How creative are your teams?

Creativity is often seen as a gift bestowed on a few chose people. How many times have you heard statements like, “oh its marketing, that's the creative lot, we are .... ” As a result of these views, people can place real constraints and limits on their ability to recognise and develop their own creative talents. Below are some exercises that will help you explore the self-imposed limits in operation in your team show you how you can begin to take down some of the limiting barriers.

  • Describe what being creative means to you?
  • What have you done that you would assess as creative?
  • What would it take to make you totally enthusiastic about this work?

Share the list below (ideally prepare a flip chart with these on) and ask the team to generate additional factors. Capture these thoughts:

Factors that can limit creative thinking

  • Self criticism - “I am not a creative person”, “I have nothing to add”
  • Reliance on past ways
  • Satisfaction with the way things are
  • Not sure of the subject area
  • More interested in fitting in than having ideas
  • The norms and rules of the team
  • Idea generation being combined with idea evaluation
  • Ideas routinely discounted
  • No acknowledgement of good ideas
  • Someone else on the team has been established as the creative one
  • the team treats/views me as not creative and values me for other attributes
  • Criticism
  • No time allowed for free range thinking
  • Completing meetings on time is more highly valued than achieving the objective

Ask the team to place a mark on the flip chart against all those factors that apply to them.

For each factor marked, first establish how real the limitation is and then how the limitation actual/perceived can be eliminated or reduced. Capture all the commitments on a commitment sheet.

Repeat this assessment a few weeks/months later to see how the team is developing.

Back to Zack's Tips