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Five simple things you can do to discourage creativity

Although these methods aren’t foolproof, if you’re dead set on squelching any creativity in your team, these simple rules should help to give you a competitive edge.

1. Dampen the overall mood.

Bad news, fingerpointing, or even a free-floating tirade should help to start things off on the wrong foot.

2. Create a lot of stress.

Luckily, bad moods and high stress often go hand in hand. But if your team seems grumpy but still strangely relaxed, turn up the heat by reminding them that failure isn’t an option and by setting an unreasonable deadline.

3. Follow a strict set of guidelines.

A straitjacket of structure should help to keep any pesky creative urges safely under wraps. Come up with a script and stick to it!

4. Keep everyone’s eye on the ball.

Clear the meeting room of anything that seems extraneous or fun and demand that people pay close attention at all times.

5. Encourage chaos and cross-talk.

Silence may be golden but not when your goal is to torpedo creative impulses. Call for lots of chatting and insist that everyone do his or her thinking out loud.