Getting the Creative Environment Right

Is your work environment a creative vacuum?


Author and creativity guru Chris Barez-Brown believes that creative leadership is able to survey the surroundings and answer the question, "What's needed here?" In this video, Chris suggests ways to ensure that your environment and conditions are right before you begin.

“If you don't give people clarity on how to be or where they're going or what they need to achieve, they will resort to beta analysis,” Chris explains. “And they will bring all of the baggage from the rest of their life into the room. “

Watch the video and learn how to set yourself up for success.

I'm sure we've all been to meetings where we've stood up to present, and we've looked at the people around that big boardroom table, and gone, "Oh, geez. This is going to be tough. They're in absolutely the wrong place for this session. But you know what? I'm just going to plow on and try and drive through anyway." That is the wrong call. Creative leadership is all about being able to read the room and answer the question, "What's needed here?"

Now depending on where you want in your context, the answer is going to vary. But it's absolutely vital you can do that and flexibly approach it. So before your session, before your meeting, before you have ideas, what's needed here is some decent planning on where you hold it. If you're going to be in beta state, being analytical and logical, by all means do it in the normal office environment. But if you want to be creative and expansive and get people into alpha, you have to take them somewhere different. You need to change it up. You need to be out of the office or away from tables and desks. You need natural light. You need to make it a more playful place to be.

When you're in the session, what's needed here is a good setup. If you don't give people clarity on how to be or where they're going or what they need to achieve, they will resort to beta analysis, and they will bring all of the baggage from the rest of their life into the room. You need to set it up clearly and get them into the right energetic state.

Now there's a certain area in which we function brilliantly energetically. If we're too high, we need to calm down, if we're too low, we need to bring ourselves up. So getting an engager in the room where we make sure we level that energy where we need people to be is key. Now mostly in Western societies, we need to bring people up with energy, so we do an energizer. When I'm working in South America, I generally need to calm people down a little bit, because it's a little bit too frenzied. But again, if you can read the room and answer what's needed here now, you can make that call.

Never plow on. Never go, "Oh, you know what, we'll just get through it." Never put up with somebody behaving in a way you don't want in one of your meetings. You're going to deal with it there and then. Otherwise, it's a complete waste of time. Creative leaders are happy to step up. They're happy to say "You know what, I'm making a call on this. There's something not quite right." If you create the right conditions everything else is easy. So as creative leader, never again see something happening in front of you that you're not happy with and just let it ride. Make the intervention, call it, do something about it, because the conditions that you've got in your group will dictate the ideas that you have.

Chris Barez-Brown

Chris Barez-Brown has been unleashing the creative potential of worldwide organizations including Nike, Coca Cola, Diageo, The Gates Foundation, Sony and WPP. He is a master of metamorphosis, challenging and transforming businesses th...

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