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Why is it so hard to develop good ideas at work?

By Bright Ewuru

A frustrated woman that can't think of good ideas at work?Work is one of the least favorable places for good ideas to develop. Ideas generated in the heat of office life have been found to be unimpressive. Working from home during the pandemic and Zoom meetings make it even harder.


This post explores why it’s challenging to come up with good ideas at work. 



Audio: Listen to this article.


1. Lack of time

Work is filled with a lot of bustle and tension. People are so busy trying to meet deadlines and hit numbers that they find themselves coming up with dry and subpar ideas when there’s a need.


Coming up with seasoned ideas needs time; time should be set apart for creative thinking. This is why our agency has had a practice of ideating every week since 2016.   


2. Innovation means different things to different people

Occasionally, teams have different notions of the word “innovation.” When there is no mutual understanding of what innovation or creativity is in an organization, it can be difficult to come up with impressive ideas.


It is imperative for organizations to ensure everyone is on the same page as to what amounts to creativity. This will prevent unnecessary disagreements and misunderstandings. 


3. The organization is a risk-averse organization

Too many organizations play it safe. They’d rather stay within the cozy confines of their previous methods instead of attempting a new, resplendent concept with an unpredictable outcome.


In such organizations, it’s tough for shiny ideas to survive because the whole system is already designed to work against them. We strongly recommend companies widen their imaginations and think bigger


4. Consumer insight is being neglected

A barrier that many organizations face is they fail to learn from their customers. Analyzing customer behaviors can give companies tons of information on how their customers think and feel. This helps the company’s various departments come up with customer-centric strategies.


When a company is ignorant of consumer insight, it is difficult to generate nifty ideas that serve its audience.


5. Ideas get stuck, diluted, or killed as they move through the organization

Another notable hurdle against developing good ideas at work is the disapproval that comes with new suggestions.


Sometimes, creative ideas don’t make it out of the tunnel of scrutiny. At times, the ideas get so watered down that they lose their flavor. On other occasions, brilliant ideas are smothered the minute they come up.


There are different ways ideas can be killed. They include:

  • Opposing opinions
  • Close-mindedness of company leaders
  • Believing that the idea is too difficult
  • Recalling unfruitful past experiences by saying, “We tried that last year,” or a similar remark
  • Presumed incompatibility of the idea by saying, “It’s not a strategic brand fit.”
  • Instant rejection of the idea, typically clothed in a sarcastic expression such as, “Hmm, interesting.”

6. Work environments hardly make room for playfulness

Why is it only after an argument that we remember the killer one-liner that would have ended the squabble in your favor?


Why do you get your best ideas in environments of little-to-no tension, such as during showers, jogging, commuting, or another relaxed atmosphere?


This is because the brain has for states, namely:

  • Amazing alpha
  • Busy beta
  • Thoughtful theta
  • Dreamy delta

When you’re at work, the busy beta state is activated. It serves its natural purpose to get you through the day, but it limits access to the conscious and unconscious parts of your mind.


However, when you’re relaxed or doing something fun, your brain is in the amazing alpha mode. You can easily access both the conscious and unconscious parts of your mind. That’s when good ideas come to you.


This emphasizes the essence of playfulness at work. If only most businesses would realize it!

Simply put, the engaging nature of work keeps creativity at bay. But there’s a way to fix it: Read our post for 10 quick ways to boost creativity in your workforce.


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Photo by energepic.com from Pexels

Topics: PR tips, corporate communications

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