Mood and Creativity
I was especially interested in Amabile and Kramer’s findings about the ways that positive emotion was tied to greater creativity in the workplace (and negative emotion was tied to reduced creativity).
Not only did people have measurably more creative ideas on the days when they experienced positive moods, the effect carried over for one, two, or more days after that as well.
This further connects to a good article that Jeff De Cagna wrote in Forum magazine in May (sorry for the lack of link. Association Forum puts their articles in the "members only" section). In “Innovation Simplified,” Jeff points out that imagination is a cornerstone of innovation—coming up with creative ideas is critical, and you can’t do that without imagination. And this doesn’t happen automatically:
Association leaders must take affirmative steps to unleash the power of the imagination by creating an organizational climate that envision what is possible and values all ideas as the treasured raw material of future success.
Yes, but as the Amabile and Kramer aricle points out, that’s not enough. Even with a culture that values ideas, if the people routinely have negative views of work or, more importantly, their senior management, the ideas won’t flow, at least not as much.