how to build a creative team

Creativity is an asset. But often creativity exists individually and not collectively. Here are a few things our team does at Kazi Studios to help us work creatively together.

An innovative team doesn’t just get the job done, but gets the job done better than others, faster and costs the company lesser money in the long run. Building such an A-team doesn’t happen overnight; you need to sharpen their innovative edge for months to get the maximum potential from each individual to move the team forward.

The first step in building such a team is selecting the right members. Every member needs to have a specific advantage on the team. You don’t want a group of people with the same set of skills brainstorming over an idea. You get a bunch of programmers to brainstorm over a problem, they’ll get you a highly sophisticated logical solution for the problem, but don’t expect to get a more creative solution from that.

Select people who aren’t alike. When I quit my old company to start my own venture here in Nepal, the CEO of my previous company there gave me golden advice: “You’re already good at thinking like yourself; you don’t need another you to join in. Get someone completely opposite; who has a different perspective than you, that way you guys will keep complimenting each other”. So I looked for people with different ideas. I didn’t hire people who would have the same skill set as myself; I looked at people who critiqued my ideas. Also having diverse people with different experiences and backgrounds brought about completely different perspective from their varied previous experiences.

Expand everyone’s comfort zone. Don’t get comfortable with the status quo. Once you start getting comfortable, your mind won’t go beyond the comfort zone. I try and do something different every month with my team. I have all my team mates change where they sit every now and then. I force our employees to change the usual frameworks they are used to everyday. That way, it forces them to think outside of their comfort zones, and helps keep their creative juices flowing.

Do some creative exercises together with your team. Search YouTube for creative team exercises and you’ll see a bunch of games you can play with your team that can get their creative juices flowing. If nothing else, just throw around random ideas to brainstorm and play around with. We at Kazi Studios always try something or the other every month. One month, we all tried to perfect the Michael Jackson moon walk. We videotaped ourselves moon walking and tried and improved it by the end of the month. Another month, we tried doing some goofy shuffling moves. Each one of us perfected different shuffling moves and we captured it for a final video at the end of the month. We had a lot of fun doing it, and it brought the team together too. It also forced us to go outside our comfort zones and act out in ways we never would have otherwise. This eventually broadens our minds to think outside the box.

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