Creativity thrives on constraint!

 Profile image of Corine Hines From Spring Leadership

Corine Hines

Back in 2010, when I was just starting my coaching journey, I began seeing how powerful the process was for individuals. I’ve worked with all types of leaders and managers, from underrated heads of finance and recently recruited high potentials, to directors that were heading for burn out.  Watching them grow, develop better habits and improve their relationships, was incredible. But I was itching to have more impact on the wider business.

Personal transformations are amazing – but I knew that high performing teams aren’t created because one person transforms themselves.

Over the years we’ve developed an approach that helps individuals and teams make huge leaps forward – transformations that set them up for future success, which make a significant difference to them personally and to the bottom line.

Our techniques change businesses for the better. And it’s an absolute privilege to be involved.

Last night I submitted a story to A platform that only accepts stories comprised of 50 words, no more, no less.

You may think this rule restricted my imagination. But you’d be wrong. I was on fire and crafted a story in record time.

This is because creativity thrives on constraint.

But how can you use this insight in your own leadership?

Side note: I realised I kept restarting this blog, so I’ve set a 15-minute timer – this is one way to use a constraint!

Another way is to work with your senior team to define your business priorities using even/over statements:

One good thing Even Over another good thing

This will force you to consider the trade-offs. For example:

  • Local clients even over global clients
  • Employees’ happiness even over customers’ happiness
  • Speed even over perfection

Here is one for my business:

Finish on-time Friday even over Winning more clients

Until I addressed this trade off, I’d often be found writing content or posting on LinkedIn at 6pm on a Friday. Now you’ll find me nagging my daughter about piano practice or improving on my (somewhat dire) keepy uppy skills.

Understanding your trade-offs will help you and the team prioritise the right things most of the time – and you’ll ensure you’re getting the results you want.

Another side note: my 15 minute timer went off 5 minutes ago but it got me started and now I’m nearly finished.

If you want details for how to run this even/over statements exercise with your team, reply to me here.

And if you ask nicely, I’ll even include my 50-word story!