Who would have guessed it: that inside most IT experts beats the hearts of sensitive, creative souls?
IT professionals are artists by nature, states Shailesh Kumar, senior vice president of engineering at workplace productivity platform developer ClickUp. “They need autonomy and opportunity to do their best work.”
Creativity flows from engineering teams when they're given a problem to solve, the tools needed to solve challenges and the space to do things the way they feel is right, Kumar says. “When engineers are granted room to come up with solutions themselves, they're able to use creativity to come up with some of the most incredible solutions imaginable,” he adds. On the other hand, when creativity is stifled, the end product usually suffers.
Nurturing Creativity Through Ownership
The moment you give IT teams ownership of a solution, you put them in the driver seat, says Sai Nagboth, managing director of technology at product studio Altir. “All employees love ownership and a sense of accomplishment,” he notes. “Creativity brings excitement, new energy, on a regular basis by keeping the teams more active and satisfied.”
The best way to boost an IT team's creativity is to give its members the freedom to independently solve problems and implement solutions, Nagboth advises. He suggests encouragement, guidance, and establishing high-level guardrails, such as following best practices. “This allows teams to experience new challenges, operate quickly on their toes, and come up with creative solutions,” he explains.
Another approach, Nagboth says, is regularly giving teams fresh problems to solve -- not binding them to a single focus area for an extended period. “This allows them to experience new challenges, operate quickly on their toes, and come up with creative solutions.”
Promote experimentation, urges Dan Kirsch, managing director at Techstrong Research. Many IT teams are focused on creating best practices, he notes. Yet, in many cases, such practices are based on nothing more than gut feelings that simply happened to work. “Instead, challenge teams to find better, smarter, faster, and cheaper ways to get IT projects done,” Kirsch recommends.