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Fostering creativity in trucking

July 18, 2022
Fostering a culture of creativity for your staff is the foundation of innovation. Here are 5 tips to break down creative barriers.

At a recent Corcentric symposium, Duncan Wardle, former head of innovation and creativity at Disney, told listeners, “We are born with amazing imaginations, but we are taught to stop asking why.”

Wardle said that barriers to creativity include a lack of time, being risk averse, stopping ideas, and having different definitions of creativity. For the trucking industry to thrive, it must embrace innovative solutions stemming from a culture fostering creativity.

Companies should assess their culture to determine if creativity is being stifled or encouraged. Fortunately, if barriers exist, Wardle noted five ways to overcome them.

  1. Build on ideas. Instead of squelching individual ideas, which discourages others to share their own, make the idea bigger. Do that by making it the team’s or organization’s idea. That way, you’re more likely to get it done and build up on a creative conception.
  2. Practice mindfulness. Giving yourself time to think and ideate helps generate thoughtful ideas—and always be prepared to capture thoughts. Individually, keep a notepad nearby to jot down ideas on the fly. Write down everyone’s ideas, no matter how big, in group brainstorming sessions, as well.
  3. Play “What If?” Consider the common way to tackle problems in the current state. While remaining ethical, consider ways to break conventions to address the issue. Don’t be afraid to make your “What If?” audacious.
  4. Embrace diversity. Creativity leading to innovation is founded on a diversity of thoughts and backgrounds. Connect with someone who doesn't work in your business and allows you to ask questions and present audacious ideas. They are more likely to offer a different perspective, and they can help you stop thinking in your usual way.
  5. Encourage bravery. Ensure the culture is that employees can offer new ideas without being shut down. Too much conformity to opinions may mean people do not feel safe sharing new and innovative approaches.

People are creative, and companies across industries should ensure workers are encouraged to think outside the box. When creativity is fostered, employees will move from thinking reductively—explaining why something can’t happen—to thinking expansively—working together toward innovative solutions for the good of the business.

Jane Clark is vice president of member services for NationaLease. In this position, she is focused on managing the member services operation, as well as working to strengthen member relationships, reduce member costs, and improve collaboration within the NationaLease supporting groups. Prior to joining NationaLease, Jane served as Area Vice President for Randstad, one of the nation’s largest recruitment agencies, and before that, she served in management posts with QPS Companies, Pro Staff, and Manpower, Inc.

About the Author

Jane Clark | Senior VP of Operations

Jane Clark is Senior Vice President, Operations for NationaLease. Prior to joining NationaLease, Jane served as Area Vice President for Randstad, one of the nation’s largest recruitment agencies, and before that, she served in management posts with QPS Companies, Pro Staff, and Manpower, Inc.

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