Creative thinking in leaders Creative thinking in leaders

Creative thinking in leaders
31 May 2015

Some even claim that using the other hand increases your self-control so you are less prone to verbal or physical angry outbursts. The elderly are actively recommended to do this as a way of retaining good mental health.

Don’t panic. I’m not going to ask you to all start sketching every day. You can swap which hand you use for some of your simple daily tasks such as brushing your teeth, pouring liquid or stirring a drink.

There are arguments in research that we are dextral by nature and training to be ambidextrous actually reduces the ability of our dominant side. You could also argue that using your non-dominant hand is another form of brain training, so are the benefits achieved due to engaging parts of the brain you don’t use, or just learning a new skill.

Creativity in payroll

As with many things there are conflicting opinions and research about which approach is best. I do know that many artists who teach, incorporate working with the non-dominant hand to encourage and open up creativity in their students and themselves. None of the research has been able to prove or disprove the increase in creativity this is supposed to bring about.

You may now be asking why I am talking about creativity in a payroll publication. There is a lot of research that insists the greatest entrepreneurs are creative thinkers. We shouldn’t just link creative thinking to the arts and restrict the other benefits.

The definition of ‘creative thinking’ is to look at problems or situations from a fresh perspective, leading to seemingly unorthodox solutions, or ‘thinking outside the box’. It is also supposed to help you deal with change more effectively. The right brain is responsible for creativity and the left brain is for logic and order. By engaging the ‘messy’ side you don’t struggle as much when order is disrupted by a change.

Left vs right brain

Payroll is a world of logic, order and rules and highly creative thinkers are known to be rule breakers who generally won’t conform to traditions and norms of business. This would generally be seen as a problem in payroll. However, let us not forget that we still have our left brain engaged and coming up with innovative solutions to challenges does not mean that we are going to flout legislation around PAYE and employment law.

What is does mean is that we can come up with solutions to meet the challenges of operating those laws in our organisations, which allow us to move away from the ‘we’ve always done it that way’ mentality - an absolute must for high performing teams and continuous improvement.

Creative thinking has been linked to career advancement and according to Adam Sicinski it also links to your quality of life. Sicinski argues that creative thinkers take daily steps to enhance their ability to think in new and unique ways. He lists actions such as journaling and mind-mapping, learning from people and situations (there is no failure, only a learning opportunity) and focusing on the process, not just the end goal.

Blockers to creative thinking

He also lists some blockers to the creative thinking process, which can be crippling in terms of allowing innovation. He suggests that external blockers and sensory distractions, such as a messy environment and too much clutter, bad smells, too many people, sounds or uncomfortable temperature can also slow down the thinking process.

Fear is a big one - fear of criticism, failure, making a mistake and breaking the rules. Emotions are another, such as anger, frustration and being overwhelmed. Thoughts can also act as a blocker -indecision, pessimism, thinking too practically or logically, premature judgement and a lack of belief, confidence, energy or a concrete vision or inspiration.

You may still be wondering what this has to do with payroll

Well, the answer is relatively simple. The business world has changed and if you want to promote your ideas and your department, you can no longer rely on your efficiency and payroll knowledge alone.

Business leaders will want you to be able to display many of these behaviours or talents when working and facing change. Many businesses have caught onto the fact that the engagement level of their employees can increase or decrease the bottom line. High performing teams are expected to work in an environment where innovation and improvement is a constant.

Everyone has the ability to be part of the success or failure of their function and business. Ultimately this is seen to be a more rewarding way of working for employees and organisations.

It is tough for a lot of people to change the way they think at work (or even start to think at all in terms of how they work), as traditional management techniques and resistance to change will have, overtime, knocked any innovation out of people, but it really does reap rewards.

I suspect many payroll professionals will not consider themselves to be remotely entrepreneurial because that is not the traditional personality type that works in our industry, however we are out there and looking at the talents listed above, I find it hard to believe that we don’t all display at least some of them, some of the time. No one is a million miles away from working this way.

Coupling this with the knowledge and skills already inherent in the payroll industry - and yes I do mean your skills and knowledge - could really take this industry forward, starting in your own workplace.

By Jeanette Hibbert

I have recently been completing an art exercise to use my non-dominant hand more. This is supposed to engage the part of your brain responsible for creativity and innovation. Research has found that using your non-dominant hand increase creativity and memory. It has the added benefit of improving the neural pathways in your brain and building new ones

Some even claim that using the other hand increases your self-control so you are less prone to verbal or physical angry outbursts. The elderly are actively recommended to do this as a way of retaining good mental health.

