Employee Creativity LO23014

Tue, 26 Oct 1999 14:12:51 EDT

Replying to LO22986 --

>Is anyone out there actively working on encouraging their people to be
>more creative? How are you doing this?

I used to live at the end of a long gravel road. One of my neighbors
drove a low-slung sports car back and forth to work each day and every
time I'd see him he would gripe about how slowly he had to drive his car
and how much trouble the gravel road caused him. He used to rail against
the county road crews who just weren't caring or creative enough to fix
the roads. He bought a house on a gravel road and he purchased a car that
wouldn't negotiate the road and he blamed the road for his problems. I
believe if his business were filled with the most creative people on earth
he would never recognize it.

Perhaps the issue is not the creation of creativity but the removal of
impediments to its use. I used to ask clients if it was OK for their
employees to make the company a million dollars through creative efforts.
Everyone always said "yes, of course we would like our employees to do
that." Then I asked them if it was OK for the employee to make decisions
about a hundred thousand dollar investment that would make that million
and the answer was always no. The limiting factor here was the confidence
of management, not the creativity of the employees. If the system does
not support creative output then individual pockets of creativity among
employees are a moot issue.

Lon Badgett

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