Encouraging Creativity on Agile Teams

Encouraging Creativity on Agile Teams
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Face it, it’s not fun living with impediments in the workplace and it’s the level of fun that so often indicates the level of creativity. Mark Twain once said, “Work is what we are obliged to do. Play is what we are not obliged to do.” It that’s true, wouldn’t we attain peak creativity, productivity, and personal contribution when people WANT to do things that they are not necessarily obliged to do?

Communication Is Key

Poor communication, along with poor productivity and effectiveness occur when people don’t even bring up problems. That happens when people don’t feel free to discuss the unpleasant and are not will to confront issues head on.,

A big step away from this condition is to work at making people feel more comfortable and confident at bringing up tough issues. It can be a real team breakthrough when certain issues are actually raised!

You don’t want to just see issues raised but confronted head on with creative thinking. People need to feel secure and to use a favorite agile term empowered to be able to do that.

And ultimately you want to see team members helping each other to solve problems creatively.

So, if it’s so difficult for people to even raise the impediments and even more difficult to get them to help one another solve them creatively, how can an agile leader help?

Fun Is the Solution

The answer is in making it fun. I mentioned Mark Twain’s quote above where “play is what we are not obliged to do.” In his famous book “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” Twain told the story of how Tom Sawyer got his friends to believe that painting fences was so much fun that they wanted to do it!

Persuasiveness can be helpful in an agile environment!

And the idea is to change perceptions from being something dull to being something fascinating or from being oppressive to being expressive.

And making it fun can make that happen.

What can you do to make a situation fun that is otherwise dull and oppressive to release creativity on your team?

This post is part of the series: Agile Power Techniques

This is the first part of a series of four articles on ‘Agile Power Techniques’ – ways that Scrum Masters and other agile leaders can help teams be more productive, relevant and fun.

  1. Agile Power Techniques: Silence
  2. Agile Power Techniques: Over-the-Top Resourcefulness
  3. Agile Power Techniques: Enabling Creativity
  4. Agile Power Techniques: Keeping Meetings Fresh