Don't work; play. ... Let the people working for you play, play, play. Don’t let them be overburdened by routine and mundane tasks. Build on their curiosity.Seriously, that's some of the advice from comedian John Cleese in this article. Four other comedians also discuss how business leaders can enhance the creativity of their teams.
Labor management professor Bacharach introduces their comments in this way:
One group of professionals whose life’s passion is centered on creativity think you actually can foster it in an organization. That group is comedians, and they ought to know: After all, what demands more creativity than coming up with new routines week after week that make other people laugh?Here are excerpts of advice from the four other comedians:
Ricky Gervais: Do something; anything ... Let your team create. Help it not to be afraid of failure or the pedigree of its creations. The simple act of creating will increase team members' confidence and expand their imagination.
Louis CK: Throw out your garbage ... Don’t let your team members rest on their laurels. Encourage them to throw out or rotate their ideas, no matter how creative they might have been at one time. Let them search for better answers, fixes, and solutions--even if there isn’t an immediate necessity.
Jerry Seinfeld: Think about Pop-Tarts for two years ... Don’t be fearful of the trivial. Sometimes creativity doesn’t begin with a brilliant idea; it starts with a simple observation. Encourage your team to observe and observe deeply. And remember, it may be a long process.
Woody Allen: Put your brilliant idea away ... Encourage your team members not torture an idea to death. If it doesn’t click right away, tell them to put it in a drawer. There will be time to come back to it.Bacharach concludes:
As a leader, you set the tone. If you’re willing to give others the opportunity to play, explore, fail, throw out ideas, think about the mundane, take their time--and sometimes break the ice by telling a bad joke--then you will create an atmosphere that will stimulate new ideas, new processes, and new directions and take your company to new heights. No kidding.________