Company culture is stifling employee creativity and stopping business innovation, according to new research by RADA in Business, the corporate arm of the famous London drama school. Examining how fresh ideas and new opinions are accepted by bosses, RADA discovered that workers don’t feel encouraged by their bosses to speak freely or experiment.
81% of workplace staff are discouraged by management when it comes to new ideas, which is having an effect have failed to create a culture that encourages new ideas and experimentation. Many employees feel that businesses are suffering as a result, with just under a quarter saying their workplace is desperately in need of new ideas and fresh thinking to overcome current problems.
Just over one in five employees said that they didn’t believe anyone wanted to hear their ideas, while 18% even said that when they put their ideas forward, they were rarely listened to. As many as 16% of workers said that any new idea would actually be treated with suspicion and criticism, while 15% of people believed their business leaders actively discouraged innovation.
In response to this ‘innovation gap’, RADA in Business has been working with leading UK companies to transfer dramatic techniques, such as play and improvisation, from a theatrical setting to a business environment.
“It’s concerning to see how many people feel that creativity and innovation aren’t encouraged in their role,” said Kevin Chapman, Director of RADA in Business. “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.”
Treating the office as your own stage, the team are teaching workers the power of improvisation, encouraging team work and synchronicity rather than just encouraging people how to show off.
“We encourage businesses to give space to play with new ideas without being overly critical,” continued Chapman. “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.’’