Help your staff be more creative

I have copied this almost verbatim from the February edition of WIRED UK. You can get your copy for £3.99 from all good magazine vendors. Better still, have it delivered to your door on day of publication by taking out an annual subscription.

Hopefully that massive plug and credit will prevent any legal action ☺ Just joking

This is a really useful overview on supporting your staff to become more creative. There are four points here to remember; in my experience it can be a little more complicated, but I don’t disagree with any.

The tips are taken from work by Edward Deci and Richard Ryan of the University of Rochester, New York.

Here’s what WIRED says.

1 – Give them space. Deadlines are important, but hourly check-ups are not. According to creativity researcher Arne Dietrich, working memory and a buffer against distractions are essential. Creativity involves linking concepts, which means holding several things in your working memory – a balance that can be disrupted easily.

2 – Don’t micromanage. Allow free time for employees to work on anything they want; intrinsic motivation (working on something just because its interesting) leads to creativity. Companies such as Google build free time into the work week – and back in 1974 such a scheme at 3M heralded the emergence of the Post-It Note.

3 – Open your mind. Getting stuck in a hyper-focused, linear thinking pattern can stall finding a creative solution. Hoe can you keep your mind open? Jonathan Schooler, psychologist at the University of California, says letting your mind wander periodically can increase the chance of creative insight.

4 – Tolerate Creativity – Reward creative thinking, not with financial encentives, which alone have been shown to decrease creativity, but by promoting the conditions that permit it. Tolerate the occasional failure and allow rules to be broken when there is a social benefit. Finally, give workers space to say when they are unhappy.

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