How to unlock the creative potential of employees (and why it is important!)

Jacob Lennheden
Published in
5 min readApr 26, 2017


By Adrian Bertoli

The one thing businesses and employers all seem to agree on is that creativity is crucial for surviving and thriving in today’s business world. The catch is, there is more to fostering creativity in the workplace than rearranging the workspace with beanbag chairs and ping-pong tables. The key is to unlock the creative potential of individual employees.

The discussions around workplace began around the time when Google set the trend of ‘creative’ workspaces by developing an amusement park type workplace including twisty slides into their San Francisco headquarters in 2008 [1]. These types of perks are no doubt great, and will boost morale, but having a coffee bar, nap rooms and foosball tables won’t necessarily create the kind of workplace culture that encourages personal and strategic risk-taking, characteristics required for creativity to blossom[2]. Continuing to associate creativity with such workplace perks can also overshadow the importance of embedding creativity in a company’s ethos and runs the risk of turning creativity into a fad[3].

Workplace setup is only one part of the puzzle. More importantly, it should be considered a priority to foster a culture of creativity in the workplace. Creativity is about more than just re-organizing the workplace. Creativity is a mindset. Ultimately it comes down to the individuals working in that space. AT CINC we recognize that developing this mindset in employees can be difficult. In our experience, the major hurdle is that people tend to underestimate their ability to be creative, so we work to change this. People often fail to recognize that creativity is within all of us — it’s an inherent part of being human. A likely cause for people’s misconceptions about creativity might stem from the term often being used as synonymous with the arts, such as painters and musicians. You might think to yourself that you don’t have a creative bone in your body. Well you’re wrong, and we can help you change that mindset. Although it is true that creativity might come easy to some, it is not reserved for a select few geniuses. In fact, everyone can (re)discover their creative side and tap into it. Creativity is a skill that can be taught and anyone can benefit from creativity training. All you need are the right tools.

And that is what we do here at the Copenhagen Institute of Neurocreativity (CINC). We believe that creative skills lie at the heart of innovation, are crucial personal traits and are also vital for company culture. Our work in neuroscience shows that all individuals can enhance their creative ability through training. What we can do is help businesses ensure their employees and bosses have the tools needed to turn challenges into opportunities.

Having the right tools and techniques is important as it is now well-recognised that skills like creativity are essential for organisations to compete, thrive and grow in the 21st century. Research by the World Economic Forum shows that organizations that are able to move beyond ‘the business as usual’ model are those that can foster disruptive innovation and develop game-changing business models. Their list of the ten most valuable skills employees will need to match job requirements in 2020 are Complex Problem Solving, Critical Thinking, and Creativity. These skills will be essential to solving complex problems and thinking outside the box in an increasingly automated world.

To help with this, we are launching a new 2-day intensive course in NeuroCreativity training entitled ‘Managing the Creative Mindset’. What sets this course, and the work at CINC apart, is that it is built on a solid foundation in the neuroscience of creativity. Researchers at CINC have spent years studying and understanding how the brain works when we conceive new ideas and solve complex problems. Our studies have shown that including this information as part of the training process increases creative learning[4]. Based on this research, this course was developed to help create the best creativity training in the shortest amount of time. The tools and techniques you will develop with help you foster creative awareness and a creative mindset, skills necessary to increase your creative capacity and problem solving abilities.

By the end of the course participants will be equipped with the tools and techniques necessary to foster creativity in practice. This will help with generating innovative ideas and solving complex problems faster. The tools and techniques can help grow your business by teaching you how to lead and facilitate basic creative idea and problem solving sessions, effectively applying creativity in a business context.

Creative organisations perform better, are more efficient and more profitable. This of course extends beyond the way the workplace is set up and rests upon the creativity of the individuals, teams as well as the organisation’s leadership[5]. Research has demonstrated that as a more creative employee, you can make substantial contributions to your organization’s growth and competitiveness[6].

To achieve this, we also offer a range of inspirational talks, lectures and workshops. Want to get a brief introduction to the Neuroscience of creativity? Want to see who in the office is best at divergent thinking? Are some people more creative than others? Can creativity be trained? Does alcohol really make you more creative? Book an inspirational talk and get introduced to the neuroscience of creativity. CINC also offers a range of expert lectures about the neuroscience of creativity. These can be booked as separate talks, mixed together or integrated as part of a longer interactive workshop. Lectures are about 45 minutes long, and workshops last about 3 hours. Topics include the neuroscience of creativity, creativity in business, and frugal innovation and creativity.

The ‘Managing the Creative Mindset’ 2-day course runs from 18th and 19th of May 2017 in Copenhagen, Denmark. This course, along with the other services we offer are something tangible we can do for your company. In one-and-a-half days your business and employees can benefit from creativity training from our experts. If this is something that might be right for you, more information on what CINC has to offer, the course plus registration can be found on our website:

Adrian Bertoli is a communications intern at CINC.




[4] Onarheim, B. & Friis-Olivarius, M. (2013) Applying the neuroscience of creativity to creativity training. Frontiers in human neuroscience.


[6] Baer, M., & Oldham, G. R. (2006). The curvilinear relation between experienced creative time pressure and creativity: Moderating effects of openness to experience and support for creativity. Journal of Applied Psychology, 91, 963–970.



Jacob Lennheden

Nomad, researcher, writer, social entrepreneur. I specialise in the intersection of technology and society. Helping decision-makers navigate uncertain futures.