t, and where people feel stuck.

Recognise individual skills and styles, and consider how to best apply them.

A Manager’s Role In Career Development

Career development is a lifelong process of self-discovery and professional advancement.

Encouraging your employees to invest in their careers enhances motivation, engagement, productivity, and your reputation as a manager.

Investing in employee development not only allows you to recruit and retain high-skilled workers but also allows you to attract and keep more talented individuals.

Employees must chart their career paths, but you must assist them in this endeavour. You must get to know your staff, share your perspective with them, and discuss opportunities with them. It’s a straightforward method that gives employees a “win-win,” distinguishes you as a manager, and benefits the entire organisation.

You don’t need to do everything. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, remember that career growth is primarily the responsibility of the individual.

Rather, concentrate on getting to know your people, soliciting their input, and identifying opportunities. The team members decide on the journey.

The key takeaways

Encouraging your employees to invest in their careers enhances motivation, engagement, productivity, and your reputation as a manager.

Investing in employee development not only allows you to recruit and retain high-skilled workers but also helps you attract and keep more talented individuals

Keeping Control Without Micromanaging

Maintaining the appropriate level of control is essential for effective delegation.

On the one hand, a completely uninhibited attitude can lead to turmoil or allow your team to get off track. Holding the reins on a project too firmly, on the other hand, can demoralise your staff and suffocate innovation.

What you need is a middle ground between these two extremes, a way of controlling projects without micromanaging and stifling the flow of new ideas.

Here are 6 tips to achieve this delicate balance:

  • Early on, establish clear expectations for a project’s scope, outcomes, and responsibilities. What does it mean to be successful?
  • Set deadlines for large projects and split them down into smaller milestones.
  • Hold regular meetings to keep in touch with your team and encourage communication. Ensure meetings are booked and invites sent in advance to your team.
  • Focus on results rather than strategies for reaching them.
  • Detect and delegate problems rather than trying to address them yourself.
  • To gain a better understanding of your team’s progress and process, use project management software.

The key takeaways

Micromanaging everything yourself is never a good idea.

Concentrating on high-level advice, feedback, and direction will allow you to make better use of your time and resources. Allow your team to handle the details.

Make your participation in the project a top priority. Getting involved in all of the projects may quickly deplete your time and energy.

  • Establish clear expectations for a project’s scope, outcomes, and responsibilities.
  • Set project deadlines.
  • Hold regular meetings with your team.
  • Focus on results rather than strategies for reaching them.
  • Detect and delegate problems.
  • Use project management software.

Delegating the Right Tasks to the Right People

When you’re delegating work, you must carefully consider your options. Give projects to those people who share your company’s passion and enthusiasm for the task.

What factors do I need to consider?

You also need to consider the capabilities, skills, and experience of the person you are choosing. While balancing these factors is more challenging than delegating more routine activities, the results are worth it.

Employers assigning tasks based on their employees’ backgrounds may not be as wise as they think.

Sure, you may have hired your staff based on what they know or who they are, but that alone is not a sufficient reason to rely on them for every assignment that crosses your desk.

How do I give my team the chance to excel?

In any organisation, the key to success is delegation. The goal of any leader should be to give every employee the opportunity to excel in their position.

Give them training and support, and delegate tasks that play to their skills and interests. This is the most effective way to motivate your team, and to ensure that nothing stands between a motivated employee and an amazing project.

Whats in it for me if I spend time training staff?

Working in the right capacity for your department or company will ultimately help you achieve work/life balance, too.

You’ll find that training for new roles can finally begin to speed up, your staff will be more productive in their positions, and you’ll be able to turn leadership responsibilities over to someone else.

The key takeaways

  • Carefully select the people to whom you distribute work. Match the task’s needs to your team’s interests, skills, and available bandwidth.
  • When you find someone who has the time, interest, drive, and capacity to take on the assignment, you know you’ve discovered the appropriate person.
  • Someone who is overburdened with projects, unenthusiastic about their employment, or ill-equipped to excel at it is a lousy match.
  • Factor in the professional development of your staff while making your decision.

What and How to Delegate

Delegation is a key leadership skill, and it can be a difficult one at times.

Delegating work to your team can also be challenging, especially if you don’t have a clear vision of what you are delegating.

When you delegate work to your team, you are empowering them to do the work that you need completed. This is not only motivating for your team, but also frees up time for you to work on higher-level projects that require your attention.

