One thing that drives me nuts is when we are in meetings and the words people use are definitive but unsubstantiated. Overarching fear words used with authority to attempt to drive home a point that has no data to support it. Words matter and how we allow them to live in our organizations speak to what people really believe.

The Harvard Business Review recently published the “Anti-Creativity Checklist” as written by Yougme Moon. The argument made by HBR was that if we desire to enhance creativity in our organizations or build a culture capable of innovation we have to know what not to do as much as what we should be doing, we must have “an inventory of psychology and mental models in play” that could keep us from being our creative best.

This is Moon’s Anti-Creativity Checklist:

  • Play it safe. Listen to that inner voice.
  • Know your limitations. Don’t be afraid to pigeonhole yourself.
  • Remind yourself: It’s just a job.
  • Show you’re the smartest guy in the room. Make skepticism your middle name.
  • Be the tough guy. Demand to see the data.
  • Respect history. Always give the past the benefit of the doubt.
  • Stop the madness before it can get started. Crush early-stage ideas with your business savvy.
  • Been there, done that. Use experience as weapon.
  • Keep your eyes closed. Your mind too.
  • Assume there is no problem.
  • Underestimate your customers.
  • Be a mentor. Give sound advice to the people who work for you.
  • Be suspicious of the “creatives” in your organization.
  • When all else fails, act like a grown-up.

If you had an “Anti-Creativity Checklist” what would be on it?

I few things I would add: React don’t respond. Be lazy. Never communicate. Create in solitude. Let fear win.

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