Constraint Kick Starts Creativity

Lead Change Blog

There are many externals that we naturally think of as constraints, boundaries on our ability to achieve, to get ahead, to succeed. Consider that these constraints are but a catalyst for becoming more creative about the possibilities sitting before you. In fact, I contend, almost every innovation or breakthrough comes because of a constraint, forcing you to think in different ways. Here are four steps when confronting constraints that “appear” to limit your possibilities.

A Beautiful Constraint

Leading Blog

Typically we look at a constraint as a negative. But what if a constraint was the gift that opened up previously unimagined possibilities? What if a constraint was the gift that took you to the next level? Authors Adam Morgan and Mark Barden remind us in A Beautiful Constraint that Google’s home page is as simple as it is because that was the limit of Larry Page’s coding ability at the time. Not in spite of the constraint, but because of it.”

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Why Creativity Thrives Under Constraints

Tanveer Naseer

Instead, it typically comes to a predictable end when we hit something inevitable: constraints. We run into constraints around people, the market, the interests of stakeholders, and more. Just about every influence on our once new and exciting project also brings a constraint. We start to push back against the constraints, claiming we need more time or more budget money. While trying to ease up on the constraints isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

EBM: Constraints


Theory of Constraints (TOC) is an overall management philosophy introduced by Dr. Eliyahu M. The theory contends that any manageable system is limited in achieving more of its goal by a very small number of constraints and that there is always at least one constraint. A constraint is anything that prevents the system from achieving more of its goal. Identify the constraint. Decide how to exploit the constraint. Elevate the constraint.

Add Constraints to Processes Carefully

Curious Cat

Take great care in adding constraints to processes to avoid doing so needlessly. Occasionally a required field is a sensible constraint on an online form but so often they add unnecessary constraints. Constraints on creating a secure password are a frequent failure of web sites for the last 10 years. Frequently I see unnecessary constraints creating the edge case excuse. First, don’t add constraints without good reason.

Use Constraint to Instigate Innovation

First Friday Book Synopsis

HBR newsletters Management Tip of the Day not Scarcity Scarcity seems to have replaced necessity as the mother of invention in today's organizations Steve Kramer Teresa Amabile Use Constraint to Instigate InnovationHere is another valuable Management Tip of the Day from Harvard Business Review. To sign up for a free subscription to any/all HBR newsletters, please click here. Scarcity seems to have replaced necessity as the mother of invention in today’s organizations.

An Effective Leader Leads by Influence, not Authority

Lead on Purpose

Leadership #prodmgmt Continue reading → Leadership Product Management clarity constraints data discussion influence motivate vision whyA successful leader leads by influence, not by wielding authority.

Why Constraints Are Good for Innovation

Harvard Business

What 145 empirical studies conclude. Innovation Experimentation Product development Digital Article

New Years is an Artificial Constraint

Mills Scofield

Seriously ! Thank you Switch & Shift for hosting my (anti)-New Year''s post! "Ah, Ah, New Years hype! New resolutions, habits, goals, priorities. We make it so grand and complicated that we set ourselves up for failure. Seriously, what’s the difference between December 31st and January 1st? Is it really different than June 30th and July 1st or October 31st and November 1st? And really, January 1st as the New Year is a bit artificial". read on.

Photo Inquiry Friday: Can Autonomy Exist Within Organizational Constraints?

Mike Cardus

On to the Inquiry: Can autonomy exist within organizational constraints? The tension between individual autonomy and organizational structure/constraints can play out weird and interesting ways…What behavior do you notice when people feel that the organizational constraints get in the way? image is from ‘ making progress motivates workers ’ presentation.

A Bold and Blatant Disregard for Normal Constraints

Steve Farber

The most common and insidious “normal constraints&# are the ones that are imposed on you by others. Whenever you see a better way to do things or better things to do, make a list of all the “normal constraints&# that seem to be holding you back. Every “normal constraint&# in the proverbial book will tell you that this question is unrealistic and a waste of time.

