Time for Innovation: How to Inspire Your Team’s Most Creative Thinking

With the right rituals and tools, you can inspire your team’s out-of-the-box thinking.

Julia Tsoi
The Startup
Published in
5 min readOct 1, 2020

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Illustration of creativity
Credit: Hiwow

As a design strategist, I work closely with the business owner to design programs and interactive sessions to unleash teams’ creativity. The client often shares that the team is comfortable with their current environment yet dares to challenge the status quo and develop original ideas. Day in and day out, every day seems to be a loop for them, and the leaders sense the vital need to break the routine.

“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while.” Steve Jobs

Everyone is born with creativity. And it is all about how we can knock and open the door for them to come in. So being a facilitator, we create a safe environment for people to embrace the discomfort and develop the craziest ideas.

Below I have summarized five ways to inspire participants to think out of the box and be ready to innovate.

1. Set the scene

Warm up the room. Tell your participants the goal of brainstorming is to go for quantity, not for quality. Be open to the wild idea and give no limit to themselves.

Do tell stories:

  • Honeypot and helicopter: How might honey and bear lead to the solution of the frozen ice on the power line
  • Urinal flies: How might adding a small sticker on the urinal could save profound clearing cost
  • Mirror Mirror: How might a mirror stop people’s complains about the waiting time of the slow elevator

There is nothing called stupid ideas. Let people trust the process and develop as many ideas as possible.

2. Create urgency

People tend to chill and procrastinate when they have extra time — it is human nature for comfort. So do make sure…

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Julia Tsoi
The Startup

Design Strategist @ Ogilvy | Apple Developer Academy Alumni. Bird without legs and I would always fly high. https://juliatsoi.com/