Getting off the Right Track. Part 2

Posted by Lloyd on June 04, 2012

It’s not easy to make creativity happen as a facility staff grows in number. But it’s all too easy to kill creativity when your system of business is based on entrenched ideas and practices. Amabile points out that one’s internal motivation is the factor that is most readily available for the manager to influence. But the influence must come from the quality of the work relationship, not just monetary bonuses.

To encourage useful creativity, a work relationship needs the right amount of challenge, freedom to choose means to the ends, adequate resources, diversity of people on work teams, supervisors who praise creative efforts (not only successes) and organizational support to keep politics in check.

Of course the big innovations still need top-management courage. Fitness First!’s “Total Customer Satisfaction Guarantee” (p.37) must have taken careful consideration.

I can just hear a crusty old fitness-business veteran wheeze, “I didn’t get where I am today by letting members cancel their contracts or extend them for time out of town.” Maybe not, but will the business get where it needs to be tomorrow if it doesn’t create or adopt substantial innovations for the 21st century?

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