Effective delegation requires two skills: a keen eye for detail and a clear mind for direction.

What to Delegate?

Although many tasks and jobs within your business could be delegated to someone on your team, it is important to recognise that not ALL tasks can be delegated, nor should they be.

When deciding which duties to delegate, consider:

  • Which duties require your attention?
  • Which duties may be handled by your team with discretion?

Certain tasks should remain with you, as these require your special attention and leadership skills. These duties may include:

  • Your top priority. This should remain the same – running the business.
  • Tasks which require your special attention or leadership skills, and involve decision-making.
  • Tasks that best represent your company’s brand or image and that need to remain consistent or familiar to your target market.
  • Tasks where accuracy is key and consistency of the job is necessary.
  • Tasks which require direct contact with customers.

Who to Delegate to?

One way to determine who should take on which task is by using the 80/20 rule, called the Pareto Principle. The rule states that 80% of effects come from 20% of causes.

In project management, you can use this rule to identify the work that will cause the most progress toward your goals.

How to Delegate

When distributing duties to your team, be explicit and purposeful. Choose the best candidate for the job. Provide clear instructions about each task’s requirements and clarify their expectations. Give them the training, support, or power they require. Establish deadlines and offer guidance on how you would like this task completed. Be available to answer questions or queries that may arise. Provide feedback on their performance and congratulate them on their accomplishments.

The key takeaways

  • Decide which jobs require your attention and which may be delegated to your team with discretion.
  • Delegate duties to your team in a detailed and planned manner.
  • Choose the most qualified candidate for the position.
  • Explain the task in full.
  • Expectations and deadlines should be clearly stated.
  • Give the person the necessary training, support, or power.
  • Give constructive criticism to your staff and congratulate them on their achievements.

Why Leaders Don’t Delegate

You might be shocked at how tough it is to get started with delegation. Your reasons for not delegating could be incorrect, but they could also be well-intentioned:

  • You aspire to be successful.
  • You desire a successful completion of the work.
  • The details are important to you.
  • You don’t want your team to feel overworked.

Delegation helps you keep your sanity and retain your good name as a leader. Yet it’s a skill that many people find difficult.

Why? Oftentimes, it’s because they are led astray by their own assumptions.

Begin by examining the following common objections:

  • I can do it better myself.
  • My people simply lack the necessary abilities.
  • Explaining what I want takes much too long.
  • I’ll still be held liable if things go wrong.
  • Delegation takes away some of my power.
  • If they do an excellent job, I’ll be exposed.
  • My team prefers for me to make the decisions.

The goal is to figure out how to overcome your concerns and use delegation to better carry out your desires.

The key takeaways

  • Although delegation is a leader’s responsibility, it’s sometimes difficult to master.
  • Review assumptions that are often stopping you from delegating to others.
  • Trust in your team to deliver tasks with proper care and detail.
  • Overcome your concerns and use delegation to better carry out your desires.

The importance of Delegation

In business, doing is often seen as more important than leading, as doing generates the results that fuel the engine of growth. This is true for the company and its team. It is also true for the individual.

Delegation is a vital team management skill for managers, and a key leadership tool that helps companies achieve win-win-win outcomes.

As a team manager, delegation allows you to spend your time and energy on the high-level tasks that require your knowledge the most.

At the team level, delegation helps your team members grow in their career by allowing them to take initiative for a project they are interested in while still receiving support from you, their manager.

Given the benefits of good delegation, many managers have the instinct to delegate tasks liberally. But there are some managers who go too far and delegate tasks to the point that they are no longer managing at all!

Delegation is an art, requiring you to strike a balance between taking advantage of your team’s capabilities and staying in control of the project.

The key takeaways


  • Helps achieve win-win-win outcomes.
  • Allows more time for managers to address high-level tasks that require their knowledge the most.
  • Increases team efficiency, productivity, and organisational resilience.

What is the difference between a Mentor and a Coach?

Mentoring is an extremely effective way to develop other people, but people tend to think of a mentor as being someone who is semi-retired, who has developed good habits over many years, and who can point the way for others to follow.

Famous mentors

We’ve all heard stories of famous people who had mentors: –

Michael Jordan was mentored by Magic Johnson and Larry Bird.

Sir Richard Branson was mentored by Sir Freddy Laker.

