I’m exploring how creativity works within a creative organization (see Pulling Back the Curtain for more info).
In creativity studies, we can investigate how creativity manifests through looking at “the 4 P’s:” the Creative Person, the Creative Product, the Creative Process, and the Creative Press, which refers to the environment.
Earlier posts have described moments of the creative process in action; others have explored where the creative person and the creative process intersect, though looking at the FourSight Breakthrough Thinking Profile. Now we’re digging into what the environment for creativity is like at this organization.
While you might assume that creative companies (those that generate creative products of some sort) would have an advantage over “non-creative” companies, this is not necessarily the case. Ever known a production company where everyone is continually stressed out on short deadlines? How about PR/advertising agencies where people are afraid to share ideas out of lack of trust? Or arts organizations that are chronically short of funding? All of these things—idea time, trust, resources, and many more—contribute to the creative environment.
With Pulling Back the Curtain, we’re lucky to be able to test-drive a survey of creative environment which is currently under development. I’ll keep the name secret for now, but will tell you that this survey measures sixteen different dimensions of the environment that impact the perceptions employees have of “interactions, events, policies and procedures” within the organization. The survey takes an “appreciative inquiry” approach: what has worked well in the past, and how might you have more of that in the future?
We sent the surveys last week. By next week the study authors hope to be able to start gathering the data, and piecing together a picture of how this creative company stacks up in terms of creating an environment that supports and invites creativity.
Does the daily arrival of baked goods contribute to an “abundance mentality?” How about the personalized production badges—are they supportive of a “sense of belonging?” What will the “just set up your computer anywhere” office design say about how organized the environment is? We can’t wait to find out!