To identify the factors that hinder the creativity of your team at work, rate the items below on a scale of 1 to 5, where ‘1’ means your team never does this, and ‘5’ means it always does this. These factors have been shown to enhance creative effort at work, and elsewhere too.
_____ People in my team help me solve problems creatively.
_____ We exchange ideas to solve problems creatively.
_____ We are told when creativity is wanted.
_____ We support new ideas and avoid quick negative criticism.
_____ Individuals are encouraged to exhibit spontaneity and humor.
_____ We review and discuss how our climate and habits affect our creativity.
_____ We use a variety of advanced creativity triggers to enhance idea generation.
_____ We identify criteria to select ideas after idea generation, not before.
_____ We use bizarre ideas to spark better ideas.
_____ We define problems before we generate ideas.
_____ We set quotas for new ideas before we generate them.
_____ We postpone evaluation and defer judgment while we generate ideas.
_____ Everyone obtains ongoing training in creative thinking and on how to use advanced creativity triggers at work.
_____ Deadlines are set to allow plenty of time for incubation and creative thinking.
_____ We review and discuss how we help or spoil our creativity.
_____ Our performance reviews encourage risky creative efforts.
_____ We have a system to get quick approval and resources to test new ideas.
_____ We review and discuss how our leaders and colleagues help or spoil our creativity.
_____ Leaders help us move toward autonomy and responsible self-direction to help creativity.
_____ Supervision of work is not too tight or too loose.
_____ Leaders allow people to determine how to accomplish objectives.
_____ Leaders solicit and help new ideas.
_____ Leaders are flexible and accommodate individual work related needs.
_____ Everyone gets special treatment.
_____ During meetings, we avoid early commitment to an idea until we have many ideas to choose from.
_____ Our meetings are designed to encourage people to freewheel.
_____ All members contribute ideas during meetings.
_____ During meetings, our energy level is high.
_____ In meetings, people talk about the positive aspects of an idea before the negatives.
_____ During meetings, there is much humor.
_____ We review and discuss how we help or spoil creativity during meetings.
_____ We solve problems using advanced creativity triggers.
_____ The rewards for creativity are designed to enhance the motivation to be creative again.
_____ We encourage people to motivate themselves to solve problems creatively because of the challenge and daily enjoyment.
_____ Rewards in my team are fair.
_____ People are allowed to volunteer for jobs.
_____ There is high job stability to encourage risk-taking.
_____ People solve problems creatively for self-satisfaction and enjoyment.
_____ People learn from failure, not punished for it.
_____ We review and discuss how effectively we motivate for creativity and risk taking.
_____ There is a high level of tolerance for humor and borderline behavior.
_____ We express ideas outside mainstream thinking.
_____ The social graces of loners, extroverts, introverts, and innovators are accommodated to aid their creativity.
_____ We decorate and individualize our work area.
_____ We are encouraged to dress as we wish.
_____ We review and discuss how our tolerance for low and high conformity affects our creativity.
_____ Beards, mustaches, and hair styles are OK.
Ask people in your team to fill this out and to share perceptions. Note items that people marked “0” or “1,” the barriers you want to overcome. Together, your team can solve these problems creatively.
This approach can make a difference to the teamwork, commitment, and effectiveness of your team.
© 2017 by Edward Glassman. Ph.D.
Edward Glassman, Ph.D. was the President of the Creativity College®, a division of Leadership Consulting Services, Inc., and Professor Emeritus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he headed the Program For Team Effectiveness And Creativity.