6. Team Creativity and Challenges

Team Creativity and Challenges

Authors: Marc Biessy

Team creativity is a very tight concept with innovation. We can make an analogy by saying that creativity is actually the basement of innovation.

This section will describe four aspects that companies can leverage or being cautious about in order to provide the best conditions possible for creativity to grow.


Environment can be defined as the material resources companies are providing their employees with.

According to Ms. Macfarlane, “Innovation comes from everyone”. This means that creativity comes from everyone, but the main problem companies are having according to Ms. Macfarlane is that people are not communicating. In this case, where people do not actually communicate by themselves, it is the role of the company to bring their employees to communicate with each other, share and welcome creativity. This is what is for example done in LinkedIn where all the employees meet in one common lunch area and can talk with anyone that they don’t necessarily know.

Bringing employees together for lunch is not the only option that is possible for a company to bring teams to be creative. LifeLock is a good example of this since they make sure that the different teams do rotate. This means that teams change, bringing new creativity through employees that are not expecting all the creativity to be brought by the same persons but to create a dynamic where ideas will collide in each other to make sure that the best will come out.

This was very important for Jane, who supported the idea of having very mixed team. Bringing the same people around a table will not bring any other creativity than what you expect from them. Though having different minds will even allow to solve problems that different employees will come around.


Culture are all the aspects that a company wants to put forward as what they consider their value and way of being perceived.

The employees that you are recruiting are extremely important to make sure that your team will be creative. Handshake was a very good example to this point. Their recruitment process was quite intense for a company that has 80 employees with 5 different interviews to make sure that the person would fit within the culture of the company and with the people that were working within this one. Not being careful about this step would bring them to have to push employees to work with some projects contrary to having employees that you know that are motivated to work for your company.

Challenge and Recognition

Challenges are tasks that need thoughts in order to be realized. Recognition is the attention that employers give to their employees after achieving their task. Recognition are handled in two main ways, as a monetary retribution or as a social recognition.

According to Joyus and Remind, a very important factor is to challenge the employees in order to keep them being creative. Remind even states two main factors to keep the employees being motivated. Knowing what you are expected to do and recognition accounts for 98% of the motivation of the employees.

As stated, recognition is an important factor that different companies put forward. For example, AirBnB sends a notification to all the employees when employees come with great ideas.

Making sure that employees feel like they are given responsibilities helps the teams to keep their creativity since they know that if they do not find an answer to a problem, the company might suffer from it.


Growth is here defined as the stage when company is scaling.

One of the main challenge to keep teams creative according to Gogobot is the growth of the company. Keeping a company to a smaller level helps this one to keep its velocity and the teams to be in a “human” size.

A company that starts to scale and have so many employees that you cannot know your employees shows breaks the intimacy and the feeling to belong to the same company. This can limitate the creativity from the company.

But being big is also a problem because you focus more on maintaining your actual system rather than to improve it. According to LinkedIn, after a certain stage, a company loses its creativity and start looking in other companies on the market in order to buy them. They usually do not buy the concept that is usually dropt, but they rather buy the employees that have the knowledge that the company is seeking.