The Keys to Creativity Are in the Corner Office

I'll end this chapter by telling you about an exercise I use to wind up my Mind Farming workshops.

Toward the end of the program, I divide the group into four segments. I give each segment virtually the same assignment posed four different ways. After they complete this short drill, I have all participants share their results. Here's what happens every time. Group A is consistently more creative than groups B, C, and D. Group B is invariably the next most creative. Group C typically comes in third. And those pathetic guinea pigs in group D unfailingly come in last. Why? Because I manage them into increasingly tighter limits on their creativity.

With all due respect for the "natural tendencies" of people revealed in our discussion of the Mind Farming personalities (dreamers, rationals,

That big idea you had last year is still impacting the company's bottom line. Can you spell promotion? ^^

Timeline of a great idea (continued)

crafters, and laborers), the makeup of subsegments I include in my little exercise is irrelevant. I manage all people in group A to be dreamers. I manage all individuals in the B group to be rationals, and so on down the food chain.

It's that simple: Manage for creativity and you will get creativity. Put the lid on creativity and it will wither away like a beautiful flower locked in the basement.

You are the Mind Farmer; it's entirely up to you.

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Cheat Notes for Chapter 18: Mind Farming

People are different animals; their creativity needs to be cultivated differently.


Everyone falls principally into either the "thinking" modes of rationals or dreamers, or the "doing" modes of crafters or laborers.

All individuals have a dominant thinking mode and a dominant doing mode, one of which is their superdominant mode, which normally defines that person's primary value to the organization.

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Management can do some basic things to develop creative thinkers: Provide challenges, encouragement, freedom, and understanding.

The Do-It-Yourself Lobotomy thinking tools stimulate the primary traits of creative thinking: curiosity, active mind, and fresh perspective.

Manage for creativity and you will get creativity. Put the lid on creativity and you rob your organization of a valuable resource.

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