Three Ways To Stimulate or Kill Creativity In the Office

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I-Three New Ways to Stimulate Creativity

1-Free Time  for employees to follow their passion: At Google, engineers are encouraged to take 20 percent of their time to work on something company-related that interests them personally. This means that if you have a great idea, you always have time to run with it. See full article in the New York Times:

2-Smashing The Clock : ROWE
No schedules. No mandatory meetings. This is the Best Buy’s radical reshaping of the workplace.  The nation’s leading electronics retailer has embarked on a radical experiment to transform a culture once known for killer hours and herd-riding bosses. They call it ROWE for “results-only work environment,”  to demolish decades-old business dogma that a physical presence is linked with productivity.
The goal at Best Buy is to judge performance on output instead of hours. Read more here :

3-  Bottom-up Leadership: Engage, Empower, Enable:

  • Engage: leaders must provide a clear view of the company’s future, connect the company values with the individual life purpose,  identify individual contribution to a higher level than self .  Employees who feel good about themselves and think they belong to a team get the intrinsic motivation  to deliver performance.
  • Empower: Let people decide how to set goals, how to  get the expected results.  Increase their personal power in making decisions at all level of the organizations. The leaders’ role  is  to coach and mentor individuals and teams to remove self-limiting beliefs, provide immediate feedbacks and develop strengths while minimizing the impact of weaknesses
  • Enable: Provide highly personalized support and enough resources.  Lead  teams based on matching  personal communication, behavior and management styles of each team member. Provide talent development programs.

II-The Three Ways to Kill  Creativity

Tangible Rewards: A lot of studies published in renowned peer-reviewed literature have demonstrated that external motivation is not helping people to be creative and actually worsen the ability to think creatively. Rewards work well when you have to encourage repetitive tasks with no problem solving activities.

Threat : If you threaten somebody you stimulate the part of the brain that is inducing the same pain as a physical injury. Studies measuring brain’s activity clearly showed that this region of the brain is activated by perceived or real danger. Threats decrease productivity tremendously by activating this “Fight or Fly” neuronal and hormonal responses.

Expertise: Insight  happens when  you to stop thinking hard about a solution and by connecting pieces of information in a completely new way. Often too much information and  knowledge is actually limiting creativity and often leads to “analysis paralysis”.



About Anne Egros, Executive, Career and Expat Life Coach

Zest and Zen is a blog about Expat Life Challenges, Global Leadership, Intercultural Communication, Health and Wellness, Nutrition, Change Psychology, Life Transitions
This entry was posted in Coaching, Executive Coaching, professional development. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Three Ways To Stimulate or Kill Creativity In the Office

  1. Pingback: Colouring outside the lines | Kim Koning

  2. Pingback: Colouring outside the lines « Dragonfly Scrolls

  3. Hi Anne – great debate! I always think that boredom and over supervison stifle creativity the most. There is a great animation of Dan Pink’s lecture that you might enjoy. which highlights interesting findings.

    Tim Hurson in “Think Better ” tells us that the best ideas come after idea 13 – so extensive brainstorming is a great antidote combined with never settling for what we first think of! It is worth carrying on!

    Thanks for starting this!

  4. Anne Egros says:

    Creative people: Check this video out — HackFwd Introduction

  5. Anne Egros says:

    I came across a great article: The Heart of Innovation: 56 Reasons Why Most Corporate Innovation Initiatives Fail

  6. Anne Egros says:

    Hi Kate Thanks for your comment. Your article gives a perfect vision on what teamwork means today for success.

  7. Anne,
    This is exciting news. To finally be shaking off decades old “Theory X” leadership/management left over from early industrial days of the assembly line breathes new hope into the workforce of 21st century.

    I fear it will be an evolution not revolution yet at least we are moving into the sphere of tapping people’s creative empowered thinking. That is what Zappos CEO’s success is really based on.

    Add this fresh new definition of teamwork to the mix of 21st century thinking and use the 4 gems in this post to bring it alive:

    Thanks for your post and I will RT it on Twitter for all “LeadChange” group members to savor.
    Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach

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