Promoting Creativity

By Martin Gilliard

A warm welcome to the promoting creativity page.

If you manage or supervise people then one of your objectives should be to get people interested and focussed on being more creative.

Spurring people to be creative and ultimately innovative is good for you and the organization that you work for.

The trick though is to encourage creativity with subtlety. Creativity just doesn't happen if people are put under pressure to be creative.

promoting creativity

(Photo Credit: garlandcannon)

To promote creativity within your team consider the following areas...


People tend to be most creative when pursuing something which they are passionate about so look for work areas that your subordinates excel in and encourage them to excel yet further in these areas by learning new knowledge. This can then be combined with knowledge of creativity techniques so as to look at work areas or work problems from new perspectives.

Manageable Risks

Encourage your team to take small and manageable risks. Experimentation is key to the creative learning process. Praise failed experiments as these provide new knowledge in terms of what won’t work as a creative solution. Thomas Alva Edison one of the greatest innovators of recent times would conduct thousands of experiments in his quest for new innovative products.

Risky! (Photo Credit: IceSabre)


One primary method for encouraging creativity is to give your team members a sense of ownership of a particular project and a degree of autonomy in terms of how that project is completed. Let your people determine the constraints and parameters of the project don’t define these for them.

Awards and Rewards

What may surprise you is that rewards can deter the creative process. People need to have the intrinsic motivation to complete the project by themselves. If you need to award (bribe) an individual to be creative then they don't have the appropriate interest required to be creative with the project in the first place.

Awards and rewards must be used carefully…

  • use them to celebrate milestones.
  • Do not formally mention that rewards will be given on successful completion at the start of a project.
  • Do give rewards and recognition even when projects fail. After all if you are promoting creativity then you should be rewarding the creative effort and not the outcome of that effort. This should act as a powerful motivator to your team.

(Photo Credit: pennstatenews)

Fun and Enjoyment

Tests have concluded that if you put two separate groups working creatively on the same problem domain; let’s say Group A and Group B and Group A is informed that they are competing against Group B whereas Group B is informed to simply have as much fun as possible the Group B will be the most creative.

So to conclude from this try and avoid getting your team members to compete with one another instead try and instil a sense of fun and enjoyment with the problems that people are addressing. Competition only adds to the pressure which can act as a barrier to creativity.

Fun - (Photo Credit: Mazoe28)

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