By Laurie Tarkan
1. Have clear goals. Your boss needs to give you meaningful goals. You should understand what you’re working towards and why. Goals should be short-term and attainable, not vague and pie in the sky. First, try to clarify your own goals with the information you have.
“Then, find ways to get clarity from your supervisor. Ask and be prepared to state your reasons, and suggest ways that you can help your manager provide the clarity,”
2. Work autonomously. People need some independence to attain these goals. If you are being micromanaged, you’re less likely to be creative and think on your own. But that doesn’t mean you can’t ask for help when you need it.
3. Having resources, like materials and personnel. This is tough with all the cutbacks, but limited resources can lead to frustration and demoralization, not creativity. Sometimes, all that’s required is that your manager addresses some of your daily hassles. First, try to creatively find ways of making do with the resources you (and others in your team) have.
“Then, rally your team to ask the supervisor together, so the request isn’t coming from you alone,”
4. Have reasonable deadlines. "We found that in general, extreme time pressure is bad for creative productivity, but low-to-moderate time pressure is good,"
If you have too many deadlines, discuss it with your boss. Otherwise, you’ll feel like you’re on a treadmill.
5. Learn from problems. This means your supervisor and co-workers will not ridicule you if you try something that doesn’t work out, but instead will look at it analytically and try to figure out what went wrong and why.
“Coworkers can make it ‘safe’ for each other to discuss problems in the work and admit mistakes, by establishing norms of openly discussing failures to see what can be learned from them,”