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Improve your team's creativity with these research-backed tips.

Updated: Aug 16, 2023

A happy team, smiling together
Motivated and enthusiastic!

So, you want to improve your team's creativity to produce their best work, huh? Well, good luck with that! Between juggling time zones and dealing with the never-ending complexities of Covid (yes, it's STILL a thing), getting your team to focus can feel like herding cats. But fear not, my friend, because I've got some research-backed tips to help you get your team to bring their A-game.

First off, let's talk about positive inner work life. As a leader, it's your job to absorb the pressures from higher-ups while advocating for your team. Keep messaging focused on actionable, productive feedback rather than letting negative comments or criticism bog down the team's creativity. In fact, research shows that creative teams need to feel secure and happy to be motivated, so prioritize cultivating a positive inner work life for them.

One way to achieve this is by setting small goals that lead to bigger wins. According to the "progress principle" and "inner work life theory," workers are more likely to feel motivated when they achieve small, incremental goals that contribute to larger projects. It's like leaving a trail of breadcrumbs to lead them to success.

But here's the catch: it matters how those goals are accomplished. A recent study found that clear outcome goals, rather than vague ones, led to higher creativity levels among teams. So, make sure to share specific goals and KPIs with your creative team to get the best results.

And last but not least, be a good leader! Be direct, specific, and humble. Don't beat around the bush, but also don't talk down to your team. In fact, there's a whole book on this called "Radical Candor" by Kim Scott that you should read.

In summary, to motivate your creative team to produce their best work, you need to cultivate a positive inner work life, set small goals for big wins, share clear outcome goals, and be a kick-ass leader. Piece of cake, right?

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