The past overflows with instances of bold ideas that change the world; from vaccines to unicorns (Airbnb, Uber, SpaceX etc. not the mythological animal). In my decade, working in businesses, I have worked with great leaders. I by no means, know it all but here are four things I from experience have seen, great bosses don’t do and create an environment where creativity thrives.
1. THE ROAD BLOCKER APPROACH
Never doubt a bold or different idea. As a business leader, you can play a huge role in stimulating or diminishing your team’s creativity. Within reason, most things in life are possible. It is easy to get stuck in a rut as a company or a brand. When your team approaches you with an idea, listen with an open mind. Empower your team to try different ideas and see for themselves what works. Eventually, your team will learn from the process. Don’t be a road blocker, let your team test, test and embrace the mentality of a growth hacker.
2. DON’T FEEDBACK FOR THE SAKE OF FEEDBACK
Much of life is relative. I like pink, and you may like purple. I see creative’s energy drained with changing one word after the next. One colour change to the next. As long as the item in question is on brand, grammatically and factually correct and not offensive, let people crack on. The way I see it is, would you rather have your team work on one project in a month and make 101 iterations or would you instead your team completed four projects in a month, measured, learned and grew from these four projects.
I am not encouraging shoddy work but consider feedback. However, limit feedback to task and performance related feedback to ensure you don’t overwhelm the recipent.
3. TRUST YOUR TEAM AND LET THEM KNOW
Most leaders are extremely busy, and they could do with buying back a bit of time. Let your team know you trust their judgement, and you will be surprised by how much your creative team will rise and deliver. Avoid excessive constraint and give autonomy.
4. MEANINGLESS WORK
I love the concept of flow. I did write an entire 80,000-word thesis on it. Most humans intrinsically enjoy work when the challenge of the task is aligned with their skill level. Consider the work they are given, are they just reporting on every activity for the sake of it. Or could their time be better spent elsewhere?