Often in meetings, and in small ‘break out’ groups in workshops, there is no clear facilitator. Research suggests that a lack of workshop facilitation increases Group Think (the tendency for groups to think homogenously) which of course, decreases creativity.

So how does workshop facilitation increase creativity? Assigning a facilitator is an effective way to promote individualist behaviour, in which individuals consider themselves one of several other individuals, as opposed to being part of a group. As such, assignment of a facilitator leads to more creative thinking.

Use newbies to boost creativity

In a previous issue, we talked about the importance of changing the make up of your teams regularly to enhance creativity.

Another application for this finding is in workshops. Often workshop participants consist solely of ‘internals’ (i.e. members of the organisation running the workshop). To increase creativity significantly in workshops, bring in external people.

Bringing in ‘externals’ boosts creativity because the entrenched assumptions / behaviours / attitudes of the organisation are less likely to be activated. Instead, the introduction of new people activates different memories, emotions, and thoughts in everyone else, and thus increases the likelihood of creative behaviours.