How to Overcome Three Threats to Creativity – from Teresa Amabile

Teresa Amabile from Harvard Business School is one of my favourite creativity researchers ever since her 1982 book, The Social Psychology of Creativity was published.She introduced the intrinsic theory of motivation for creativity – that creativity is supported more when a person does  something he or she likes for the sake of the activity, not so much by the promise of the reward. I’ve been following her work ever since.

So has Dan Pink. His book Drive reports extensively on her research over time and uses it to support his three key concepts for today’s managers – to interact with their reports granting them autonomy, providing tools to accomplish mastery, seeded in purpose.

Creativity is important work because without it, innovation would not exist.

In a new Harvard Business Review blog, Dr. Amabile describes and gives advice for ways to overcome three threats to creativity in business and organizations

Threats to business creativity

  1. An endangered education system with limited scope in coursework of the basic subjects.
  2. People don’t get to do what they love at work; they get to do what has to be done.
  3. Performance pressures to grow, produce more quickly and with limited resources.

To keep and nurture creativity in the world work of work, Amabile suggests

  1. Develop new habits to look outside what you already know for fresh ideas and new thinking
  2. Encourage exploration and reflection so people can find new ways, easier and more productive ones, to accomplish objectives; allow them to dream the best future and then take steps to realize it.
  3. Allow people time to pursue their passions, make goals challenging, establish collective norms for behaviour, give people time to think and provide resources to empower their dreams.

What would that look like at your place, eh?  New ideas, new decisions need space and time and they need a soft place to land.

About marcisegal

Founder, World Creativity and Innovation Day, April 21. Speaker,
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