Creativity from a Global Perspective

Creativity from a Global Perspective An International Conference on the Creative Industries, 18 – 20 October 2010, Nordic Centre, Fudan University Co...
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Creativity from a Global Perspective An International Conference on the Creative Industries, 18 – 20 October 2010, Nordic Centre, Fudan University

Conference Paper: Stepping Into Character What Leaders of Creative Work Processes Can Learn From Theatre Directors On Facilitating Creativity

By Helle Hedegaard Hein, MSc, PhD, assistant professor Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy, Copenhagen Business School

Nordic Centre, Fudan University

Lund University

Copenhagen Business School

Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences

Aalborg University

The Creativity From a Global Perspective Conference Nordic Centre, Fudan University, Shanghai, October 2010 Stepping Into Character

Helle Hedegaard Hein

Stepping Into Character What Leaders of Creative Work Processes Can Learn From Theatre Directors On Facilitating Creativity Helle Hedegaard Hein, MSc, PhD, assistant professor Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy, Copenhagen Business School [email protected] [email protected]

_______________________________ Abstract: In many Western countries creativity has been singled out as the critical competence in the future economy. Even though the main share of creativity researchers agree on the prerequisites for creative work, transferring this knowledge to a business context still proves a challenge. Using The Royal Danish Theatre as a laboratory in which the facilitation of creative processes can be studied, this paper proposes a preliminary framework for understanding how to facilitate creative work processes from a leadership perspective - in art as well as in business.

_______________________________ The role of creativity in the future economy Looking to the knowledge society, the creative economy and the experience economy there is no doubt that the future labour market will be increasingly dominated by a highly specialized and creative work force engaged in complex problem solving and creative work (Florida, 2004; Gardner et al., 2001; Barley & Kunda, 2004). In many Western economies, creativity has been singled out as the critical competence in the future economy. Existing research points to several prerequisites for doing creative work: a) The possibility of undisturbed concentration on a complex problem for a considerable amount of time. A fragmented day filled with interruptions and changing schedules etc. is counter-productive to creativity. A day that leaves time to focus and stay focused is much more likely to spur creativity (Amabile, 1996; Amabile et al., 2002). b) Moderate time pressure. Too high time pressure creates creativity blocks, frustration and not enough time for incubation (see below); too low time pressure results in boredom. In order to do creative work there must be "sufficient time to create the balls to juggle (…) and (…) sufficient time to devote to the actual juggling." (Amabile et al., 2002, p. 8).

Stepping Into Character

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c) The feeling of being on a mission; that there is a higher purpose for doing creative work. That the task and the higher purpose of performing the task is meaningful (Amabile et al., 2002 + Hein, 2009a + 2009b + 2009c). d) The realization that there is no such thing as divine inspiration. Rather, inspiration and creativity is enabled through hard work and by establishing a framework and rigorous routines. (Hein, 2007; Tharp, 2003). As Tharp puts it: "Creativity is a full-time job with its own daily patterns." (Tharp, 2003, p. 6). Creativity is augmented by routine and habit - but also by setting the stage by creating a framework and boundaries for the creative task. Or, referring once again to Tharp: "Before you can think out of the box, you have to start with a box." (Tharp, 2003, p. 78-79). e) The willingness to step outside one's comfort zone. According to Csikszentmihalyi's theory on flow, flow activities pushes the individual to higher levels of performance. Obtaining a higher level of performance until the point of mastery is seldom done without at some point feeling anxiety or frustration. The same is the case for complex problem solving that is also often associated with flow (Csikszentmihalyi, 1990 + 1997; Hein, 2009a + 2009 b). f) Useful ways of coping with the cognitive and psychological barriers of doing creative work, such as coping with anxiety of failure, procrastination, the fear of losing face etc. Cognitive and psychological barriers come with the territory of creative work - the question is not how to get rid of them, but how to cope with them (Argyris, 2002; Sternberg & Lubart, 2007; Hein, 2007). Even though the main share of creativity researchers agree on the prerequisites for creative work mentioned above, transferring this knowledge to a business context still proves a challenge. Amabile's research is one example: Having asked creative workers to make diary entries of their work days, reports of creative thinking during a work day only showed up in about 5% of the diary reports (Amabile et al., 2002). Furthermore, reports about creative workers who feel that they need to catch up on their creative work in their leisure time are numerous. If this is the case, a vast creative potential goes unrealized every day. There may be many reasons for this as several factors are known to be crucial for creative work: 1) Individual factors such as knowledge, creative skills, personality and motivational profile of those performing creative work; 2) A context that fosters rather than inhibits creativity, such as incentive structure, physical surroundings, the way work is organized etc.; 3) Leadership competencies to deal with every aspect of facilitating creative work processes. Lack of any of these factors will have a vast impact on the possibility of doing creative work. As Amabile et al. (2002) points out: One main reason why so few diaries contained reports of creative work were due to the organization of work, the lack of a mission and a general lack of understanding creative work processes on the part of the management group (Amabile et al., 2002). Therefore, it seems there is still a great need for developing managerial skills for facilitating creative work processes. One way of doing so is by learning from successful and professional facilitators of creative work processes.

