How Do You Encourage Creative Thinking in Your Organization?

A while back, Michael Hyatt shared a list of interview questions about leadership. These questions got me thinking. I’ll be sharing my thoughts in a series of posts here on my blog.

How do you encourage creative thinking within your organization?

Last week I sat through a demo that one of our employees at 3Pillar was giving, showing off our new 3D printer. That’s right, we have invested in and acquired a three-dimensional printer.

Now, if you know anything about our business you may be asking why. What does 3D printing have to do with being in the software development space? You build digital products! You innovate software products! Printing? 3D printing?

Well if you’re guessing that it’s just a cool toy, you’re kind of right. The reality is that we acquired this 3D printer to fuel creative thought. To fuel innovative thinking.

One of the staples of our business, and quite frankly all businesses, is creative thinking and innovative thought. Employees who are mechanical, who just get things done, and who don’t experiment are employees who aren’t leading and aren’t propelling the business forward.

We invested in a 3D printer because we wanted to fuel this type of creative, forward thinking. We want people to think about things differently and to explore how can they use a 3D printer to take our business to the next level.

I don’t have high expectations that we will trip over something that can be core to our business model. But I do have high expectations that by giving our employees that opportunity to play with something that’s a little bit leading edge and that’s a little bit cool will not only increase the excitement and the morale of the organization, but also the creativity, innovative thought, and out-of-the-box thinking that leads to the next generation of companies. Then that mindset will be further embedded within our culture.

That is more than worth the small investment we’ve made in a 3D printer.

How do you encourage creative thinking at your organization? What’s an example of something you’ve done lately?


  1. There is a co-working space (IndyHall) in the city. I’ve been making an effort to make the drive down there once a month. Being in a space where writers, designers, developers, and other creatives are all working for different clients using different tools really helps me think outside of the box and learn from others’ finding and ideas.

    I’ve found it’s extremely valuable for me to browse, Hacker News, and other community news sites. Seeing what other people are creating and running into different ideas gets the juices flowing for me.

    1. David DeWolf says:

      Collaboration is absolutely a key to driving creative thought. Creativity fuels more creativity. Brainstorming with others and digesting information from a multitude of sources is a great way to fuel innovation in your own life.

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