According to new study of 1,000 UK workplaces conducted by RADA in Business, the commercial subsidiary of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, that vast majority of workplaces apparently fail to create a culture that promotes experimentation, creativity and/or innovation in the eyes of their staff, despite a widespread consensus among employees that businesses would benefit from the intake of fresh ideas and innovative ways of working.

The report reveals that 81% of UK workplaces have failed to create such a culture, and this is beginning to cause concern among the survey’s respondents who feel that businesses are suffering as a direct result, with 24% saying that their workplace is desperately in need of new ideas and fresh thinking in order to overcome current problems and progress in a positive manner.

This lack of innovation within the office environment is attributed to a number of factors. 21% of respondents admit a reluctance to bring ideas to the table due to a belief that nobody wants to hear them, while 18% say that when they do make their ideas known, they are rarely if ever implemented.

Worryingly as much as 16% of the UK workforce asserts that new ideas are in fact treated with suspicion and criticism rather than welcome, while 15% accuse their superiors of actively discouraging innovation.

It was also revealed that government workplaces seem to have to most damaging effect upon the ability of the workforce to apply themselves creatively, as cited by 21% of respondents, while those working in IT (29%) and financial services (26%) most struggle to have their voices heard in an environment often dominated by a few “loud voices”.

As such, RADA in Business is advising UK companies to apply a few techniques long-present in the theatrical world to their business environment and operations in an effort to combat this apparently widespread shortage of innovative thinking. Kevin Chapman, Director of RADA in Business, explains:

“It’s concerning to see how many people feel that creativity and innovation aren’t encouraged in their role – especially when there are simple techniques available to help companies to support and tap into the power of imagination for solving problems or developing new ways of working as a team.

“In the same way that a theatre director works with their cast of actors to experiment with different ways to tell a story, business leaders can benefit from improvising with their teams, which is a key element to unlocking greater creativity.

Rather than promoting individualism and ‘showing off’, improvisation is a surprisingly effective tool to create better team bonds and understanding.

“We encourage businesses to give space to play with new ideas without being overly critical. Adopting an attitude of enthusiastic curiosity towards every idea that you come up with defies your critical voice and may lead the way to new innovations.’’

Sam Bonson

Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. He is currently working as a content writer, journalist & editor as he continues to expand his horizons.
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