Dimensions of Creativity

Some experts have proposed that creativity occurs as an interaction among three factors: people’s

personality traits (openness to experience, risk taking), their attributes (expertise, imagination,

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motivation), and the situational context (encouragement from others, time pressure, physical

structures). [9] For example, research shows that individuals who are open to experience, less

conscientious, more self-accepting, and more impulsive tend to be more creative. [10]

Ideas for Enhancing Creativity in Groups

• Team Composition

o Diversify your team to give them more inputs to build on and more opportunities to create

functional conflict while avoiding personal conflict.

o Change group membership to stimulate new ideas and new interaction patterns.

o Leaderless teams can allow teams freedom to create without trying to please anyone up front.

• Team Process

o Engage in brainstorming to generate ideas. Remember to set a high goal for the number of

ideas the group should come up with, encourage wild ideas, and take brainwriting breaks.

o Use the nominal group technique (see Tools and Techniques for Making Better

Decisions below) in person or electronically to avoid some common group process pitfalls.

Consider anonymous feedback as well.

o Use analogies to envision problems and solutions.

• Leadership

o Challenge teams so that they are engaged but not overwhelmed.

o Let people decide how to achieve goals rather than telling them what goals to achieve.

o Support and celebrate creativity even when it leads to a mistake. Be sure to set up processes

to learn from mistakes as well.

o Role model creative behavior.

• Culture

o Institute organizational memory so that individuals do not spend time on routine tasks.

o Build a physical space conducive to creativity that is playful and humorous—this is a place

where ideas can thrive.

o Incorporate creative behavior into the performance appraisal process.



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