Creativity is a core leadership skill and it’s a skill you can learn. It’s about accumulating new knowledge, changing your perspective, developing new perspectives, and telling a story, may be a different story.
The four cues that put us on the road to creativity:
- The Impasse Cue
- The Dissatisfaction Cue
- The Surprise Cue
- The Crosstalk Cue
PAGES framework to change or create new Ideas and Perspectives.
a “computer” (Part) is one kind of item that an “unhappy employee” (Self-Concept) might “carry” (Action) out of the “company offices” (another Part) to “sell for cash” (Goal) as part of a “stealing” Event.
End products of creativity:
Tools for Creativity:
Creativity is not an instantaneous event but a journey. It requires effort and persistence. We have to get used to rejection.
Working in teams has a lot of benefits but it also presents pitfalls for being creative. Teams put up the following barriers:
- Conversational bottleneck – only one person can talk at a time. Solution: Give problem to people before and ask them to bring their ideas in writing
- People feel lazy in groups. Solution: Track individual contribution during brainstorming
- Make people intimidated.
How teams kill creativity:
- Conformity. Solution: If the dissenter gets a partner OR allow the dissenter to speak first.
- Blind Obedience.
- Pluralistic Ignorance – People feel like a deviant in private when they are not so they remain silent. Solution: Dissent, bring-in new people.
- Common Knowledge – people tend to say common things.
- Over-confident teams – teams develop over-confidence over time as they work together so they feel less need to be creative. Solution: Dissent, Conflict.
- Working in teams feels creative
- Normative Influence – because people want to fit-in. Solution: Individualism.
The right team composition is important for creativity. Every team member to be creative is not a good idea. Ideally, it is best to have mostly creative but 1 or 2 conformists on the team. People who care about little details are always detrimental for creativity. Narcissism is good for creativity. 50% members to be narcissists is the best but it’s good to have at least 1 or 2 narcissists on the team. Switching team members to bring-in fresh perspective is good for creativity.
Norms that promote creativity:
- Right team composition
- Individualism: Individualism is good for creativity; collectivist people are less creative.
- Norms that permit Dissent
- Norms that permit Competition
If we have a composition of creative people, no need for strong norms. They naturally exhibit divergent behavior. You can leverage strong norms to encourage non-creative people to be more creative.
Ideas between creators and evaluators can be:
- Correct Rejections
- False Alarms
- Missed opportunities
We like practical people in leadership positions than creative people so creative people have to bear that risk. When in decision making role, one usually makes a tradeoff between Quality and Novelty to reduce tension.
Indicators of Creativity:
- Expertise – required but can also narrow your perspective
- Culture – one thing can be considered creative in one culture but not in another
- Role – something can be creative or not based on the role we are in
People judge the pitcher as much as the idea for creativity. An idea from a pitcher who looks non-traditional is considered more creative.
When pitching your idea:
- Think about your audience – their PAGES
- Confidence is important
- Make them feel good when pitching – food, etc.
- Think about what your audience presumes about leadership
- Door in the face – Start with an outlandish idea and then come down to your intentional idea
- Foot in the door – Start with a small idea to get their buy-in and build on top of the idea once they are committed
- Present ideas in-person and not in an email
- Reciprocity – do something for them so they feel compelled to reciprocate
Changing others’ perspective:
- What are the PAGES of our audience?
- Which of those PAGES need to be changes?
- What cues might trigger the change in PAGES in them?
- What tools can we offer them to help them change their perspective?
Tell them a story:
- It forces us to start at the beginning
- Keep your message simple
- Use surprise – it generates curiosity, emotions.
- You have to be credible
- Repetition break stories