How to Succeed With Limited Resources

Let's Grow Leaders

I believe these companies were successful not in spite of, but because of their constraints. When constraints became tighter and competition stiffer, it became critical to make smarter choices at every stage of the game. Whitney explains: “Including constraints allows you to make a faster, more accurate prediction of the consequences of your actions, letting you determine which course of action will likely give you the best results.”

WEadership Practice #4: Encourage Experimentation (and, of course, experiment yourself)

Lead Change Blog

Leadership Development boldness constraints experiment ideas incentives Innovation innovative lead Leadership management risk testingPosted in Leadership Development This post is the fourth in a series that began here summarizing the findings of a one-year study of workforce leadership. Through that process, we identified six practices next-generation leaders use to be effective; a new model of leadership we call WEadership, in a nod to its collaborative nature. The Speed of Life For [.]

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Systemically Non-Systemic: COVID-19 through the Deming Lens

Deming Institute

In his work on the “Theory of Constraints,” Dr. Eliyahu M. Goldratt describes a constraint as “the limiting factor that prevents a system from moving closer to achieving its goal.” Theory of Constraints Institute.

Leadership Biz Cafe Podcast #17 – Whitney Johnson On Using Disruptive Innovation To Drive Growth

Tanveer Naseer

Why constraints are actually beneficial and not a hindrance to our ability to disrupt ourselves, and our perception of what can be done and what opportunities are there to fuel our growth and success. business Recent Posts leadership communication innovation failure perception strengths success opportunities growth feedback learning disruptive innovation constraints

Why Innovators Love Constraints

Harvard Business Review

Nearly a decade later, I find myself almost a fan of constraints. Constraints lead to faster feedback. Whether they are limits on space, time, money or other resources, constraints can improve our agility and get our synapses firing at lightning speed. With a completed prototype in hand, Lit Motors has proven the power of financial constraints. Constraints can be an indispensable tool of creation. Paradoxically then, a constraint can become a tool of creation.

Boosting Creativity Through Constraints

Harvard Business Review

Conventional wisdom holds that the best way to boost a team''s creativity is to unshackle them from constraints. Some constraints are realities that must to be dealt with — laws of physics, or perhaps a budget. Other constraints may seem immovable but upon inspection are actually assumptions based on the past — your business model, or which customers and needs you serve, for example. The key to spurring creativity isn''t the removal of all constraints.

Procedure Development Best Practice 1 – Integrated Development

Strategy Driven

Premium Procedure Development integrated procedures nathan ives procedure development procedure integration process constraints process impacts strategydrivenThe complexity of modern organizations necessitates a collage of policies, processes, and procedures to guide their operations. Some procedures guide the actions of personnel within a single workgroup while others govern interactions and handoffs between workgroups. Hi there!

What's critical when virtualizing leadership development programs

The Regis Company

In the age of COVID-19, companies are being compelled to virtualize their leadership development programs, adapting quickly to new constraints in attempts to “lift and shift” their programs on tight budgets.

Blogging on Business Update from Bob Morris (Week of 2/11/13)

First Friday Book Synopsis

Lafley Adam Bryant Alan Bird Andy Jefferson “5 ways to find your team’s hidden talents” “Why Innovators Love Constraints” Blogging on Business Update from Bob Morris (Week of 2/11/13) BOB Bryan Neider Calhoun W. I hope that at least a few of these recent posts will be of interest to you: BOOK REVIEWS Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works A.G.

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Embrace Your Constraints to Create New Markets

Harvard Business Review

Add work time lost due to travel; cultural norms requiring that people travel together; the expense of transportation; and a general lack of awareness about the value of correcting eyesight problems, and the French eyeglass company Essilor was faced with a perfect storm of what we call external constraints. Smartly, Essilor realized that in order to problem solve, they would have to intentionally impose constraints on themselves.

How Intelligent Constraints Drive Creativity

Harvard Business Review

Not long ago, Teresa Amabile revealed in an HBR blog post that while she had spent much of her career as a research psychologist showing how constraints can undermine creativity, she had discovered that the right sort of constraints can in fact "stoke the innovation fire.". CEO Marissa Mayer offered the same opinion writing for Businessweek in 2006: "Constraints shape and focus problems, and provide clear challenges to overcome as well as inspiration.