Sir Richard Branson once said, “If you ask any successful business person, they will always have had a great mentor at some point along the road.” – And he was right!

Branson went to Laker during his struggles to get Virgin Atlantic up and running. “It’s always good to have a helping hand at the start. I wouldn’t have got anywhere in the airline industry without the mentorship of Sir Freddie Laker”.

Do you need to be famous to be a mentor?

A mentor doesn’t have to be famous or accomplished. They can also be someone young and inexperienced who is in the early stages of their career and who is committed to developing their own skills.

A true mentor wants to be there for someone else, and isn’t expecting anything in return.

In some ways, a mentor is like a coach.

By definition, mentoring is one mentor supporting one protégé.

So… who is the coach?

A coach works with a group of individuals across various levels of a business.

Our role as mentors is to offer advice (a sounding board) as well as challenge our protégés.

A coach will provide support and encouragement but will focus on developing the protégés’ leadership and team building skills, rather than helping them to build a skill set within their field.

For example, we can help to build a protégé’s confidence when it comes to presenting to project teams, or we can help them to become more aware of their own strengths and weaknesses in order to improve themselves.

The key takeaways

  • Mentors are generally more experienced and often have more knowledge of the specific field the mentee is looking to learn about or excel in.
  • Coaches are usually involved in helping an individual achieve certain goals in other areas of their lives, such as productivity, relationships, or personal development.

6 Ways to Improve Communication in the Workplace

1. Use body language when communicating on the phone or in person.

Body language is an important, nonverbal way to communicate with others. When communicating on the phone or in person, body language can help you get your point across more effectively.

Using appropriate body language can help you be more persuasive and get your point across to the other person. It can also make you feel more confident during a conversation and make it easier for the listener to respond positively to what you’re saying.

We should develop good habits, such as looking at people when they speak, shaking their hands when we meet them for the first time (or pretending to do that while observing social distancing), and keeping our arms uncrossed when talking or listening. These habits are not only polite but also subconsciously show that we are open-minded and confident about what we are saying.

2. Have a conversation, not an interrogation

The goal of the conversation is not to get all the information you need about a person, but to form a connection with them.

It is important to understand that people are not machines, and they should be treated as people. Sometimes when you are talking to them, they might be nervous or shy. People like these conversations because they feel more personal and real than an interrogation does.

When having a conversation with someone new, it’s important that you start by asking open-ended questions. These types of questions allow them to talk more freely about their interests and what they think about certain topics that interest them most.

3. Embrace humour to break the ice and improve workplace relationships.

Humour is not a major part of the workplace culture. However, it can be an effective way to bond with colleagues and break the ice in a conversation.

The idea behind humour is to use it sparingly to avoid coming across as annoying or disrespectful. Humour has been shown to improve workplace relationships, help people cope with stress, and make them more creative.

4. Get over your fear of being wrong.

There is no perfect answer in life. Trying to find the right answer all the time is just exhausting.

What is important is that you have opinions and that you stick with them. If you are not sure of something, then it’s okay to say “I don’t know.” There is nothing wrong with being wrong every now and then. It’s okay to be wrong because it’s not all about being right, but instead about learning from your mistakes and improving future decisions.

5. Eliminate distractions so you can focus on what’s important.

We all know that when at work (or working from home), it can become difficult to avoid becoming engaged in personal tasks during the working day.

We react to the many distractions around us – like the continuous pinging of incoming email, or pop up notifications on our smartphones.

This demonstrates how easily distracted we are. One of the best ways to eliminate distractions is to cut yourself off from social media. Social media apps are notorious for making us feel compelled to constantly check them. Even if you don’t have them open, they can drain your energy and make you feel like you need to be doing something else at all times.

One easy way to reduce distractions is by simply eliminating your social media apps from your phone or computer altogether.

6. Practice active listening for better understanding of others’ thoughts.

Active listening is crucial for gaining a full understanding of what other people are thinking. When someone is talking to you, it is important to focus on the conversation, and not be distracted by your outside thoughts. This can be especially difficult if you are naturally introverted. However, even if this is the case, through practice and effort, it becomes easier to actively listen to what others are saying.

The key takeaways

  • Communicate – use body language
  • Conversation, not interrogation
  • Embrace humour as ice breaker
  • Get over fear of being wrong
  • Eliminate distractions
  • Practice active listening

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