New research highlights that while many workplaces encourage creative thinking, organizational behavior often kills a creative idea before it gets a chance to fly.
Jack Goncalo, a member of the research team from University of Pennsylvania asked: "How is it that people say they want creativity but in reality often reject it?"
Jack et al’s research paper found that creative ideas are by definition novel, and novelty can trigger feelings of uncertainty that make most people uncomfortable. These ideas are often dismissed in favor of the tried and trusted, and that even supporting objective evidence may not help break down barriers.
Jack says that the anti-creativity bias is so subtle that people are often unaware of it. This can interfere with their ability to recognize a creative idea, perhaps when they need it most. It also suggests that the field of creativity may need to shift its focus from identifying how to generate more ideas to how to help innovative institutions recognize and accept creativity.
This is really a gut thing. People often associated creative ideas like “poison”, “vomit” and “agony”. All of which says that it takes an adventurous spirit to free creativity. It can feel right without feeling safe. Want to change the game? Embrace discomfort. Now go make people sick.