Set the Conditions for Anyone on Your Team to Be Creative

One of the most damaging myths about creativity is that there is a specific “creative personality” that some people have and others don’t. Yet in decades of creativity research, no such trait has ever been identified. The truth is that anybody can be creative, given the right opportunities and context. One of the things that creativity researchers have consistently found is that expertise is essential for producing top-notch creative work — you need to be an expert in a specific field to understand what the important problems are and what would constitute an important new solution. To help employees gain expertise, offer coaching, and encourage employees to work on weak areas. Be sure they have the right technologies, and give them plenty of time to explore new ideas. Far too often, we think of creativity as an initial, brilliant spark followed by a straightforward period of execution, but that’s not true in the least. Creativity is an iterative process.

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