Stanford University’s Nicholas Bloom, the economist and expert on productivity, fears a coming day of reckoning. Although employees are working more hours, the lack of creativity on some teams is leading to productivity decline. “The new ideas we are losing today could show up as fewer new products or ideas in 2021 and beyond, lowering long-run growth.”
What should leaders do to resuscitate creativity?
Unfortunately, many team leaders attribute creativity decline to ‘inability to be in the same physical space’ or ‘lack of access to whiteboards and Post-it notes’.
However, science has shown that creativity is far more than access to shared space and tools. What is most encouraging is that the sources of creativity are as accessible today as they were last March – in fact, teams can be far more creative – when given the right stimulus.
(1) EXPERTISE INHIBITS CREATIVITY
As Duncan Wardle, former head of creativity at Disney, explains in his talk, expertise enables you to make quick, informed decisions. But knowing too much prevents from asking “embarrassing” questions or offering unconventional ideas.
(2) TRUST IS THE FOUNDATION OF CREATIVITY
Multiple studies have underscored the contribution of trust to creativity. Creativity always involves risk as it requires team members to think and behave differently from the prevailing routines. People fear others may not support their ideas.
(3) POSITIVE MOOD SPARKS CREATIVITY
Studies show that positive mood increases cognitive flexibility. Psychologists found out that people who watched a video that made them happy were able to think more creatively than people who watched a video that made them sad.
What does this mean for a virtual team preparing for a brainstorming session? There is a great answer backed by science. Right before your brainstorming, team members should spend some time practicing:
(1) Associative thinking – bring random stimuli to your thought pattern
(2) Playfulness – boost positivity and optimism
(3) Authenticity, empathy and logic – practice the three pillars of trust
Teamraderie now offers a 45-minute virtual experience that puts your team into the right mindset before you brainstorm your next big challenge. Please reach out to us at [email protected] or visit our experience finder if you would like to learn more.