The Accidental Mind: A book review by Bob Morris

First Friday Book Synopsis

Bob's blog entries A lively explanation of the beneficial neural functions in that “cobbled-together mess” between our ears “Rube Goldberg contraption” “The Main Evolutionary Constraints on Brain Design” David J. The Accidental Mind: How Brain Evolution Has Given Us Love, Memory, Dreams, and God David J.

Surrounded by Geniuses: A book review by Bob Morris

First Friday Book Synopsis

Surrounded by Geniuses: Unlocking the Brilliance in Yourself, Your Colleagues, and Your Organization Alan S. Gregermnan Sourcebooks (2010) How and why winning in today’s competitive markets requires unlocking genius within us and in the world around us I deeply appreciated all that I learned in Alan Gregerman’s most recent book, The Necessity of Strangers: The […]. Bob''s blog entries Alan S.

The Myths of Creativity: A book review by Bob Morris

First Friday Book Synopsis

As I worked my way through Burkus’ lively and eloquent narrative, I was also keenly interested in his discussion Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s insights relevant to incubation in Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention (1997): “Once the incubation stage has run its course, which could be a few days or several years, it should […].

2018 Success Depends on You asking the Right Questions

N2Growth Blog

Constraints to Success. According to Adam Morgan and Mark Barden, there are four kinds of constraints most businesses face today. In their book, A Beautiful Constraint they list the major constraints in this way: There are four kinds of constraints most businesses face according to the brilliant read, A Beautiful Constraint by Adam Morgan & Mark Barden: 1) Constraint of foundation , where we lack something conventional and customary as a basic foundation for the industry.

Project Management – What is Critical Chain?

Strategy Driven

Premium Project Management critical chain Greg Gaskey project constraints strategydriven Successful project managers know that the success of their project hinges on the development of a solid plan, the diverse consideration of integration challenges, and the right evaluation of resources. However, is a good Gantt chart that is predicated on simply coordinating activities (steps) with the proper float and interdependencies adequate to ensure the successful execution phase of the project?

Leading in a World of Resource Constraints and Extreme Weather

Harvard Business Review

Consider three critical mega-trends: resource constraints and rising commodity prices; climate change and extreme weather; and radical, technology-driven transparency. Resource constraints mean organizations have to use less stuff. My father worked at IBM for 35 years. He told me about the days, decades ago, when he first ran into a new breed of executive and thought, “What the heck is a CIO?”

How to CRAFT a conversation that moves the needle

Rajesh Setty

Understand their weaknesses and constraints : Just like topics related to their strengths are where they will gravitate towards, topics related to their weaknesses are what they will want to avoid. Not only their weaknesses are against them but also the constraints (e.g.: currency, connections etc.) – it is your job to quickly identify both the weaknesses and constraints. Main Page action constraints conversation moving the needle possibilities strengths weaknesses

Project Management Model – SQERT

Rapid BI

Management Add new tag constraints cost Leadership project management project management triangle quality sqert timeProject Management Model - SQERT - Scope, Quality, Effort, Risk, & Timing.

Digital Church is Here to Stay: From Social Media to Social Ministry

Leading Blog

☙ Instead of shaping an online church to fit offline constraints, you have the freedom to shape your online church around its only constraint: your vision. T HE RESPONSE to Covid-19 has had a profound effect on what it means to be a church. It has raised a lot of questions.

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Constraints on Health Care Budgets Can Drive Quality

Harvard Business Review

From my experience heading Scotland’s National Health Service from 2010 until last August (and before as its director of health care policy and strategy), I know that such constraints can unleash innovations that will lead to better care — and better health — for communities. The constraints we operated within also required creativity, the formation of new partnerships, and an open-minded, outward-facing search for the best, most innovative models of care.

Leaders: Manage Job Loss During COVID-19 With Care

Leading in Context

There is a sense that their options are limited by the constraints of the situation and the business’s current economic challenges. By Linda Fisher Thornton I was asked to weigh in on several important questions about the economy and job loss during the COVID-19 pandemic for an article about unemployment that appeared at Leaders may feel that they are somewhat powerless to help when people are laid off.

