4 Steps to Killing Creativity
If you want to kill creativity in a person, organization, ministry, etc, I recommend the following.
1) “We Have Never Done That”
Go ahead, let you decision making be led by this phrase. Decide to never do anything you have not already done. This is a great formula for death.
2) “We Tried That Once”
This phrase is sibling to #1. It makes you wonder, what are we so afraid of? Being risk averse does not lead to being a stronger person, business, church, etc. It leads to being weak and susceptible to death.
3) How? vs Wow!
At Catalyst the last two years, Andy Stanley has encouraged spouses to say “Wow!” rather than “How?” to new ideas coming from their Idea Addict other halves. Start with, “Wow, what a great idea!” rather than, “How is that going to work?” I could not agree more. Ideas need room to breathe. Give ideas time to come out and marinate a little bit before you shoot them down.
In my house, I’m the Idea Addict and I daily come up with some new idea. Most of them never leave the first conversation, but it is vital to my creativity to be able to share my ideas. More importantly, it sets the tone for creativity in my household. When you choose to “How?” and idea immediately, you will kill creativity in your spouse and eventually in your children. Relax and start with “Wow!”
4) Responsibility without Authority
Giving someone the responsibility to do something without the authority to make decisions on how to get it done is a sure recipe for disaster. I know what you are thinking, “But s/he isn’t ready!” Okay. Deep breath. How do you make them ready?
Another breath. How can you get out of the way so there is room for this person to blossom? As long as you or your group is able to snipe I mean veto all decisions, you are guaranteeing death of creativity. Whenever possible, never give responsibility without authority.
Listen, creativity is your friend. You must be willing to take some risks. Do not let fear motivate you. Fear does not lead to growth, but to death.