Encouraging Group Creativity


brainstorming Creativity can be a difficult task when done individually, but when done as a group this difficult task can become even more difficult.  In fact, groups actually generate less creative ideas when brainstorming together than when brainstorming individually.  When you are alone, you don't have to worry about hurt feelings or the risk of sharing your idea, but when you are in a team opinions start to come in, some people aren't good at creating, and people who suck the life out of your ideas.  Creativity is much easier when we are alone, but when done properly it is much more valuable when others are involved in the process.

Some ways to encourage creativity for teams:

Create individually.

Before we gather for our creative meetings try to figure out what ways you might be able to equip your creatives (read all people who are invited) with enough information and direction so that they can begin to generate ideas before you ever gather together.  Creativity on demand is incredibly difficult and a very high expectation from a group of people.  But if you give the same people time to process, reflect, and brainstorm alone they will have much more creativity.  If you want to be creative as a group, you need to encourage individual creativity first.  The ideas that will be shared prior to the creative meeting will inspire new ideas and allow for good ideas to refined and pushed further.

Create collectively.

Keeping your ideas to yourself will limit the potential that they might have for the team.  As a group you need to find ways to collectively be creative.  There are plenty of people who can generate ideas of things they'd like to do themselves, but organizationally it becomes much more difficult to have a team of people who can generate great ideas and deliver the end products.  In order to be creative collectively we need to make a few things a priority.

  • We need to share our ideas quickly so that they can inspire other ideas and allow people to make those ideas even bigger.
  • We need to gather a collection of ideas so that we have a starting point when we need to gather as a group.
  • We need to give creative teams a clear direction of the objective.
  • We need to gather as a group and refine, critique, and discuss the ideas that we gathered so we can decide where to move forward.

What are some ways that you encourage creativity in your ministry?

Photo Credit: kmakice

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