How to Deal with Unreasonable Contrarians

Leadership Freak

Constraint makes the river powerful. A river without banks drifts calmly into oblivion. Tell teams what they can’t do and where they can’t go and they’ll get further, faster. This applies to… Continue reading → Courage Innovation Taking others higher Teams Communication courageous leaders Leadership

Preview Thursday: Self Leadership and the One Minute Manager

Lead Change Blog

They’re called assumed constraints.”. She laughed at his mangled terminology, then clarified: An assumed constraint is a believe that limits your experience. Okay, I understand that I have assumed constraints about this scissors and card trick, but what’s that got to do with my work situation?” Then I’d know what everybody is thinking and I wouldn’t jump to assumed constraints so often,” Steve said.

Giving Remote Leaders the Tools to Succeed

Kevin Eikenberry

The time constraints for remote leaders can also be frustrating. Leading is hard. Leading remotely is even harder. While you have to master all the leadership skills, you have do it with less interaction with your team, making the job even more challenging. As difficult as is can be for a traditional leader to free […]. The post Giving Remote Leaders the Tools to Succeed appeared first on Kevin Eikenberry on Leadership & Learning.

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First Look: Leadership Books for January 2015

Leading Blog

A Beautiful Constraint : How To Transform Your Limitations Into Advantages, and Why It''s Everyone''s Business by Adam Morgan and Mark Barden. Here''s a look at some of the best leadership books to be released in January. Driven to Distraction at Work : How to Focus and Be More Productive by Ned Hallowell. Fairness Is Overrated : And 51 Other Leadership Principles to Revolutionize Your Workplace by Tim Stevens.

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How to Find Your Edge

Leading Blog

Our constraints provide us with a unique way to enrich when we own them—when we use them to see differently. Don’t let the constraints that others create prevent you from identifying the problem for you , and hence the solution for you.”. W E’VE HEARD that hard work is the secret to success. But all too often we see that hard work is not enough. What then? We need an edge.

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Lead Remote Meetings that Get Results and Build Relationships

Let's Grow Leaders

You’ve seen what can be done, despite constraints, as you worked to find creative, sometimes even Herculean solutions to serve your customers while keeping everyone safe. Even after social distancing ends, remote meetings are here to stay. In this episode you’ll get several ways to ensure that your remote meetings are the best use of everyone’s time – including how to take advantage of technology to do […].

The Reason To Ask Why Multiple Times

Eric Jacobson

Ask why to get to “Because” – which is a constraint to your eventual solution. Asking Why? multiple times helps you get to the root cause and helps your company to prevent undesirable results from occurring again or allows you to repeat a desirable results, explains author Michael Kallett in his book, T hink Smarter: Critical Thinking To Improve Problem-Solving And Decision-Making Skills. For example: Ask why to get to “I don’t know” and then go learn what you don’t know.

Endo and Exoskeleton plus natural metaphors for organizational capacity

Mike Cardus

Dragonfly and constraints on change. Someone asked, “When thinking about the complexity of work and organization design is the concept of an exoskeleton (constraint, governing, control) and endoskeleton (enabling, resilient, coupling) useful? With exoskeleton, the insect growth or capacity constraint is that exoskeleton, and when growth happens, the exoskeleton must shed, and the insect is vulnerable for some time and must hide or retreat as the exoskeleton rebuilds.

Business Chemistry: What Type Are You?

Leading Blog

For example, too many constraints can completely shut a Pioneer down, while a Guardian may withdraw in an environment that feels too chaotic. T HE BETTER YOU UNDERSTAND yourself and those around you, the easier it is to work with other and as a leader, to give them what they need to excel.

Creative People Must Be Stopped: David Owens’ Framework for Innovation


He suggests that creativity killers come from six different potential constraints: Individual – you actually don’t have a good idea. Within the framework of these six constraints, Owens outlines how we can determine what factors will be vital for the success of our potential innovations. He suggests that we look at these constraints as a path to innovation, for which steps must be taken in order and roadblocks removed until we can bring the idea to full implementation.