How does creativity lead to productivity
New creative series: this is how brainstorming sessions are finally productive
Do you need reliable roles within this group for it to function reliably? Which are they?
Reliably yes, but not static. This is more of a hindrance to the development of creativity, because remaining in roles that have been filled out means that only certain actions are expected. This in turn leads to automatisms and routines. The following basic roles are important, but should move between the participants depending on the situation: Leader (thematic, emotional), nonconformist and mediator. I am currently very much concerned with archetypes and researching which types make sense in the creativity process and when.
Do you really need a leader and spokesman?
It definitely takes leadership in the team. However, what is special about the creativity process is that leadership can and should rarely be ascribed to just one person. There is the project manager who basically takes care of the coordination of the team process, this is often a person. There is also emotional leadership in the team. Another participant often has this role. In my research, a third and essential type of leadership emerged: expert leadership, which varies or should vary depending on the course of the process. The split leadership is eminently important, so that the dominance of an individual is avoided and a democratic basic structure is created.
And a speaker?
A speaker is particularly important at the end of the creative project, because ideas / prototypes have to be "sold" in the organization. Not everyone can and does not like this. The big challenge is that the team now has to accept that it is losing sovereignty over the ideas. The idea / prototype sees the light of day and now has a life of its own.
How long should a session ideally be?
A creative session should last between 30 minutes and two hours. I consider an hour to be appropriate, consisting of generating and evaluating ideas. It is crucial that the group doesn't stop too early. There are clearly studies that say that you have to overcome the "saturation point" and then the better ideas will come. To put it bluntly, the motto is: "Torment yourself, you pig!".
To what extent does the personality of the individual brainstorming colleagues play a role?
Personality is important. A good mix of extrovert and introvert would be desirable. Likewise, that the right techniques are used so that one or two people do not dominate.
To what extent are emotions also involved despite the professional environment?
Without emotions, the participants never get into a flow: Checklists do not lead to the development of creativity. Everyone has to have a desire for the unknown, a desire to leave their own comfort zone. Every creativity project is an adventure trip full of emotions.
What are the effects of tensions in the team?
Conflicts and tensions are extremely productive, but the following rule applies: Conflicts and tensions that are tied to the solution to the task promote creativity. Here one can also consciously create tension, for example by having a team member take on the role of the advocatus diaboli. Interpersonal conflicts, on the other hand, are more likely to be avoided because they inhibit creativity. Of course, they are inevitable, but they must be resolved immediately. Just take a look at famous bands: at the moment when interpersonal tensions and conflicts increased or could no longer be resolved, groups such as the Beatles broke up.
How do you recapture negative emotions and turn them into a good result?
First of all, it is important to first find out why there is despair or negative emotion. Usually it is a bundle of emotions that leads to despair. When clearing things out, the external perspective is particularly helpful. Despair, which is attached to the project itself, arises when the group has no idea: creativity techniques really help here. And I would say it almost doesn't matter which one you use, as long as the group has new ideas. The decisive factor is the change of perspective and the escape from the comfort zone.
Does a team have to fail to be really good?
Unfortunately, we Germans don't have a culture of failure. Failure is viewed as a shame and shame. Quite different in the USA, failure is part of it, companies even reward failure there. In a creativity process you have to "fail", otherwise you will be satisfied with the result far too early. Then, in the end, the best idea that the team could have achieved will not be implemented.
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