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Methods of promoting a service which encourages innovation and creativity in a positive and realistic manner

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Having a workplace culture that is open, transparent and values the communication of ideas can ensure that innovation and creativity thrive and that services, processes and ways of working improve over time.

To create such a culture, you should encourage and promote the sharing of ideas, particularly those that perceive and tackle an issue in a new and different way. By responding positively to the ideas of others, you are able to explore better ways of doing things, whereas a negative response (such as apathy or ridicule) can discourage creativity and innovation.

Some methods that can be used to encourage innovation and creativity in a positive and realistic manner are included below.

Feedback and suggestion procedures

You should have procedures in place to obtain feedback from others. This will include your complaints procedure but may also encompass other methods, such as a compliments book, suggestions box or staff surveys. Informally asking others their opinions of the services that you run can also be beneficial.

By inviting feedback, you are demonstrating that you are receptive to new ideas and that the opinions of others are valued and will be taken seriously.

Community involvement

Similarly, involving the community in service operations and development can lead to new ideas. Focus groups that are comprised of staff, service users, their friends and family and other stakeholders can bring a different perspective to how things are done. The leader of the focus group should ensure that all parties are clear about the goals and positive about the outcomes.

Community impact

Perhaps the most important impact of community involvement is that it opens a two-way dialogue between the individuals running the service and those that are affected by it. Not only do managers gain valuable insights that can be used to inform future decisions and policy but any changes can be communicated directly to the participants. Being active with the community also builds positive working relationships and bonds of trust.

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