According to Harvard’s Teresa Amabile, author of The Progress Principle: Using Small Wins to Ignite Joy, Engagement, and Creativity at Work, there are three key components to creativity
at work: expertise, creative thinking skills, and motivation. Amabile’s research further produced six things that companies and managers can do to support and inspire creative work
It’s all about assigning the right person to the right project — but most companies don’t bother to get to know their employees well enough to do that. Of all the things managers can do to stimulate creativity, perhaps the most efficacious is the simple task of matching people with the right assignments. Managers can match people with jobs that play to their skills in creative thinking, and ignite motivation.
When it comes to granting freedom, the key to creativity is giving people autonomy concerning the means–that is, concerning process–but not necessarily the ends. Basically, people will be more creative if you give them freedom to decide how to climb a particular mountain. In fact, clearly specified strategic goals often enhance people’s creativity.
Organizations often kill creativity with fake deadlines or impossibly tight ones. The former create distrust and the latter cause burnout. In either case, people feel over controlled and unfulfilled–which invariably damages motivation. Moreover, creativity often takes time…They keep resources tight, which pushes people to channel their creativity into finding additional resources, not in actually developing new products.
4) Work-Group Features
Companies kill creativity by encouraging homogenous teams. These groups do find solutions more quickly and have high morale–but their lack of diversity doesn’t lead to much creativity. If you want to build teams that come up with creative ideas, you must pay attention to the design of such teams. That is, you must create mutually supportive groups with a diversity of perspectives and backgrounds because when teams comprise people with various intellectual foundations and approaches to work.
5) Supervisory Encouragement
Support by bosses isn’t just nice, it’s essential to creativity. Certainly, people can find their work interesting or exciting without a cheering section–for some period of time. But to sustain such passion, most people need to feel as if their work matters to the organization or to some important group of people.
6) Organizational Support
Companies that mandate collaboration while discouraging politics will see creativity thrive. Most important, an organization’s leaders can support creativity by mandating information sharing and by ensuring that political problems do not fester. Information sharing and collaboration support all three components of creativity… That sense of mutual purpose and excitement so central to intrinsic motivation invariably lessens when people are cliquish with one another.