Procedure vs Creativity (The Creativity Explorer. Episode 151)

Procedure vs Creativity (The Creativity Explorer. Episode 151)

Procedure is to do what has been decided as right.


Professionalism is to know when that would be the wrong decision.


So, this just happened:


“Where is your badge?”, the security guard checking all the people entering the big ballroom in Mumbai gave me a stern look.


“Sorry, I did not have time to get it, and I really want to listen to this speaker since I am the second keynote speaker,” I said.


“Sorry, you need a badge to enter.” I get in return from the guard.


Stopped by a security guard just doing his job and following procedure.


But then the other guard – let’s call him “Frank,” – steps in.


“Mr. Haren?”, he said.


I look at him in surprise.


Turns out that Frank had studied the conference program to learn the names and faces of all the speakers. He smiles and says: “It’s ok, Mr. Haren, I know who you are. Just go in and get the badge later.”


The first officer was following procedure.


The other officer was following his professionalism.


I started chatting with Frank, who turns out to be a former police officer. We had a good conversation around how procedure is a good way of keeping a minimal acceptable level. But to be truly professional, is to be able to know when to ignore procedure and improvise.


Remember: creativity is the exception to the procedure.


What procedure do you need to break?


As always, would love to hear your thoughts. Post them on LinkedIn: Procedure vs Creativity


Fredrik Haren, The Creativity Explorer

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