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Proactivity versus reactivity
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Creativity is an in-demand skill, with studies showing that CEOs feel "innovation" is the number one priority for their business. But 77% of those CEOs also believe it's hard to find employees with creativity and innovation skills.
But, in reality, plenty of people meet the criteria. The problem is in the societal and cultural conventions around working that prevent employees from being creative.
In working cultures, there is an underlying belief that "productivity requires speed". Therefore, organisations value people who work fast, make quick decisions and tick off their to-do list.
In reality, this 'fast productivity' stifles creativity and innovation.
Our tendency to value fast productivity prevents us from keeping an open mind once we find a solution to a problem.
To avoid this, you should encourage extra incubation of ideas toward the end of the decision-making process.
Organisations tend to reward "smart-talkers", who sound more intelligent when they're critical of others, ideas, and works.
When people engage in criticism, they appear (at face value) to be more competent and are rewarded by leaders.
After taking over Pixar, Steve Jobs implemented a policy of "plussing", which led to great success.
Plussing is a simple strategy where someone can only criticise an idea if they also offer a potential solution. This helps to improve on ideas, remove flaws, and generate new ideas.
Traditional group brainstorming isn't as productive as we think.
Group brainstorming feels productive because we experience connection with others. But in reality, this type of brainstorming can prevent people from interjecting with their ideas, promote anxiety, and make disenfranchised employees feel unsafe.
A Yale study found that when individuals came up with ideas by themselves, there were double the amount generated during a group session.
To capitalise on this, you should capture people's ideas before bringing them to the whole group. Then, once in the group, the ideas should be "plussed".
🤔 Creative thinker ✒️ Copywriter & editor 🧠 Infp with ADHD learning productivity 📣 Twitter: @teagandoeswords
Organisations want innovators, and creative people want to be supported in the workplace. So we need to change the way the workplace works for everyone's benefit.
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