Monday, June 27, 2016

Enhancing Team Creativity

By: Jenipher Cruz, Travis Dionne, Bianca Johnson, Raymond Jones and Jeremy Spencer

Everyone has a spark of creativity that inspires new ideas, solutions to problems and new ways of doing things that are better than the old in some way, shape or form. Many particularly in the field of Psychology have tried to learn more about creativity and measure it. There are a number of tests that have been designed to measure creativity, however, they are limited in measuring only a few aspects of creativity. Tests are unable to measure the entirety of creativity.

The closest study as it pertains to learning more about creativity was provided by Ronald Finke in his book The Creative Cognition Approach. In his work, Finke offers four general conceptual domains where we may classify new ideas. The domains are creative realism, conservative realism, creative idealism and conservative idealism. Creative realism falls under realistic and creative scope where ideas are of a more creative nature and very outside the box however they are tied to the ideas known to the person conceiving the idea. Conservative realism falls under realistic and conservative scope where ideas tend to fall under the constraints of the ideas the person has been brought up into. Creative idealism falls under the creative and idealistic scope where ideas are extremely outside the box, however ideas are often unachievable. Finally, conservative idealism falls under the conservative and idealistic scope where ideas are not creative or outside the box and are not helpful in any way toward leading a team to success.

            Although there are many inconclusive tests and research pertaining to creativity, we are more prone to learning about creativity from experiences and the people surrounding us. When in a team, there are threats that menace the creativity that team members can offer, either by stronger and more dominant personalities within the group or simply because of team members that far outrank others in the group. For example, when there are executives or supervisors within a group and employees under these executives, this can limit the creativity of employees for fear of offering better and more innovative ideas than their superiors or they could limit themselves for fear of seeming to oppose the ideas of the executives in the eyes of said superiors. Among other factors that threaten creativity are budget constraints, the idea could be great and very innovative but limited by the budget provided or even lack of technology at the team’s disposition. Finally, the team could very well agree on a great idea and yet the stakeholders could turn it down.

            Creativity is a great factor to projects thriving, it is the drive that assists in providing results that exceed the expectations of team members and stakeholders alike. It is therefore important for companies to seek for the enhancement of creativity. Among the ideas that enhance creativity, team members could take part in dynamics that encourage everyone to speak their ideas. For example, opening the forum for each team member to speak their ideas and opinions on a matter of the project allows team members to put their ideas on the table and it creates a sense of ownership for each team member where they feel as the valued team members they are. There is also the idea of changing the environment where team members meet, this can uplift team members and inspire creativity. In contributing to the enhancement of creativity, recognitions should be provided for those who put forth an effort to offer creative and innovative ideas. Many companies also recruit younger employees in the hopes of sparking new ideas from employees that come from other creative environments and bring new perspectives.

            There are a number of ways in which to encourage creativity in a team setting. Creativity is the innovative drive that will push projects forward and it is important for team members to be recognized and acknowledged for their efforts and this in turn will motivate team members to continuously go the extra mile and be proactive. As technology and the world moves at such a fast rate, it is imperative companies are diligent in encouraging creativity in order to thrive in an ever changing world.


Finke, R. (1995). Creative realism. In S. Smith, T. Ward, and R. Finke (eds.), The Creative Cognition Approach, Cambridge University Press.