Who Killed Creativity? How Can We Get Creativity Back?

Creative Ideas for Innovation in Business and Beyond

Dec 14th, 2015

Collaborative competition for more creative results

Have you thought about how difficult it can be to determine how to collaborate effectively when in a competitive environment? As part of a recent The Sky is not the Limit simulation presented by Tirian for a large bank, participants were asked to take part in an exercise named ‘Win As Much as you Can’. With few exceptions this instruction, to win at all costs, was understood as an individual goal. The aim was taken as being to beat the ‘opposition’. A few members even used tactics to undermine other players. However, halfway through the challenge it dawned on them that the points system relied on not only their individual performance, but also how effectively they worked with others around them. The most success could only be achieved through complimentary interactions.

The model of positive team work is arguably the one most widely espoused by modern business. A chirpy ‘There is no ‘I ‘in team work!‘ is the generic mantra of optimistically cheerful team leaders all over the world. When a whole team is involved in a new initiative with a common goal, there is typically greater involvement and interest and therefore more buy-in and greater morale. Being part of a team creates a sense of united purpose.

There is certainly a paradoxical element to this idea that teamwork intrinsically equals a more successful workplace and yet individual successes are also encouraged and rewarded. So can true teamwork really exist? Arguably innovation through teamwork can be stunted by the inevitable competition that emerges as individuals strive to be recognized and promoted in the process. It can become a case of ‘winner takes all’ as the system can lead to some being boosted above others. Furthermore, the black sheep, breaking free from the control of the leader can be seen as dangerous. Yet these unique individuals are also the exploratory innovators that break the mold. If you follow the crowd, that’s where you’ll end up, so these people create different opportunities and possibilities.

The future of business will be in managing this dynamic successfully to get the most creative and collaborative results!

InThink>Biz Editorial Team

December 14, 2015

Andrew Grant and Gaia Grant are the directors of Tirian, and authors of the breakthrough book ‘Who Killed Creativity?… And How Can We Get it Back?: Seven essential strategies for making yourself, your team and your organisation more innovative’.http://www.tirian.com/articles/leadership-task-performance/how-can-leadership-teams-find-innovative-solutions-to-sustainability-challenges/
Kate Bettes has the role of Executive Support at Tirian. She is completing a degree in international relations and aspires to be a writer on current issues.


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