Can Instant Messaging Foster Greater Team Creativity?
March 5, 2019 Instant Messaging
Creativity is fundamental to any work environment. It leads to more profitable marketing campaigns, more effective out of the box solutions, superior customer support, and a boost in team morale and momentum.
But without the right tools, projects can stall, teamwork can break down, and creativity can flounder; creating an atmosphere that’s mundane, monotonous, and inefficient.
At Brosix, we think instant messaging can foster greater creativity. Read on to find out why we think so, as well as a few tips to inspire a little ingenuity around your office.
It’s Open and Focused
By encouraging open communication, you’re inspiring more comfortable, constructive, and constant contact — laying the foundation for greater creativity.
Most likely, you and your team are already familiar with instant messaging. The straightforward nature of text chats and chat rooms provide a quick and casual medium for team discussion on big picture initiatives or little things like the company lunch menu — in a forum that’s well-known, convenient and, in many instances, more constructive than email.
Consider for instance, that:
- 68% of millennials already text on a regular basis
- Introverts, who often need to step back and consider a topic more deeply, can benefit from team messaging as a path to more constructive criticism and more creative solutions
- The free-flowing and open nature of instant messaging lends itself to more prolonged discussions and with multiple participants
Ever had an idea but got interrupted with a new task? You’re not alone. In high-performance work environments, thoughts and ideas often flow back and forth in rapid succession, but can’t always be recorded at the right time. With enterprise instant messaging, though, these potential game-changing visions aren’t lost forever.
Chat histories document each chat — making it searchable and recoverable for future use. Team members are no longer scrambling to recall details from last Tuesday’s group chat on the upcoming marketing campaign.
And by focusing communication on the participants who truly hold a stake, teamwork and collaboration is:
- Free from outside interference
- More conducive to creativity
For team creativity to fully prosper, there needs to be choice, flexibility, and importantly, inclusivity. Enterprise instant messaging provides a range of options so you can communicate the way you want — on the desktop, over mobile, and with comprehensive admin controls — and with the right stakeholders.
Simple text chats and chat rooms, for example, allow for seamless real-time sharing of:
- Company news
- Topic ideas for the company blog
- Product rollout updates
- Images and screenshots for a client’s website
- Employee birthdays, anniversaries, or after-work gatherings
Sometimes, though, for communication to be both effective and innovative, it needs to be personal. In such instances, voice and video chat allow you to gauge the other party’s voice or reactions, or simply see their face — leading to more meaningful solutions.
Over voice or video, you could:
- Discuss the latest training manual with a remote technical writer
- Get real-time updates from a team member at a conference abroad
- Brainstorm a solution with a support team located overseas
For creativity in the workplace to truly flourish, though, team communication must be equal access and transcend traditional levels of hierarchy. With enterprise instant messaging, communication doesn’t just take place horizontally, it scales vertically, as well.
Collaboration solutions, such as Brosix Instant Messenger, allow managers and executives to not only hear from employees, but take an active role in the discussion. On the employee side, this is more empowering. While for management, it’s crucial they’re connected to new concepts and ideas from the very beginning.
And when owners, managers, and employees are all participants in the same conversation:
- Tasks are more meaningful
- Brainstorming is more authentic
- Collaboration is more effective
- Performance is more powerful
Boosting team ingenuity isn’t just about utilizing the right channels at the right time with the necessary stakeholders. Your brainstorming sessions and creative conversations are meaningless without the tools to provide continuity to the collaborative process.
And by using chat features in tandem with collaboration tools, creativity is more robust.
Let’s say, for example, you need to:
- Transfer a presentation on an upcoming product release
- Share photos for the company blog
- Send a recently-written manual for proofreading
In each of these instances, the file(s) could exceed the limit provided by email or consumer-grade instant messengers, stopping the creative process in its tracks. With the ability to send files unlimited in size and number, though, each of these documents can be sent seamlessly and in real time, ensuring collaboration never breaks down due to unnecessary roadblocks.
Moreover, simple chat and conversation don’t always allow you to fully harness inspiration and imagination. You need visuals, as well. These could come in the form of graphs, charts, images, or screenshots, or just the ability to demonstrate complex topics or browse the internet together with a coworker.
To illustrate, you could:
- Create a presentation and then review and revise the corresponding targets, statistics, or visuals via a virtual whiteboard and video chat
- Review and discuss functional documentation with a remote development team via screen sharing and voice chat
- Send a screenshot of an exact error message to support over text chat to get a more timely and accurate fix
Creativity thrives when communication is uninterrupted and real-time. Sounds intuitive. But if an idea arises or a problem comes to light, communication needs to be instant. You may not have time to wait for an email, compose a response, and wait for further correspondence.
By utilizing an all-in-one enterprise communication solution, not only are conversation and collaboration more productive and in-depth, but team creativity is more valuable and prolific.
Originally published at www.brosix.com on March 5, 2019.