1). Don’t be afraid to question business decisions
Groupthink is when a selection of people make an irrational decision in the pursuit of harmony.
The most famous example occurred way back in 1961, when the USA launched a disastrous invasion of the Bay of Pigs that significantly damaged President John F Kennedy’s reputation.
It later emerged every single person in the room at the time of the decision had misgivings about the plan, but groupthink saw them refuse to speak up.
Ensure the decisions you make for your business are for the right reasons and don’t be afraid to object.
2). Think outside the box
Blue sky thinking is not right for every situation, but it can be really useful to tease out new ideas, new ways of doing things and challenging the convention.
Encourage people to think outside the box and propose ideas even if they seem outlandish – they might just be the spark that lights the candle.
3). Democratise creativity
It is important to encourage creative strategies from everyone in the business, no matter their role. You could encourage anonymised creative suggestions – taking away any unconscious bias about where the idea came from and judging it on its merits.
4). Broaden the church
Not every team will have an army of creatives. Consider widening that team of contributors – you could include partners, suppliers, customers, advisors – that understand your business and want to see it succeed.
Encourage different types of people to be included in your business decisions, taking into account gender, ethnicity and age (among other things).
5). Seek external input
There are several trusted sources of independent advice out there who would be more than willing to contribute to the discussion. Sometimes an outside pair of eyes can spot something that you have missed. Try and seek guidance and analysis tailored to the creative industries in order to help you further.
6). Be bold
Don’t be afraid to make big decisions post-pandemic – many businesses have enjoyed considerable success during difficult times, simply by making a decision and going for it. Hewlett Packard, Fed Ex and Microsoft are among the many companies founded during recession who went on to great success.
7). Be strategic
You may be focusing on ensuring your business survives during this uncertain period, and there are a range of business support measures available to help you.
In the long term, though, it would be beneficial to start devising more significant changes of direction that will bear long-term successes, rather than short-term survival.
8). Lead but don’t dictate
We have talked a lot about being inclusive and encouraging opinions, but leaders still need to lead. Once all of the opinions have been heard, discussions held, and decisions taken place then you need to lead from the front and implement the chosen creative strategy.
9). Take the team with you
It will be a rocky road ahead but if you have embraced inclusive creative decision making you will have arrived at an innovative strategic plan. It is your job to lead it but make sure you take the team with you, keep them informed and let them share in the successes.
10). Don’t be afraid to stay the same
Having been through the full process, it may be that the right thing for your business is to carry on just as you are post-pandemic – that’s fine, and you will be stronger for having been through the process.
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