How to create and then sustain a workplace culture of breakthrough creativity


In his HBR article “The Hard Truth About Innovative Cultures,” Gary P.Pisano observes: ”

Pisano suggests and discusses five core principles for creating and then sustaining a workplace culture of breakthrough creativity:

1. Tolerance for Failure, but No Tolerance for Incompetence
2. Willingness to Experiment but Highly Disciplined
3. Psychologically Safe but Brutally Candid
4. Collaboration but with Individual Accountability
5. Flat but Strong Leadership

All of the greatest creative teams throughout history followed these core principles. For example: Bell Laboratories, Disney animators (e.g. Snow White, Bambi, Dumbo), Lockheed’s “Skunk Works,” the Manhattan Project, and Xerox PARC.

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Gary P. Pisano is the Harry E. Figgie Jr. Professor of Business Administration and the senior associate dean of faculty development at Harvard Business School. He is the author of Creative Construction: The DNA of Sustained Innovation (Public Affairs 2019).

Here is a direct link to his HBR article.

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