Do you divide your team  into “creatives” and ” practical” people? If so, are you  missing out on the creative ideas of the other half?

If you ask David Kelley, founder of IDEO, and winner of countless innovation awards including Fast Company’s Top 25 Most Innovative companies, he will say yes.

David maintains that human beings are naturally creative and it is fear of judgement that stifles creativity in most of us. He asks, what might happen if we were to overcome that fear of judgement and unleash our creativity? Perhaps the secret lies in what psychologist Albert Bandura calls guided mastery – a process whereby we  identify a fear or phobia and by forcing ourselves to overcome that fear, we release our creative abilities.

How might you as a leader create an environment that enables your employees to build their creative confidence? Perhaps a simple starting place is with more legitimate brainstorming – following the brainstorming rules – no idea is a bad idea!

If you want to take this further, are you willing to expose your team to guided mastery? Sound too touchy-feely for you?

Before jumping to judgement, take a look at this 12 minute TED Video where David tells stories from his legendary design career and his own life, and offers ways to build the confidence to create.

Elisa K. Spain

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