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Are Creative People Encouraged in the Workplace?

Why Your Open Office Workspace Doesn't Work article

A bias against creativity

As a contributor to Forbes, clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst Todd Essig wrote about the reception creative ideas may get in various settings:

“You come up with a great new idea at work, or at home… But then, rather than grateful acceptance, or even a fair hearing, the idea is squashed, ridiculed, or otherwise ignored.”

He adds, “Creativity, no matter how much we say we like it, frequently elicits what my grandmother used to warn about, Too smart is half stupid.”

From Managing The Psychological Bias Against Creativity by Todd Essig, Forbes, Sep 6, 2011.

But that kind of response to the ideas of individual people is not the only way business cultures may hold back or even discourage innovation.

One of the concepts about how to encourage productivity, collaboration and creative thinking has been open office arrangements.

Creativity author and speaker David Burkus notes in an article that although this concept “is often explained as necessary to inspire collaboration,” research “is showing that the benefits…are typically offset by myriad distractions and possibly even health concerns.”

Burkus writes about a Cornell University study which suggests “that immediate performance might not be dampened by an open office environment, but that increased stress, decreased motivation, and illness might accumulate to reduce overall productivity later on.”

He summarizes, “The research seems to suggest that open offices are not the engines of collaboration they are often made out to be.”

From Why Your Open Office Workspace Doesn’t Work by David Burkus, Forbes, June 21, 2016.

David Burkus is the author of Under New Management: How Leading Organizations Are Upending Business as Usual.

Claiming to value creativity, but not practicing it

In a Creativity Post article on the topic, entrepreneur and author Larry Robertson notes:

“There is an enormous and concerning gap between how highly we claim to value creativity, and what we actually do to invest in, nurture, and practice it.”

Continued in my much longer article: Business Innovation: Encouraged or Not?


Are Creative People Encouraged in the Workplace?

Douglas Eby

Douglas EbyDouglas Eby, MA/Psychology, is a writer and researcher on psychology and personal development related to creativity; creator of the , and author of books including [link to book site with excerpts.]
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APA Reference
Eby, D. (2017). Are Creative People Encouraged in the Workplace?. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 3, 2020, from


Last updated: 13 Mar 2017
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