Netflix CEO Reed Hastings once said that their biggest competitor was not Amazon Prime or YouTube, but the human tendency to sleep. To overcome that and to enhance user-experience, Netflix came up with creative ideas and adopted a design-oriented approach. Everything from Netflix’s ‘skip intro’ button to the dark interface is geared towards that.

Creativity and innovation can push you to take a detour from conventional ways of living and working. For instance, COVID-19 has brought about revolutionary changes to our workplaces. Many of us never imagined we'd be able to attend meetings and collaborate with our teammates from home without meeting them in person. But most of us are quite settled by now and, in many cases, more efficient than ever. 

The COVID-19 barrier was thrust upon most of you, but even otherwise you may encounter many barriers to creativity and innovation at your workplace. 

Harappa Education’s Unleashing Creativity course will help you understand how creativity can boost your performance at work and how you too can adopt a design-thinking approach to solve problems.

But to be creative, you'll have to get past some creative barriers. Let’s look at some of the common creative barriers you might face at work and even in your personal life along with the ways to overcome different roadblocks.

Common Barriers To Creative Thinking

1. Distraction

Every night before sleeping, we’re bombarded with social media notifications. Distractions like these can act as creative barriers that can disrupt our train of thought. Our attention span is affected by the constant influx of information and it is difficult to concentrate on one thing for long. What you need is clear headspace and time to come up with creative solutions.

2. Lack Of Knowledge

An accountant or a doctor may not be able to come up with creative ways to implement marketing strategies because these professionals have other areas of expertise. Similarly, lack of knowledge or research can hinder the ability to go beyond what we already know. Reading online blogs, books and watching documentaries are some of the great ways to unleash your creativity. Different subjects offer unique perspectives and you’ll gain something new from each of them. 

3. Rigid Thinking

Among significant barriers to creative thinking is rigidity or having a fixed mindset. Preconceived ideas impair the ability to think in an unconventional way or come up with out-of-the-box solutions. Another problem that can arise is when we start to think about the idea in terms of its source.

We may have judged the owner of the idea on the basis of religious beliefs or gender and this can seriously affect the way we perceive the idea. It may be a good idea, but because we’re unable to move past the source, it could become a missed opportunity.

4. Perfectionism

Many people find it hard to explore new ways of doing the same type of work or adopting a new system altogether. This is because they feel like it may affect the quality of their work and will be less than perfect.  

As a perfectionist, you may wish to stick with the old ways to mitigate errors, but genuinely creative ideas only emerge when you break some rules. Perfectionism is one of the barriers to creativity in entrepreneurship where aspiring start-ups go all out to implement new ideas.

5. Criticism

One of the things that stop us from taking an initiative or voicing our opinions is criticism. Although in many cases, criticism can help you improve, sometimes it can also be discouraging. It may put you off if you have a new idea to share with your team and the response isn’t what you expected. But take it as constructively as possible and rework your idea to deliver something better. 

Barriers to creativity and innovation in organizations may be related to your people skills or the ability to take initiative. Team members can help bring out the best in you if you get comfortable with the idea of collaboration. Harappa Education’s course Unleashing Creativity will teach you ways to navigate different creative barriers and how you can use your imagination to discover improved solutions. 

Explore topics such as Creative Thinking, How to be Creative at Work & Creative Problem Solving from our Harappa Diaries blog section.

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