6.5 How to Hinder Creativity

The first way to hinder creativity is to reduce thinking time and try to eliminate solitude. Management can accomplish this in six easy steps:

  1. Schedule many meetings. In addition to weekly project meetings, schedule daily meetings to solve all kinds of problems and to show off what has been accomplished.
  2. Have each team member account for all of his or her time in detail.
  3. Tell people not to talk to each other about their tasks.
  4. Interrupt individuals whenever possible. Give team members new tasks to accomplish. If problems arise on other projects, then send them over to help out.
  5. Change the product specifications and put in new features at the last minute.
  6. Have the team members stay at work 12 hours per day and have them work on weekends.

Lack of time and interruptions are enemies of the creative process. Creativity is diminished when individuals are under-the-gun and the workdays are fragmented with many meetings, with busy work and interruptions.Amabile et al. (2002). Creativity is not very efficient. It takes time to understand a problem and to develop ideas.