Ten Tips Guaranteed to Kill Creativity in the Corporation

Be careful, electric ideas can give your organization a big jolt!

An electric jolt of creative ideas can lead to change!

1. Do not provide a budget for any creative projects. Everyone knows that when you are measured on a quarter by quarter basis, the ROI is simply not there to make your performance look good on a timely basis. The long term consequences of stifling creativity will become someone else’s problem after you are promoted for achieving short term ROI.

2. Make everybody dress the same in bland colors. A good recommendation, if you truly want to kill creativity, is to have everyone dress in blue or grey with white shirts or blouses. Color inspires creativity and this is dangerous to entrenched ideas.

3. Do not allow laughter. If you hear laughter in the hallways this means employees might be having fun and everyone knows creativity flourishes when individuals are having fun.

4. Schedule meetings where only the presenter is allowed to speak. Too much interaction might spark a creative idea from your employees.

5. Promote employees who say, “Yes” to all your ideas. Strangely enough one technique for becoming more creative is to say, “Yes, and …..” However, in this case the employees simply said, “Yes.” They forgot the part where you add to an idea with “and.” Watch out and do not promote any employees who say “yes and ………”

6. Do not allow animated facial expressions. Be sure to reward and cultivate a poker face where there is no visible reaction to anything that happens or is expressed. If someone is animated then there is great danger that they will inspire other employees with unusual ideas. Employees must keep their facial expressions under control at all times. Showing emotion is a clear danger sign of creative thinking being formulated.

7. Make every effort to have a homogeneous team that looks like you. Diversity in physical appearance and in thinking styles should be avoided. When you have people who think differently it just takes too much time to reach consensus.  Diversity just leads to disruptive thinking.  If you want similar thinking, then homogeneity is the way to accomplish this.

8.   Do not become proficient in the latest social media or social networking. If you allow your employees to blog, tweet, and connect on LinkedIn, then they might be exposed to radical ideas from other industries.  Do you really want to expose your organization to the possiblity that these radical ideas will be brought to team meetings?

9.   Do not allow time for employees to pursue creative thinking pursuits. This is such a time waster. If you insist on everyone doing things the way they have always been done, then they do not need to learn new things.

10.  Do not schedule any specialized training for creativity. If your leaders and employees learn how to be creative on demand by using the tools and techniques available to stimulate their brains then they might start generating hundreds of great ideas. This leads to more work for you and the management team.

Can you think of any other innovative ways to stifle creative thinking?


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I can’t think of any other ways. (My creativity has been stifled.) Great article–very nicely put.

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