Our designer has a little saying – mainly when she doesn’t like our ideas about her designs
“Your stifling my creativity!”
Generally we laugh but the article below got us thinking there might be more to it.
We use The Team Machine (www.theteam-machine.com) to help crews, gangs and teams work together better. We find by understanding how the members of the team see the team as a whole we can steer and guide the leaders towards a better environment.
So what does that mean in the real world of the Hunmoco office – how can we make our world less stifling?
Making the Culture less defensive
It is so easy to end up in the corner with your arms folded sulking sometimes. It was such a great idea and the rest just rained on your parade. At Hunmoco we enjoy some robust banter but at times not everyone is in on the joke. As a leader it is vital that those in a meeting or discussion know what stage the item is at. Is it time for creative thinking; changing the plan completely or is it now time to refine; or frankly, just get on and do it however bad it seems. When we don’t know the context clearly sometimes our input is inappropriate. We need to build trust within our team (and in our selves) and this often comes with a clear understanding of the rules of the game. Team Machine Model – Trust, Clear Goals and Support.
Giving space of those who like to consider
Not everyone likes the cut and thrust of brain-storming – hard to believe I know!! Whenever time allows let your ideas seep out to the rest of the team so that when you do cluster they have had a chance to think. Maybe they may even point out the spelling mistake in private before it becomes embarrassing. This sort of approach rather than draining energy from the team enables the building of positivity and strengths of others. If deadlines are known and shared it is surprising who will block out 20 minutes in their afternoon to review that presentation for you. Team Machine Model – Energy
Don’t take on too much
The salesman (and also the bill payer) never like to turn work away but as we have matured a bit in the Hunmoco office we have noticed that our tolerance levels are much lower when the pressure is too much. Agreeing the capacity the team has to deliver well has been one of our better process changes over the years; we produce better results for the customers we do have capacity for and we get greater job satisfaction but also we appreciate each other more because we have time to understand. Team Machine Model – Support
So next time you are accused of extinguishing the flame of creativity have a think if it is more institutional than personal.