A great article from the 99%.The 5 most dangerous creativity killers are:
- Role mismatch
- External end goal restriction
- Strict ration of resources
- Lack of social diversity
- Discouragement/no positive feedback
Here’s one of the most important highlights of the article. There is truth to the fact that constraints often add to our creativity by creating the “entrepreneurial gap” that requires novel solutions (and thus creativity) to cross when resources are scarce.
Sometimes, however, that reality is used to justify strict rationing of resources in an organization and a caviler imposition of restraints on creatives. That is a complete misunderstanding and misapplication of the entrepreneurial gap. As the article points out:
Although self-restriction can often boost creativity, the Harvard study shows that external restrictions are almost always a bad thing for creative thinking. This includes subtle language use that deters creativity, such as bosses claiming “We do things by the book around here,” or group members implicitly communicating that new ideas are not welcome.
Here’s one other important point: a shortage of time is not good for creativity!
While money and physical resources are important to creativity, the Harvard study revealed that mental resources were most important, including having enough time.
Creative people re-conceptualize problems more often than a non-creative. This means they look at a variety of solutions from a number of different angles, and this extensive observation of a project requires time. This is one of the many reasons you should do your best to avoid unnecessary near-deadline work that requires novel thinking. Also, when we are faced with too many external restrictions we spend more time acquiring more resources than actually, you know, creating.