Creative teams are usually the people that businesses look to for innovative ideas and a fresh perspective. But if you’re managing the team then you need to know how to encourage and inspire these ideas. We’ve put together some tips for managing a creative team towards innovative ideas.

Keep your team up to date

To help inspire innovative ideas, your team needs to feel motivated and like they’re an important part of the business. Employees that are just given work to do without understanding why they’re doing it or what they’re working towards aren’t going to feel motivated or connected.

Keep your creative team in the loop about the business’ plans, goals, and strategies. Make them aware of their part in the business and how their work contributes to meeting long term goals. They’ll be much more inspired to come up with ideas if they understand the bigger picture of what’s happening in the business and feel like their contribution is valued.

Teamwork and collaboration

The best innovative ideas usually don’t come from one person, fully-fledged and ready to implement. You need your creative team to work together, to support each other, and collaborate on projects. It shouldn’t be a competition between your team to come up with the best ideas or do the most work — of course, a bit of competition can be motivating, but overall you want them to work together.

Your team needs to be made up of a range of people with different skills and perspectives so that they can bring different approaches to the table. Set different team members up to work together on different projects or goals, so that they get to know each other and how each of them works.

This is especially important if you’re managing a remote team where they don’t have much in-person contact. Team building will ensure that they can work effectively together, encourage and support each other to come up with innovative ideas and solutions.

Set them up with the right tools

Ensure your team has access to the best equipment, tools, and software that enables them to be able to work efficiently and productively. This includes everything from a well laid out desk space, the right desk chair, and a high specification computer. For creative roles, a MacBook is usually the best option — to save money you can invest in a refurbished MacBook and configure your own so that it meets your teams’ exact requirements.

Software is also an important part of setting your team up. Use tools that allow them to collaborate and communicate effectively: set up cloud storage so that they can access documents at any time, use instant messaging for quick conversations, and project management tools to create your own workflows and processes.

You need to make sure that your creative team has everything they need so they aren’t held back by poor equipment or miscommunication that takes up their time and thoughts, freeing them up to come up with innovative ideas.

Encourage them to share ideas

If you’re looking for innovative ideas from your team then you need to give them the opportunity to come up with them and share them. Ideas shouldn’t just come from team members in senior positions — everyone’s input is valuable. Your team needs to feel safe and confident to voice their ideas and opinions without any judgment or criticism.

Arrange regular meetings or workshops where everyone on the team has an equal opportunity to suggest ideas or thoughts on a piece of work, project, or issue that you’re currently facing. There will always be some people that are more vocal than others, but encourage everyone to speak and make it clear that no one is going to dismiss any suggestions.

It’s also important that your team feels like they can share their ideas at any time. Try to keep your door (physical or virtual) open as much as possible and encourage them to come to you at any point with ideas. If you’re often in meetings or unavailable you could create a form where your team can submit their ideas for review.

To manage a creative team towards innovative ideas you need to encourage them to share their thoughts, opinions, and suggestions as much as possible. As well as ensuring that they have everything they need to work effectively and collaborate with each other so that they aren’t held back in any way.

Rodney Laws is an online entrepreneur who has been building online businesses for over a decade. He knows what it’s like to see websites both succeed and fail – even the best business ideas can fall short. Rodney uses his experience to help fellow entrepreneurs start and run their own companies. Find out how he can help you by visiting or heading over to @EcomPlatformsio.

Creative team stock photo by G-Stock Studio/Shutterstock