How to wreck creativity

Working out how we, and our teams, can be creative can seem really hard.  However, sometimes the answer is as simple as making sure that we don’t wreck it.  As leaders we are responsible for ‘calling fouls’ and therefore defining a culture, so we need to ensure that others are not wrecking creativity as well as keeping ourselves on a tight reign.

Some time ago I came across a great list of creativity wreckers from a website that is not longer available.  Here they are:

  1. Our place is different
  2. We tried that before.
  3. It costs too much.
  4. That’s not my job.
  5. They’re too busy to do that.
  6. We don’t have the time.
  7. Not enough help.
  8. It’s too radical a change.
  9. The staff will never buy it.
  10. It’s against company policy.
  11. The union will scream.
  12. That will run up our overhead.
  13. We don’t have the authority.
  14. Let’s get back to reality
  15. That’s not our problem.
  16. I don’t like the idea.
  17. I’m not saying you’re wrong but…
  18. You’re two years ahead of your time.
  19. Now’s not the right time.
  20. It isn’t in the budget.
  21. Can’t teach an old dog new tricks.
  22. Good thought, but impractical.
  23. Let’s give it more thought.
  24. We’ll be the laughingstock of the industry.
  25. Not that again.
  26. Where’d you dig that one up?
  27. We did alright without it before.
  28. It’s never been tried.
  29. Let’s put that one on the back burner for now.
  30. Let’s form a committee.
  31. It won’t work in our place.
  32. The executive committee will never go for it.
  33. I don’t see the connection.
  34. Let’s all sleep on it.
  35. It can’t be done.
  36. It’s too much trouble to change.
  37. It won’t pay for itself.
  38. It’s impossible.
  39. I know a person who tried it and got fired.
  40. We’ve always done it this way.
  41. We’d lose money in the long run.
  42. Don’t rock the boat.
  43. That’s what we can expect from the staff.
  44. Has anyone else ever tried it?
  45. Let’s look into it further.
  46. We’ll have to answer to the stockholders.
  47. Quit dreaming.
  48. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
  49. That’s too much ivory tower.
  50. It’s too much work.

Do you recognise yourself in any of those?  How about your team members?

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