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How to Kill Creativity
 

How to Kill Creativity

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Reading Notes On: an article

Reading Notes On: an article
by Teresa M. Amabile
Harvard Business Review
Sept-Oct 1998

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    How to Kill Creativity How to Kill Creativity Presentation Transcript

    • How to Kill Creativity by Teresa M. Amabile Harvard Business Review Sept-Oct 1998
      • Ideas must be appropriate, useful and actionable
      • Thinking imaginatively is only one part of the creative equation
      • Two other essential components are expertise and motivation
      Expertise Motivation Creative Thinking Skills What is Business Creativity? Creativity
    • What is Business Creativity?
      • Expertise
      • (Knowledge: technical, procedural, intellectual)
      • Encompasses everything that a person knows and can do in the broad domain of his or her work
      • Knowledge and technical abilities
      • Intellectual space used to explore and solve problems
      • Creative Thinking Skills
      • How people approach problems and solutions
      • Thinking Styles
        • Turns problems upside down
        • Combines from seemingly disparate fields
      • Personality
        • Comfort with disagreeing with others
        • Departs from status quo
      • Work Styles
        • Persevere
        • Incubation
        • Fresh perspectives
    • What is Business Creativity?
      • Extrinsic
        • Root of creativity problems in business
        • Comes from outside a person (either a carrot or a stick)
        • Most common is money
          • Doesn’t stop people from being creative
          • Doesn’t help either
          • Doesn’t by itself make employees passionate about their work
      • Intrinsic
        • Person’s natural interest to do something
        • Engaged in work for the challenge and enjoyment of it
        • Work itself is motivating
        • People most creative when interested, satisfied and challenged by work itself
      • Motivation
        • passion and interest
        • determines what people will actually do
        • different types have different impact on creativity
    • Managing Creativity
      • Managerial practices and techniques that affect intrinsic
      • motivation will affect creativity yield more immediate results
      • Challenge
      • Freedom
      • Resources
      • Work-group features
      • Supervisory encouragement
      • Organizational support
    • Managing Creativity – Six Practices
      • Challenge
          • Simple task of matching people with the right assignments
          • Most effective practice
          • Perfect matches stretch employees abilities
          • Amount of stretch is crucial
            • Not so little, bored
            • No so much, overwhelmed and threatened
          • Requires rich and detailed information about employees and available assignments
    • Managing Creativity – Six Practices
      • Freedom
          • Autonomy concerning the means
          • More creativity, if allowed to decide how to climb mountain
          • Clearly specified strategic goals often enhance people’s creativity
          • Clarity and stability of goals meaningful period of time
          • Autonomy heightens intrinsic motivation and sense of ownership
          • Must grant autonomy in more than name only
    • Managing Creativity – Six Practices
      • Resources
          • Time
            • Can heighten creativity
            • Along with importance of work, people feel that they need to rush
            • Increases intrinsic motivation by increasing sense of challenge
            • Fake deadlines and impossibly tight ones create distrust and burnout
            • Creativity takes time, needs incubation and exploration
          • Funding, People and other resources
            • Adding more resource above “threshold of sufficiency” does not boost creativity
            • Below that threshold restriction can dampen
            • When resources kept tight, people channel creativity into finding additional resources
            • May be helpful for open and comfortable
    • Managing Creativity – Six Practices
      • Work-group features
          • Create mutually supportive groups with a diversity of perspectives and backgrounds
            • Different expertise and creative thinking styles often combine and combust ideas in exciting and useful ways
          • Diversity is only starting point, team members must
            • Share excitement over the goals
            • display a willingness to help their team mates through difficult time periods and setbacks
            • Recognize the unique knowledge and perspectives that other members bring to the table
          • Requires that managers have a deep understanding of their people (i.e. their knowledge, potential, work and problem solving styles and motivational hot buttons)
          • Homogenous teams are a creative danger
            • Reach solutions more quickly, with less friction and high morale
            • Do little to enhance expertise and creative thinking
            • Come to table with same mind set; leave with the same
    • Managing Creativity – Six Practices
      • Supervisory encouragement
        • Praise for creative efforts (not just creative successes but unsuccessful efforts) falls by the side
          • Intrinsic motivation comes from passion for their work
          • Sustainability for this passion, people must feel their work matters
          • Freely and generously recognize creative work by individuals and teams
          • Look for reasons to explore new ideas further
        • Work to eliminate the negative bias of a culture of evaluation
            • Leads people to focus on external rewards
            • Creates a climate of fear
            • Treatment of those whose ideas don’t pan out
        • Perception of no “failure value” correlates to less experimentation, exploration and connection with work on personal level
        • Serve as a role model
    • Managing Creativity – Six Practices
      • Organizational support
        • Creativity is truly enhanced when the entire organization
        • supports it by
            • Emphasizing that creativity is top priority
              • Put in place appropriate systems or procedures
              • Reinforce values that emphasize this priority mindset
            • Mandating information sharing and collaboration
            • Ensuring that political problems do not fester
    • From the Individual to the Organization
      • Key Success Factors for Leading/Obtaining Creativity Culture
          • Forming Teams
            • Make excellent matches between people and assignments
            • Relatively small (4-9 members)
            • Diverse professional and ethnic backgrounds
          • Communication with and within Teams
            • Clarify goals at the outset
            • Periodic checks on workflow direction
            • Autonomy (real freedom) to teams for day-to-day operations and implementation of goals
          • Support to Teams
            • Team members mutually supportive
            • Supervisory encouragement and organizational support must be widespread
            • Seek support from all units within their divisions and encourage collaboration across all quarters
    • Great Rewards and Risks
      • Great Rewards
          • Radically change the ways in which we build and interact with workgroups
          • Calls for conscious culture change
      • Great Risks
          • Lose a potent competitive weapon: new ideas
          • Lose energy and commitment of its people
    • Suggested Readings
      • Creativity in Context: Update to the Social Psychology of Creativity by Teresa M. Amabile (1996)
      • User’s Manual for KEYS: Assessing the Climate for Creativity by
      • Teresa M. Amabile, Robert Burnside, and Stanley S. Gryskiewicz (1998)
      • Rosabeth Moss Kanter on the Frontiers of Management
      • by Rosabeth Moss Kanter (1997)