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    10 Replies Latest reply on Jul 30, 2008 5:29 PM by LUCKIEST

    Got creativity in the workplace?  Here's how to nip it!

    BizBurrito Wayfarer
      I thought some of you might like's a tongue-in-cheek approach to help people understand the importance of creativity in the workplace. Hope you enjoy!


      These days, time is money.

      And while many companies are encouraging creativity in the workplace because they know it will have a positive long-term effect on their bottom lines, other companies are simply tightening their belts and asking employees to work longer and harder than ever.

      If you subscribe to the latter philosophy, then here are 11 surefire ways you can douse that pesky creative revolution once and for all.

      1. Whenever a creative thinker offers an innovative idea, look at them like you smell dog poo. This will signal to everyone how much you value creativity in the workplace, and should go a long way toward eliminating it altogether. In fact, be sure to belittle anyone who looks even slightly artistic. They might give your company a reputation for diversity and creativity.

      2. Reward sameness. Hire people with the right “look” who will impress clients with their excellent choice of suits and ties (or pantsuits), the whiteness of their shirts, and their MBAs. Clients may think you’re as boring as heck after awhile, but at least they won’t think you’re different from the rest of the suits.

      3. Never think outside the box. It’s much, much safer inside where it’s nice and warm. Of course, you’ll have to be prepared to grow your company very slowly (if at all) and watch other more innovative companies pass you by.

      4. Never, ever encourage curiosity or questions! This may lead to innovation (see #3).

      5. Along the same lines, always discourage play. Play leads to having fun, and having fun will make people enjoy coming to work. And who knows where that might lead! Perhaps to more creativity in the workplace.

      6. Maintain a “your-butt-is-mine-if-this-doesn’t-work” mentality. This absolutely ensures that your people will keep their heads down and just do their jobs.

      7. Have lots of unnecessary meetings with strict agendas and lots of charts and graphs. If the agenda doesn’t discourage discussion, then the charts and graphs should confuse everyone into silence.

      8. Above all, never hold a brainstorming session! These are notorious for producing creative ideas and encouraging creativity in the workplace!

      9. If anyone in your organization suggests a retreat or any team-building activities, tell them in no uncertain terms to pack up and get out. These foster camaraderie and increase our comfort levels with each other, which set the stage for creative thinking.

      10. Install rows and rows of cubicles that all look the same, and don’t let your people personalize them with pictures or toys.

      11. Do not attend (or cause anyone to attend) any creative thinking seminars, or read any books on creativity, creativity in the workplace, or creative problem solving. In fact, fire on the spot anyone who even suggests this!

      So, there you have it…11 things you can do to guarantee any creativity in the workplace is beaten to a pulp before it has time to take root and grow. After all, you wouldn’t want to have to deal with all those messy profits, now, would you?

      (If you’d like to read nine more ways to head creativity in the workplace off at the pass, go to my website at and click on the “Creative Thinking” link. The article link is toward the bottom of the page.)
        • Re: Got creativity in the workplace?  Here's how to nip it!
          DomainDiva Ranger
          I realize that this is sarcasm, however it is still terribly painful and I found nothing funny or tongue in cheek about it.

          Unfortunately what you posted is the mindset of the majority of companies (and mangers). Lets hope that no egomaniac takes the sarcasm to heart and 'nips' the creative aspect (soul) of their employees.

          Perhaps you may have some ways to encourage certainly seem to have enough to stifle it. Using negative thinking to try and reinforce or teach a positive outcome is not a tactic that I use in my business. The processing of negative information to try and get a positive result is for most people people will focus on the first message..not the final one.

          Each 'problem' is another opportunity to develop another solution, most of the time I find out about 'the problem' after my people have solved it. They know where they need to be and that we have no defintite technology roadmap for the application so the team solves problems as they arise.

          • Re: Got creativity in the workplace?  Here's how to nip it!
            BizBurrito Wayfarer
            My apologies if it in anyway offended you. Having been an ad agency creative director for last 20+ years, I certainly understand your thinking and your comments. I often found it an uphill battle to infuse creativity. Sometimes a little levity helps.
            • Re: Got creativity in the workplace?  Here's how to nip it!
              Iwrite Pioneer
              I am on the floor!! Humor is a strange and wonderful thing. Not everyone is going to laugh at the same joke. I emailed it to my friends. This is funny to me because everyday I see companies that claim to want to be creative and allow their employees "think outside the box," but do everything within their power to beat the creativity out of their people.

              BizBurrito, our positions in advertising has allowed us to view the inner workings of our clients' businesses, and that view is not always pretty. I have walked the halls of a place where the employees (and I use the term loosely) had been reduced to indentured servants - restroom breaks were scheduled and timed, no phones or cell phones at their desks, no pictures or artwork on thier desks, no talking to co-workers unless it was about work. I felt like singing old slave songs in this place. I had no idea a place like this still existed.

              And we were charged with helping to make this place money?!

              I begged off that account with a quickness, and we resigned it shortly afterwards because they started to want to tell us how to work.

              Thank you for post. My email is blowing up with responses.
              • Re: Got creativity in the workplace?  Here's how to nip it!
                BizBurrito Wayfarer
                Thanks to both of you for your comments and different ways of approaching a topic. To me, this is a grand example of diverse thinking, which inspires creative thinking, which leads to innovation, which leads to profits, which leads to progress....