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Six myths about creativity

The dry and rational predecessors of present-day businessmen from the 19th or early 20th century are likely to be very surprised to find out what significance in the life of a modern entrepreneur has in the concept of “creativity”. The idea, which was formerly regarded as an exclusive attribute of free or “creative” trades, has now become a categorical imperative for the life of far away from the romanticism of market “sharks”: modern corporations.

Probably, after revising all existing corporate “missions” or value systems, we will not find any one that would not mention creativity. No, perhaps, no CEO, who would not glorify creativity in his appeals to employees. But, despite the fact that creativity, it can be said, descended from heaven to earth, becoming a quality without which the most elementary economic activity seems to be impossible, very little is known about how everyday innovative activity in the workplace takes place. Where do the revolutionary ideas come from? How can executives support incentives for employee creativity and overcome the barriers facing her?

The first myth: creativity is generated by creative people
During the study, managers often asked the question: where in your organization the most needed creativity? Usually called R & D, marketing and advertising. When managers were asked where they least need creativity, everyone laughing said: in accounting. Of course, the phrase “creative accounting” causes irony and has not very positive connotations. In fact, however, it turned out that any employee with normal intelligence is capable of creative work. At the same time, creativity depends on several things: experience, including knowledge and technical skills, talent, ability to think in a new way, and the ability to overcome the non-creative routine.

But most importantly, how much people are attracted to their work and how much the factor of internal motivation is involved. Though companies have paid more attention to creativity and innovation than ever before, nevertheless, most employees are far from fully implementing their creative abilities. The reason is largely in an environment that does not have creativity (for example, when an employee is convinced that creativity is appropriate only in R & D, but not in his department).

The second myth: money is a motivator of creativity
Experimental studies show that money does not at all determine the degree of creativity of employees. In the course of the survey, the question “How much is your current job motivated by bonuses?” Most respondents said that this question does not seem to matter to them. They just do not think about paying every day. And those few who spend a significant part of their time thinking about the amount of compensation, usually do not have so many creative ideas.

Bonuses may even restrain creativity in the event that people believe that each step will affect the compensation. Then employees try at any cost to avoid the risk, which, of course, does not contribute to innovative thinking.

Of course, everyone should feel that their labor is paid fairly. However, much depends not on compensation, but on the environment in which creativity is maintained, evaluated and acknowledged. People tend to be more active in influencing their work area and making real progress. At the same time, managers should organize work so that the skills of employees are adequate to the complexity of the task, because it is then that you can achieve maximum creativity. If the task far exceeds the level of competence of employees, they are disoriented. When the task is too simple, the result is boredom. The task of the leader is to find a balance between these extremes.

The third myth: lack of time contributes to creativity
Many people in the course of the research expressed the opinion that the greatest creative activity is achieved in the absence of time. However, 12,000 man-days studied showed the exact opposite: people are least creative when they were forced to constantly watch the clock. Moreover, in similar situations with employees there was something like a time-honored hangover: their creativity was lowered not only on the day when they were forced to work in a rush, but also the next day. Lack of time reduces creativity because people can not penetrate deeply into the essence of the task. Thus, the main problem is not itself a deadline, but distracting circumstances that prevent employees from committing a revolutionary breakthrough. People, of course, can be creative and under the blow of a pistol, but they should have the opportunity to concentrate on their work. In very many organizations, employees simply do not understand the reasons for urgency, except that someone somewhere wants to get results already today.

Fourth myth: fear provokes a revolutionary breakthrough
There is a common belief that fear and depression are somehow associated with

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