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A Culture of Creativity

communication constructive

by Aubrey Patterson

 

Is it possible for a team to become more creative?

Certainly, but a creative culture requires a fertile ground where new thoughts can grow.

The more time a team spends engaged in innovative work, the stronger their group creativity becomes.

You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have. - Maya Angelou

Active Listening

In 2018, The Harvard Business Review conducted a study and its findings confirmed that leaders who listen well tend to generate more trust and increase their team’s creativity.

The power of listening doesn’t lie just in giving people the space to reflect on their views. It’s a display of respect and an expression of care. Listening is a way of offering others our scarcest, most precious gift: our attention. Listening well is more than a matter of talking less. It’s a set of skills in asking and responding. - Adam Grant

In a world that is increasingly filled with people seeking an audience, a leader who listens stands out as someone who respects and cares for others.  

The importance of psychological safety cannot be overstated, as highlighted in a recent Google study An environment of respect and openness where people can speak freely is requisite to every step a leader takes to foster innovation. 

Loose-Tight and a Reframed Question

Innovative teams also coexist with simultaneous loose and tight properties, made popular by Robert Waterman in the 1980's. Impactful leaders articulate items clearly that are tight and find fertile soil in the remaining loose category. 

The uncreative mind can spot wrong answers, but it takes a creative mind to spot wrong questions. - Antony Jay

An impactful complement to loose-tight leadership is reframing this question, Where does it say we can do this? Pose this instead: Where does it say we can't do this?

The former question implies that this has been done before and immediately eliminates all but minor innovations. 

 The latter is liberating, far more enjoyable, and just might lead to something remarkable.

 


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