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Creativity Needs Collaboration

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When I started working in an office, there was little opportunity for creation. I followed instructions as I tried to replicate the methods approved by management and avoid risk.

In my second office job, I worked alone developing solutions. There were few rules and I fumbled around with the mass of options available to me. I produced buggy spaghetti driven software.

When I moved to a software house my creativity was again constrained by my team leader, and documents that told me exactly how my solutions should look. Work become dull again and the results were mediocre.

When I started working in a collaborative team, with an opportunity to self organize, we were free. Together we challenged existing constraints and created just enough of our own. As we spent more time together we got better at finding creative solutions and spent less time doing repetitive tasks (that we found creative ways to automate).

Having watched my attempts at individual creativity fail, I turn to others to question and challenge my ideas. I often see my idea quickly rendered worthless by a constraint I had forgotten about. I sometimes see my idea trigger other simpler, more elegant ideas in others. Our collaboration doubles our excitement, as we grow confident in our ideas and our shared ownership brings more courage.

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Published at DZone with permission of Tom Howlett, DZone MVB. See the original article here.

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