I’ve known John Q. Harrington (or Q as he’s known to everyone) for more years than either of us will admit to in public!

Q, a national and international award-winning Creative Director for 20+ years, and I first worked together when he was creative director for our advertising agency of record back in the early corporate days. It’s great to feature his first Brainzooming guest post today, with 9 tips to amplify creative thinking in any business:

Creative Thinking - 9 Tips to Amplify Creativity in Any Business by Q

John-Q-HarringtonThroughout my career, I've learned hundreds of tricks that help amplify the creativity of the people who report to me.  Here are my top 9 tips you can use to give a booster shot of creativity to any department in any company:

  1. Create an environment of praise instead of fear.  Nothing dries up creativity faster than rampant negativity and fear of making a mistake.
  2. Don't give people a million rules, give them a few absolute ones then let them have free rein on everything else.
  3. Don't take the credit, give the credit.
  4. Praise the behavior you want loudly and often.
  5. Be fair, but don't tolerate non-performers.  Keeping around dead weight demoralizes the people who are trying really hard.
  6. Don't compete with your underlings.  If you're always trying to one up your staff, they will quit trying eventually.  If they don't solve the problem exactly the way you would have, GREAT!!!
  7. Give people a clear, simple, lofty vision of where you want to go.  BE VERY CONSISTENT TO SUPPORT THAT VISION.
  8. Don't worry so much about watching the clock on employees.  If they accomplish the goals you want, let them figure out creative ways and times to make it happen.
  9. Try to inject some aspect of fun into everything you do right down to the office space.  Just look at the offices, benefits and the results at Google.

Do all that and you'll have the best and the brightest lining up to work on your team. – Q


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