Managing Creativity

Everyone is creative. I really do believe that. We all cycle through a multitude of ideas on any given day. Some of the ideas stick with us for awhile and some are fleeting.
What I have come to realize is that coming up with the idea is the easier part. Even with a plethora of ideas not everyone has the ability to take those ideas and make them into something tangible. I have been managing creative people for 20+ years and I find that the step to make ideas come to life is the hardest part.
My job for many years has been to create an environment that allows creative people to produce their best work. Of course innovation and creativity is at the core of where I work. That is an important piece in making sure creative ideas can be manifested into reality. If you constantly have to justify creativity within any organization you are doomed.
If you can remove as many obstacles as possible then you can clear the way for creative people to be unencumbered and get those ideas produced.
Years ago I noticed that people would obsess about their benefits. The company was small and there was not a benefits administrator. They were frustrated that questions could not be answered easily and this distracted them from the work at hand. The team was spending a lot of time trying to figure out their employee benefits. We brought in a benefits administrator and a calmness prevailed. People were able to get their questions answered quickly. It was a lessoned learned for me. I would have never connected benefits administrator to creative execution but there is. I took away a lesson from the experience. By clearing obstacles we created a workplace where concentrating on creativity was the most important element. We created a much better culture to make things happen. It is a principle I have built on ever since.

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