When I was in school I had a love-hate relationship with math. I loved doing math, working to find an answer to a problem, but I hated having to solve it with the teacher’s methods. On tests I would do poorly if the teacher made us “show our work”. I could get the right answers, but using my own systems. I realize the teacher’s need to make sure I wasn’t cheating and that I knew how to think through a process but I wanted to invent my own process. The years I was on the math team and did best were when I had teachers who allowed me the freedom to do it my way.
Successful leaders understand this principle as it relates to organizational success. If you want creative team members to be energized towards progress the leader must allow team members to develop their own systems and strategies for attaining them. When you allow people to script the “how” they are more motivated to complete a task. Creative people especially need space to create. They need to have input into the process of completing the vision of the team or organization.
Is your team stalled? Perhaps the system is too defined; too restrictive to allow changes and creativity. Try handing out some freedom passes. Hold team members accountable for progress, but allow them freedom to choose the process.
What about you…do you desire more structure or less structure to do your best work?