Killer norms

Creativity in big corporations will die without the right social norms to sustain it. With design executives from Starbucks, Herman Miller, Johnson & Johnson, and the BBC, we isolated those norms and the structures that keep them healthy and alive.

Together, we identified four models by which corporations successfully nurture and protect creativity. One, for example, requires the corporation to leverage the natural cycle of reinvention and maximization.

From our report: “There are times when the people who are itching to develop a new product or plan must sit back and come up with tactics to harvest the benefits of what has already been built. Similarly, the folks responsible for the next earnings statement or report to the board need to remember that creative types always need some level of stimulus if they are to exercise their brilliance and bring about the next spring.

“Conversation between the maximizers and the reinventors is be made possible by a common understanding of the organization’s place in the natural cycle.”