Creativity in Business

Harvard Business School has an article about Creativity in Business called Getting Down to the Business of Creativity. Read the entire article if you’d like to know more about their research.

Creativity, a quality more traditionally associated with artistic endeavors, has been slow to find its acknowledged place in the business world.

“Creativity does have a reputation for being magical,” says HBS professor Teresa Amabile. “One myth is that it’s associated with the particular personality or genius of a person—and in fact, creativity does depend to some extent on the intelligence, expertise, talent, and experience of an individual. Of course it does. But it also depends on creative thinking as a skill that involves qualities such as the propensity to take risks and to turn a problem on its head to get a new perspective. That can be learned.”

Another driver of creativity, motivation, is the locus of Amabile’s research. “The desire to do something because you find it deeply satisfying and personally challenging inspires the highest levels of creativity, whether it’s in the arts, sciences, or business,” she says.

So what can managers and entrepreneurs do to promote a healthy, positive inner work life among employees? A pat on the back or a company Ping-Pong table is always welcome, but what Amabile and Kramer discovered was much simpler: People have their best days and do their best work when they are allowed to make progress.