Fallacy #6 – Process Inhibits Creativity

This fallacy follows the “structure slows innovation” logic. “How can I be asked to innovate when you force me to follow a defined process? My creativity is constrained by your deliverables and deadlines. Oh, the humanity!”

I have seen a number of overly bureaucratic processes that do consume unnecessary amounts of time and attention. Process requirements that are burdensome to the individuals you are counting on to create are a problem, but there is a balance between unfettered time to be creative and channeling those energies into the work that is most important for the company.

Determining what is most important requires some level of process discipline. Project selection and investment allocation methods should be rigorous and require solid analysis. There is nothing in these processes that limits the creativity that goes into the product concept. Gated development processes that apply an appropriate level of scrutiny to these initiatives as they make their way toward launch are necessary to ensure that the initial investment hypothesis remains valid.

Good process discipline does not inhibit creativity. In fact, it can free up tremendous amounts of time that is currently wasted for more creative endeavors. A good innovation process will save more unnecessary work than it creates. Creativity and discipline are not enemies.