Don’t panic. I’m not going to ask you to all start sketching every day. You can swap which hand you use for some of your simple daily tasks such as brushing your teeth, pouring liquid or stirring a drink.

There are arguments in research that we are dextral by nature and training to be ambidextrous actually reduces the ability of our dominant side. You could also argue that using your non-dominant hand is another form of brain training, so are the benefits achieved due to engaging parts of the brain you don’t use, or just learning a new skill.

Creativity in payroll

As with many things there are conflicting opinions and research about which approach is best. I do know that many artists who teach, incorporate working with the non-dominant hand to encourage and open up creativity in their students and themselves. None of the research has been able to prove or disprove the increase in creativity this is supposed to bring about.

You may now be asking why I am talking about creativity in a payroll publication. There is a lot of research that insists the greatest entrepreneurs are creative thinkers. We shouldn’t just link creative thinking to the arts and restrict the other benefits.

The definition of ‘creative thinking’ is to look at problems or situations from a fresh perspective, leading to seemingly unorthodox solutions, or ‘thinking outside the box’. It is also supposed to help you deal with change more effectively. The right brain is responsible for creativity and the left brain is for logic and order. By engaging the ‘messy’ side you don’t struggle as much when order is disrupted by a change.

Left vs right brain

Payroll is a world of logic, order and rules and highly creative thinkers are known to be rule breakers who generally won’t conform to traditions and norms of business. This would generally be seen as a problem in payroll. However, let us not forget that we still have our left brain engaged and coming up with innovative solutions to challenges does not mean that we are going to flout legislation around PAYE and employment law.

What is does mean is that we can come up with solutions to meet the challenges of operating those laws in our organisations, which allow us to move away from the ‘we’ve always done it that way’ mentality - an absolute must for high performing teams and continuous improvement.

Creative thinking has been linked to career advancement and according to Adam Sicinski it also links to your quality of life. Sicinski argues that creative thinkers take daily steps to enhance their ability to think in new and unique ways. He lists actions such as journaling and mind-mapping, learning from people and situations (there is no failure, only a learning opportunity) and focusing on the process, not just the end goal.

Blockers to creative thinking

He also lists some blockers to the creative thinking process, which can be crippling in terms of allowing innovation. He suggests that external blockers and sensory distractions, such as a messy environment and too much clutter, bad smells, too many people, sounds or uncomfortable temperature can also slow down the thinking process.

Fear is a big one - fear of criticism, failure, making a mistake and breaking the rules. Emotions are another, such as anger, frustration and being overwhelmed. Thoughts can also act as a blocker -indecision, pessimism, thinking too practically or logically, premature judgement and a lack of belief, confidence, energy or a concrete vision or inspiration.

You may still be wondering what this has to do with payroll

Well, the answer is relatively simple. The business world has changed and if you want to promote your ideas and your department, you can no longer rely on your efficiency and payroll knowledge alone.

Business leaders will want you to be able to display many of these behaviours or talents when working and facing change. Many businesses have caught onto the fact that the engagement level of their employees can increase or decrease the bottom line. High performing teams are expected to work in an environment where innovation and improvement is a constant.

Everyone has the ability to be part of the success or failure of their function and business. Ultimately this is seen to be a more rewarding way of working for employees and organisations.

It is tough for a lot of people to change the way they think at work (or even start to think at all in terms of how they work), as traditional management techniques and resistance to change will have, overtime, knocked any innovation out of people, but it really does reap rewards.

I suspect many payroll professionals will not consider themselves to be remotely entrepreneurial because that is not the traditional personality type that works in our industry, however we are out there and looking at the talents listed above, I find it hard to believe that we don’t all display at least some of them, some of the time. No one is a million miles away from working this way.

Coupling this with the knowledge and skills already inherent in the payroll industry - and yes I do mean your skills and knowledge - could really take this industry forward, starting in your own workplace.

By Jeanette Hibbert

I have recently been completing an art exercise to use my non-dominant hand more. This is supposed to engage the part of your brain responsible for creativity and innovation. Research has found that using your non-dominant hand increase creativity and memory. It has the added benefit of improving the neural pathways in your brain and building new ones