An amazing lecture by John Cleese on Creativity, how to foster it, and how to kill it. Make the time – 30 minutes – and watch it, learn it, live it.
I totally agree with everything he says. The only thing that’s missing is one element (which, to be honest is a little off-topic for his lecture anyway), and that’s permission.
If you’re running a team – particularly one under pressure – then you need to explicitly give your team members permission to be creative and play. Otherwise, they won’t do it by themselves – at least, not unless they’re all rebels. And play is important. It allows for creativity.
What’s interesting is that the environment needed for creative thinking is the same environment needed for strategic thought. Everyone can be tactical – that’s (as Cleese puts it) closed-mode thinking. Developing stratagems requires open-mode thought – although it’s typically more directed and focused than creative thought. Other than that, all the ingredients are exactly the same.