Many believe that freedom fuels creativity, but that’s not always the case. In reality, creativity flourishes where there are constraints and boundaries, because these limits (whether they are artificial or otherwise) push people to use their ingenuity. The fewer resources you have, the more you are required to think outside of the box to get the job done.
When brainstorming how to boost creativity within your corporation, consider manipulating resources to fuel innovation. To get started, here are some powerful variables business leaders can limit to force their teams to stretch and grow creatively:
Placing limits on language is a very effective way to drive creativity – just look at how Twitter’s character count rule forces people to write more concisely. Within your corporation, try instructing teams to use language in a very specific way or get their point across with a limited amount of words to encourage creative thinking.
Without an unlimited budget, teams must think outside of the box in order to make projects work and get their ideas off the ground. For example, P&G used street art featuring Mr. Clean to capture people’s attention in a cost-effective way, while Monty Python and the Holy Grail and Napoleon Dynamite were low-budget movies that turned into hits. Whether budget constraints are real or artificial, they will push your teams to innovate if they want to succeed.
Time is one of the most powerful constraints available. With the clock running out, people are forced to think creatively. Innovative solutions will suddenly appear, because they know they have to do whatever it takes to get the job done.
Instructing people to work within a confined space can also generate fresh ideas. For example, consider how tiny homes must be designed to accommodate small areas, without sacrificing amenities. Imposing space constraints can open the door for your team to think more creatively as well.
As you can see, business leaders have the power to manipulate resources in a strategic way, thus driving creativity and innovation throughout the organization.
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