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How could we craft a company that destroys and stifles creativity and innovation? The sort of company where Dilbert, the comic strip character, works.
Surely knowing how to create and encourage creativity is more useful than knowing how to destroy? I would argue the opposite. Creativity is innate and will thrive in the right environment.
In the words of Frederick Brooks, the famous Computer Scientist; “As the child delights in his mud pie, so the adult enjoys building things, especially things of his own design. I think this delight must be an image of God’s delight in making things, a delight shown in the distinctness and newness of each leaf and each snowflake.”
Unfortunately, the culture at many companies destroys this built-in creativity. The question is how?
Here are the 10 “commandments” that should be followed if you want to minimise creativity and innovation at your company:
Unfortunately, many of the people I speak to in the South African corporate world recognise these “commandments” and see them acted out on a daily basis. I have no doubt that each of these would make for a great Dilbert comic strip.
In the comic strip, there is a pointy-haired boss who is the unnamed, oblivious and unethical manager of the engineering division of Dilbert’s company. He is hopelessly incompetent at management, does not understand technical issues, but always tries to disguise this, usually by using buzzwords that he does not understand.
The challenge facing CEOs and other leaders is to craft cultures where the pointy-haired boss could never find a home. It is my experience that good company cultures make employees feel valued, connected and that they make a difference. In addition, employees are supported in their growth journey and are encouraged to take risks, even if it means that they will fail from time to time. These healthy cultures support a fertile environment where innovation and creativity can blossom.