I was looking over my credit card statement not so long ago and noticed that Amazon was labeled as a book retailer. Wow. Although I know that Amazon started in the bookseller space in the early 90s, I don’t know anyone who would describe them as such today.
Jeff Bezos was an unqualified success when Amazon went public in 1997, long before he rolled out a streaming platform, Prime memberships, and went on to become the largest retailer on the internet. Bezos has many admirers, and maybe just as many detractors, but it’s hard to deny him credit for big ideas. In fact, while still in high school Bezos developed the Dream Institute, a center that promoted creative thinking in students.
The multifamily industry is on the precipice of innovation and there is plenty of opportunity to craft solutions that were unthinkable just twenty years ago. Whether we stimulate or suffocate fresh ideas is at the crux of the problem for many leaders in our industry.
The antidote to creativity lies in thinking you know (or should know) all the answers. Leaders who seek innovation invite their team members into the conversation as partners in problem-solving AND in dream making. A culture of creativity is best served by a collaborative mindset.
Here are a few other considerations for growing next-level critical dreamers.
Culture of Creativity
- Invest in education. Team members need the opportunity to grow their knowledge and skills beyond their current roles, and even in fields unrelated to property management, to round out their expertise and open their eyes to connections that could lead to breakthroughs.
- Add creative thinking skills to your curriculum. Some people are naturally creative thinkers, but it is a skill that can be taught and nurtured through an intentional learning program and fueled with stimulating brainstorming or out-of-industry field trips such as museums, art galleries, or tours. Fresh perspective sometimes requires fresh surroundings.
- Consider personal motivation. What do your team member find fascinating, enjoyable, or personally challenging? How might you use that to set each team member up to work on problems that fit this sweet spot?
If you only ask questions to which you already know the answers, you can only hope to make team members learn exactly what you already know.
And where is the innovation in that?
What are you doing to build a culture of creativity in your organization? Share your stories with us!
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About Mike Brewer
My mission is to tease out the human potential in the multifamily space.