Here’s a little test. Ask some of your colleagues which quality they think is most valuable at work. In all likelihood, one quality will get mentioned more than any other: creativity.

The current market landscape is defined by innovation and disruption. If a company can’t come up with creative solutions to the market’s complex, quicksilver problems, then that company is doomed to failure.

But here’s the thing: though most leaders talk about the creative talk, they don’t walk the creative walk. They say they want creativity, but in the meantime, they perpetuate workplace structures and practices that discourage creativity.

Various kinds of creativity exist. Some people bring new ideas seemingly out of nowhere. That is the conjurer. There is creativity in editing, aka the slicer and dicer. Some people take a variety of existing ideas and assemble something new. Creativity is an iterative process. Creativity is in play at each stage of the design process: idea generation, idea selection, idea implementation, sustaining, and idea diffusion. Creativity almost always begins as imitation. Imitation is good when it leads to authentic creation. Unfortunately, many businesses never push beyond the copycat phase. They get stuck, believing that what works for someone else will work for them.

Many executives try to predict company growth. What’s worse, their predictions tend to be based on unreasonably high growth objectives. However, sometimes ideas need time to ripen. There’s simply no way to predict how long that ripening will take.

Times of crisis and uncertainty increase the attractiveness of dominant leaders. Feelings of powerlessness and the fear of losing control drive many people into the arms of assertive and charismatic leaders, hoping to be saved from the deep end of the swamp.

Studies show that psychological safety allows for moderate risk-taking, speaking your mind, creativity, and sticking your neck out without fear of having it cut off — just the types of behaviour that lead to market breakthroughs. Team members will feel psychologically safe when they’re encouraged to speak up about issues, when they know it’s OK to fail, and when they feel comfortable taking risks around their peers.

Every company is filled with creative people. You don’t need to hire rock star creatives. You don’t need to restructure. What you need to do is create an environment where the people in your midst feel safe to spread their creative wings.

To create an environment of creativity a focus mindset should be avoided by taking breaks. Sustained productivity and focus require giving your mind plenty of opportunity to rest and recharge, so you can come back stronger than ever.

Contemporary culture encourages critique. People are prompted to leave reviews on Amazon, YouTube, Yelp, Uber, and countless other platforms. This tendency goes deep and emphasizes the importance of critical thinking. Critical ability comes to be equated with intelligence, resulting in the faultfinders, rather than the solution creators, reaping all the praise and promotions. Call this mentality naysayer mind-set.

Creativity is not merely about knowledge of subject matter, and it certainly is not some kind of inborn trait that can be quantified through a standardized creativity test. Rather, creativity is, in large part, an attitude toward life. Creative people are willing to generate and champion unpopular ideas. They defy the crowd.

Every workplace is filled with creative individuals. It’s up to leaders to create an environment where they feel safe to come forth and flourish.