How to lead your team to integrated ground-breaking results
Creativity and integration defined
- Integration is a process of combining or accumulating. Integration in marketing refers to a strategy informed by multiple relevant pespectives, which is designed to reach multiple audiences, using multiple tactics to create message redundancy.
- Quote: “Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties” (Erich Fromm)
- Quote: “You need chaos in your soul to give birth to a dancing star” (Friedrich Nietzche)
- Quote: “Odd how the creative power at once brings the whole universe to order” (Virginia Woolf)
What kinds of leadership foster creativity and integration for brainstorming
- Democratic style fosters creativity and integration.
- Emphasizes participation and delegation.
- Identifies the problem or challenge, not the potential solutions.
- Articulates any legitimate parameters.
- Values originality as much as past experience.
- Employs consensus for decisions, when appropriate.
- Encourages project time frames that allow for brainstorming, consensus, integration.
- Is open, trusting, and values expertise of others.
- Rewards performance of groups, not just individuals.
- Autocratic style limits participation and controls results.
- Micromanages or controls tasks.
- Predisposes or prescribes outcomes.
- Discourages innovation.
- Values proven performance and past practice over original thinking.
- Identifies possible solutions to problems when assigning scope of task.
- Values leader’s experience based on trust.
- Sets a time line for tasks that value action and implementation.
- Reward staff primarily for individual contributions.
- Note: crisis communications may benefit more from autocratic styles.
Cultivating creativity for integrated outcomes
At the beginning…
- Create cross-functional teams. If possible, allow some experimentation in new roles. Seeing things from different perspectives created new understanding and expands ideas.
- Be clear about expectations. Review purpose and requirements.
- Set parameters at appropriate points.
- Allow/plan time in production schedules.
- Find an environment that release members form regular routines, encourages team interaction.
- Limit interruptions.
- Focus on purpose.
- Encourage comfort (dress, refreshments, climate, etc.)
Use creativity exercises and refresh openness
- Use art supplies, games to warm up.
- When ideas slow down, try another exercise to generate fresh ideas.
- No idea is a bad idea — no criticism.
- Avoid censoring selves.
- Take risks.
- Keep groups small. If overall group is large, break into smaller groups and process feedback in a larger group.
Don’t walk away from initial brainstorming with a plan for next steps
- Distribute responsibities.
- Take time to synthesize.
- Schedule next milestones for team to get together.
And, finally, outside the confines of a specific project, cultivate through on-going measures
- Minimize boundaries of professional training, budgets, office space.
- Reward (reasonable) risk and collaboration.
- Encourage outings, professional development opportunities, and recognition programs that inspire and reward