Mar 5, 2024


by Holly Christian

The Power of Creativity: Finding Opportunities to Foster Creativity in You and Your Organization

In today’s competitive and rapidly changing world, creativity plays a vital role in a business’s success.

“Can you deliver the most vibrant solutions we’ve never seen before?” That was the final interview question posed to us by a curious and deeply serious client.

The design team responded with a clear, confident, “Yes, absolutely,” and the client, Northeastern University, selected Little for the project. We made that commitment to Northeastern University as we emerged from the pandemic. The future was hazy, but the spirit, optimistic. Now, we proudly report that we delivered on our promise to an incredibly happy client, whose student population continues to rise year after year, exceeding their growth expectations.

This is the type of success story we love to share as design professionals who deliver Little’s promise of “Results Beyond Architecture” every day. As architects and designers, successfully leading another client toward their optimistic future, we apply creative processes and creative thinking to our clients’ businesses. We know the power of creativity, and we have the joy, honor, and responsibility of applying it as we address our clients’ biggest challenges—the ones discussed in the boardroom and the ones that keep them up at night.

“Creativity is intelligence having fun.”

Albert Einstein


Avoiding the status quo while moving forward and persevering in challenging times is a special trait of an effective leader. This trait requires one important skill — the ability to shift perspective.

As Astro Teller, the director of Google X, said, “Shifting perspective is more powerful than being smart.” Shifting perspective allows one to see things differently, helping you become more flexible and open minded in your thinking. It can bring the good into focus, elevate your mood, and all you to uncover new, creative solutions. You shift perspective by thinking or doing something differently to change yourself, your situation, or the people around you.


By taking small intentional steps toward creativity every day, individuals can create big change in their personal effectiveness, and within their organization. Leaning into creativity allows us to free ourselves, to think new, and to work through both small and large challenges. Here are five ways you can foster creativity in your daily processes and within your own team.

  1. Embrace a Creative Mindset Daily
    A creative mind is an open mind. Build your creative, mental muscle through games and strategies. Use the phrase, “I am trying something new” and then do it. Creative-thinking methods lead to new perspectives, so don’t let your preexisting beliefs block the flow of ideas.
  2. Be Curious and Stay Curious
    Read content from diverse authors, ask questions, and seek to find answers. Constantly consuming content to fuel your creative pursuits will keep your mind fresh and active. Like an athlete in the off-season, putting in consistent work will prepare you for future opportunities.
  3. Seek Varied Perspectives
    Reach out to people different from you for their insight. It may seem daunting, but undoubtedly, the results will be richer, more robust, and more unique. As our CEO Carol Rickard-Brideau emphasizes, “Our differences make us stronger than our similarities ever could.”
  4. Try the “Yes, and…” Approach
    The “yes, and…” approach encourages agreement. People build off one another’s ideas, as they resist the urge to shut down any idea at the start. It removes “no” from the table to ensure all ideas are heard. This method can be done in a fun exercise among teammates. Try it! You will be surprised at the positive outcomes.
  5. Own Your Creativity
    Enjoy the journey. People are often intimidated or scared of their own creativity. In my experience, most people do not readily identify as creative and believe their ideas are not creative enough to share. Squash the fear and challenge this mindset by embracing your unique talents and perspectives. Many times the most creative ideas are the simplest ones.

Creativity is a vital ingredient for success in the modern business landscape. It fuels innovation, enables adaptation, differentiates brands, enhances problem-solving, and drives customer empathy. By prioritizing creativity, organizations can navigate the complexities of today’s business environment and seize new opportunities for growth and success as they go into their optimistic futures.


Creativity fuels the generation of fresh thinking and groundbreaking ideas. It encourages employees to use their imaginations, challenge conventional wisdom, and develop visionary solutions to complex issues.

  1. Encourages Innovation
    Creativity is the foundation of innovation. Creativity is a mechanism by which we innovate, providing the spark that ignites the innovation process. Without creative thinking, it is challenging to identify new opportunities, develop unique products or services, or improve processes.
  2. Fosters Openness to Change
    Adapting to change is a requirement in today’s fast-paced, dynamic business landscape. Organization response to changing market conditions, customer preference, and technology advancements can be immediate.
  3. Stimulates Problem-Solving
    Creative problem solving allows organizations to focus on the horizon, looking ahead of the curve to new possibilities and opportunities.
  4. Engages Employees
    Encourage your employees to share ideas via open dialogue, surveys, and committees. They will become more vested in the organization’s growth and feel valued and motivated.
  5. Establishes Differentiators
    Creativity helps businesses stand out from the competition and offer memorable experiences to customers. By infusing creativity into their processes, products, services, spaces, and overall brand identity, companies can create a distinct and compelling brand image that resonates with customers.
  6. Promotes Diversity
    Creating diverse teams and seeking diverse perspectives enrich business. Seeing situations from different viewpoints enables everyone to have a broader view to challenges and opportunities. Broader perspective helps develop more creative solutions and a robust workforce.
  7. Embraces Customer Empathy
    Walking a mile in someone else’s shoes is one of the best ways to creatively embrace customer empathy. This helps understand and meet their needs in unique and unexpected ways. By creatively exploring customers’ insights, preferences, and pain points, organizations can develop innovative products, services, and experiences that resonate with their target audiences, leading to increased customer loyalty and satisfaction.

    Learn more about the working world and how its culture is being redefined. Little’s recently published Beyond Workplace III book explores the possibilities, the realities, and even the impossible.


Holly Christian

Holly listens to understand, asks big questions, and brings curiosity and creativity to deliver Results Beyond Architecture. A principal for Little’s Workplace practice, Holly’s purpose-driven approach to design optimizes brands, supports unique cultures, and delivers measurable results.

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