Is Your Business a Magnet for Creative People?

IBM surveyed more than 1,500 CEOs last year on the leadership qualities they most prize. Creativity ranked as most desirable.

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If you, like the CEOs surveyed, want to attract more creative people to your business or work teams, there’s good news. According to Kate Canales of Frog Design writing in the June 7 issue of The Atlantic, they may already work for you.

As leaders, our goal is to find them and nurture them.

But I’m not creative. . .
When they select creativity as their top leadership quality, the CEOs are not searching for the stereotypical tortured artist.  

Rather, they seek to hire people who excel at solving problems. Notes Canales, these people have a facility for questioning accepted practice, digging deep into an issue and coming up with a solution that breaks “the conventions of the status quo.”

Nuturing success
Your workplace culture has a huge impact on whether creative people will thrive or even make themselves known to you. If the culture discourages risk-taking, employees will fear stepping forward. “Creativity in the workplace requires context,” writes Canales.

When your workplace supports and rewards creativity, new ideas and innovations will result.

Canales suggests a number of tips to support your creative people. Among them:

  • Redefine success away from traditional measures like quotas or billable hours. One idea she presents is to reward teams as a group.
  • Reconfigure your office’s physical space to support the sharing of ideas.
  • Encourage the presentation of ideas sooner and in rougher form. Perfection is not required.
  • Ask what customer need the idea presented satisfies before focusing on the bottom line impact.

Find more ideas on identifying people in your workplace who may be creative and fostering a creative work atmosphere.

In what ways does your workplace foster creativity? Use the comments section to share.

About creativeconsiderations

Christine Sullivan is a communications strategist with expertise in communications planning, writing and content development, and executive communications. She can be reached at
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