The reality of managers having problems they’re unwilling to admit with people expressing creativity is a subject I’ve wanted to cover for a long time.
The initial desire to address it came from talking with an executive about a new position he was intending to fill. In describing the role and type of person he wanted, he proceeded to explain where we he wanted the person to be creative and where he didn’t.
I was dumbfounded by his audacity and misguided thinking in expecting someone to turn creativity on and off. Over time, it’s proven to be a clear issue. While never saying it directly, the meaning behind his words continually reinforces his view of creativity as frivolous, threatening, and an impediment slowing down implementation of “real” things.
Being able to address opportunities and challenges creatively is completely positive, yet too often, it’s not appreciated or cultivated within companies. This post from Strategy Driven Innovation by Jatin DeSai titled “Forget "Creativity", Embrace "Creativeness"- A workforce strategy for the future!” addresses the topic by drawing an interesting distinction between “creativity” and “creativeness.”
Until I get other thoughts down in writing, this article provides a starting point for conversations with senior people undermining organizational success by getting in the way of their people bringing creativeness to business efforts.