In their new book, Creativity Inc.: Building An Inventive Organization, authors Jeff Mauzy and Richard Harriman make a key point that organizations need to keep in mind as they implement creativity and innovation initiatives: Just as people have different tolerance levels for risk, your employees also have a variety of levels of comfort with creativity and the risks that involves.
“In the creative effort in any company, people play at the edge of their familiar universe — sometimes momentarily, sometimes for months — putting together something that, for them, has never been conceived before. Then they take the new creation back for evaluation to the organization, where an established web of expectations probably resists the newness of the concept.”
“Some people have the in a confidence to offer big ideas aimed at large-scale change. Others, regardless of the size of their inspiration, naturally take a chance only on smaller, less risky ideas that they know will encounter less resistance. And many people, no matter how creative, take no chance at all. The worth of new ideas, however, has little correlation to the current of their creator. If a companies to tap the full creative wealth of all its talent, some measure of conscious organizational support is needed for all its employees.”
Keep this in mind as you work to make systemic creativity and core value within your organization. Your employees are not one monolithic group, with an average set of creative abilities and creative selling skills. Rather, they encompass a whole range of skills and capabilities. It’s also important to note that breakthrough ideas don’t just come to assertive people, but just as often to timid people, who may have absolutely no idea where to go or what to do to get support for their idea. All too often, a timid person may generate a killer idea but then let it die, for fear of criticism from his or her boss. Be sure that your creativity efforts support the use quiet but sometimes highly creative personalities!