Way Outside the Box

Outside the boxIs there such a thing as being too creative? Although creativity is largely associated with positive work outcomes, our research shows that, in excess, creativity can be a powerful roadblock to career success.

To understand how creativity can harm an individual’s career, we must look at personality from two perspectives: bright-side personality and dark-side personality.

Bright-side personality describes the strengths and weaknesses people display when they are at their best. Dark-side personality describes personality characteristics that are strengths under normal circumstances. Under the increased stress, pressure, or boredom of most work environments, people tend to overuse those strengths, and they can become powerful career derailers.

Creative people often have parents who emphasize their uniqueness and favor creative expression over convention. As adults, their ability to comfortably work outside of societal norms makes creative individuals valuable sources of potentially important ideas. However, highly creative individuals also tend to focus too much on thinking outside the box, often at the cost of their ability to clearly explain their ideas or follow through.

For more on performance implications and recommendations for coaching highly creative individuals, download our white paper, Way Outside the Box.