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Using The Royal Danish Theatre as a laboratory in which the facilitation of creative processes can be studied, this paper proposes a preliminary framework for understanding how to facilitate creative work processes - in art as well as in business. The perspective will be that of the leader, both in terms of the leader's ability to creative a fertile context for the creative process and in terms of leadership (and leader) characteristics.

Creativity During the past decade, the literature and research on creativity has become abundant and the use of the word "creativity" in everyday life has skyrocketed. Therefore, it seems reasonable to start off discussing various perspectives on creativity. Several distinct perspectives on creativity have been developed: A mental/motivational perspective that focuses on the unique mindset of creative individuals. This perspective can be divided into at least two sub-perspectives: A motivational perspective with its bilateral focus on the relationship between motivation and creativity (Maslow, 1968; Amabile, 1983 + 1996; Sternberg & Lubart, 2007; Hein, 2009a + 2009b + 2009c); a personality perspective with its focus on the character and distinct traits of creative individuals (Abuhamdeh & Csikszentmihalyi, 2004; Røyseng et al., 2007; Amabile, 1983). A sociological perspective in which the lives of creative individuals are examined in order to point to defining moments and factors that seem to foster creative individuals (Gardner, 1993). A confluence perspective that states that multiple components must converge for creativity to occur (Sternberg & Lubart, 2007). Amabile singles out components such as intrinsic motivation, domain-relevant knowledge and abilities and creativity-relevant skills (Sternberg & Lubart 2007; Amabile, 1983 + 1996), whereas Gardner, Csikszentmihalyi and Damon proposes components such as the interaction of the individual, the domain, and the field (Csikszentmihalyi, 1988; Gardner et al., 2001). A learning perspective that focuses on the need for divergent thinking rather than convergent thinking (and the interplay between the two) as well as learning barriers related to creative work (Gruber, 1996; Runco, 2007; Argyris, 1991; Boden, 2004). A cognitive perspective that focuses on the mental representations and processes that lies underneath creative thinking (Sternberg & Lubart, 2007; Finke et al., 1992; Boden, 2004). This paper will draw mainly on the confluence perspective adding to that what we could call the leadership perspective: What is the role of the leader and how do leaders (in this case theatre directors) go about facilitating creative work processes. And in doing so: How do they go about converging components that are critical to creativity? Let's take a closer look on Amabile's confluence perspective. Amabile sums up the prerequisites for creative work by pointing to three defining characteristics of the creative person - all of which must converge for creativity to occur (Amabile, 1998): First of all, in order to be creative, expertise is necessary. Expertise encompasses knowledge and technical, procedural and intellectual skills, i.e. the skills that actors are taught in class during their education. This is also called domain-relevant knowledge and skills, i.e. the knowledge and skills necessary to engage in work and problem solving in a specific domain.

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Secondly, creative thinking is necessary. Creative thinking encompasses the capacity to put existing ideas together in new combinations, but it is also a question of adopting a work style that is fruitful for creative work. Work style is not only a question of having the perseverance to stick to a problem, even though it proves difficult to solve - it is also a question of having the right "incubation" skills, i.e. the ability to set aside a difficult problem in order to work on something else and eventually returning to the difficult problem. This, in turn, requires timing skills, i.e. knowing when to do it and for how long. To that, I will add a stage or phase perspective. Creativity has often been thought of as a staged process, which often encompasses three stages: 1) The initial investigation; 2) A period of rest (often called incubation), where the mind is focused on other activities. It is often during this rest period that one reaches the final stage; 3) The illumination, i.e. the emergence of sudden, unexpected solution, often called the "Aha!" or the "Eureka" moment. (Helmholtz, 1971; Sawyer, 2003). Others add to that a fourth verification stage, where the evaluation of ideas and suggestions made in the initial investigation phase takes place, and those who are found to be valuable are elaborated into a complete form (Wallas, 1926; Sawyer, 2003). Thirdly, an important factor in doing creative work is motivation. Amabile points to the fact that creative work is closely connected to intrinsic motivation, not to extrinsic motivation. Intrinsically motivated people engage in their work for the sake of the work itself. They are passionate about their work and they enjoy the challenge of doing creative work. The use of extrinsic motivation factors such as the carrot or stick approach does not work well in creative work. In fact, studies show that extrinsic motivation factors such as money, fringe benefits, prestige symbols etc. can inhibit creative thinking.1 This does not mean that extrinsic motivation factors are always counter-productive - rather, it is a question of when they are used. Researchers seem to agree that it is necessary to shift from the classic "if then"-approach where an extrinsic motivation factor is promised before the task is performed (which is the case when using carrot or stick methods), to a "now that"-approach where an achievement can be celebrated after the task has been performed satisfactorily. As I will show later, it is possible to distinguish between five archetypes of employees.2 Two of these archetypes are primarily intrinsically motivated, two are primarily extrinsically motivated, and one is both intrinsically and extrinsically motivated. Sternberg adds several concepts to Amabile's confluence perspective stating that "(…) creativity requires a confluence of six distinct but interrelated resources: intellectual abilities, knowledge, styles of thinking, personality, motivation, and environment." (Sternberg, 2003, p. 94).

