Herding creative cats

Not literal cats but creative people are, in a sense quite similar when it comes to control.

Creative people sometimes operate most effectively on the outside of the collective. They often find themselves rejected by the group, and at times, they take the initiative and reject the group themselves.

New studies are finding that creative people are social rejects and often this rejection fuels their creativity. The more people are excluded from social situations the more they turn to creativity to express themselves. How do you keep people included in your organisation’s collective while at the same time getting them to be their creative selves? Inc Magazine has the following advice:

  • Incorporate their creativity. Consciously reinforce the idea that creative geeks fit into a larger collective effort. Make it as clear as possible that their ideas are important in moving the agenda of the group. This brings creative geeks in while enhancing their self-worth and celebrating their creativity.
  • Engage them through dialogue. Ask creative geeks what they’re doing. Ask how you can be of assistance. Coach them, and partner with them as much as possible.
  • Establish parameters. Within your company, you need to set boundaries for your most creative people. Though you want to give them enough space outside of the group, you also need to monitor them to make sure that their agenda does not spin out of control, putting the interests of the larger collective in jeopardy.

It’s a tough balancing but keeping the creative people going requires some extra management to get the best out of them. It feels a little like keeping children in line but maybe in the long run is just as rewarding.

Source (Inc Magazine)

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