How Great Leaders Encourage Creativity

Start by getting everyone on the same page.

How Great Leaders Encourage Creativity
Dror Benshetrit [Photo: Estefany Molina for Fast Company]

Four top executives share their advice for a culture conducive to creativity.

Don’t Dictate

“Present your ideas, then ask your team: ‘What do you think? Is there a better way?’ Don’t tell everyone what to do—lead by questioning. It’s much more productive [when] everyone’s visions of the project are adapting at once.” —Dror Benshetrit, founder, Studio Dror

Produce Pathways

“Share information. We make friends with people we admire, including those you might consider competitors, like Charity: Water, Kiva, and Global Giving. We get on a call with them and exchange experiences.” —Charles Best, CEO, DonorsChoose.org

Avoid The Obvious

“We put people on projects where they bring their unique worldview. Years ago, the guy who ran Subaru for us hated cars, so he had to fall in love with them [to do the job]. That point of view cuts through. It sounds different.” —Karl Lieberman, executive creative director, Wieden+Kennedy

Hit Reset

“Sometimes you just need to throw everything out the window and re­­build it right on the spot. Think big—no limits. Then work from there.” —Vee Bravo, filmmaker, Tribeca Film Institute

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