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The classic candle study performed by Karl Duncker in the 1930s was probably the first experiment to shed light on the counterproductive effect of extrinsic motivation on creative thinking. The experiment was later on repeated by Sam Glucksberg. People were given a candle, a box of tacks and a book of matches and were told to attach the candle to the wall so that the wax from the lit candle would not drip on the table. The solution is to empty the box of tacks and use the tacks to adhere the box to the wall and then place the lit candle in the box. However, whenever an extrinsic reward was promised to the person who would solve the problem in the least amount of time, the reward proved counter-productive. Glucksberg divided a number of people into two groups: One group he told that he would be timing only to establish norms for how long it usually took people the solve the problem. To the other group he promised a reward to whoever would be among the fasted 25% of the people tested (and to the fastest person overall). The extrinsic reward group took a considerable amount of time longer to solve the problem (Glucksberg, 1962). 2 Figure 2 below shows four archetypes, and the model is called "Four Archetypes of Highly Specialized Creative Employees". However, one of the archetypes - The Performance Addict - is divided into two: The Extroverted Performance Addict and The Introverted Performance Addict. The primary factor distinguishing the two are that The Extroverted Performance Addict is extrinsically motivated, whereas The Introverted Performance Addict is intrinsically motivated. Thus, I refer to five archetypes above, but only four archetypes in Figure 2.

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"Intellectual abilities" and "knowledge knowledge" is (disregarding Sternberg'ss more elaborate distinctions) more or less the same as Amabile's "expertise". "expertise". Likewise with Sternberg's "styles of thinking" and Amabile's "creative thinking".. According to Sternberg (2003), thinking styles are defined as: "… preferred ways of using one'ss skills. In essence, they are decisions about how to deploy one's skills." (Sternberg, 2003, p. 96). Sternberg also adds a preference for thinking in new ways as well as a decision to think in new ways, distinguishing between preference from the ability to to think creatively. I will add to both Sternberg and Amabile in regard to "personality" and "motivation" (see below), stating that personality and motivational profile is highly interrelated. That leaves "environment",, which Sternberg defines as an environment that is supportive and rewarding of creative ideas (Sternberg, 2003). This involves understanding and rewarding the behavior that leads to creativity, and it also involves facilitating the before mentioned stages of creative work work. It should ld be noted that the notion of what is supportive and rewarding correlates with the specific stages, i.e. different stages calls for different ways of supporting and rewarding creativity. Thus, some of the important factors that must converge in order for creativity to occur are:

Figure 1: Creativity from a confluence perspective: A model of factors that must converge in order for creativity to occur occur.

What then is the role of leader in creating those factors and making them converge? In my analysis of what leaders can learn from theatre directors, I will disregard "Expertise". Even though creative workers are expected to posses domain-relevant domain relevant knowledge and technical skills, it is still fair to assume that the further development of such such knowledge and skills is partly the responsibility of the leader and the organization that employs the creative worker. However, the theatre director is not a leader in a traditional sense but more of a project manager. The further development of actors' knowledge and skills may be the responsibility of the artistic director, but not the theatre director.3 Therefore, I will disregard Expertise in my analysis below and focus on how theatre directors facilitate creative thinking, an environment that supports supports and encourages creativity and how they motivate creative workers. 3

The artistic director is manager of everyone employed within a given art form and has the overall responsibility of repertoir e planning, budgets etc. At The Royal Danish Theatre you will find an artistic theatre director, an artistic opera director and an artistic ballet master. When using the word "theatr "theatre directors", I refer to stage directors, i.e. the director who is responsible for the rehearsal process and the staging of the play ay (or opera or ballet).

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One last note, before turning the attention to The Royal Danish Theatre and the theatre directors: When asking what leaders of creative work processes can learn from theatre directors on facilitating creativity, I will focus on the lessons to be learned from successful theatre directors, i.e. directors of successful productions. But how does one define successful in relation to creativity? Here, I draw on Amabile's consensual definition:

A product (…) is creative to the extent that appropriate observers independently agree it is creative. Appropriate observers are those familiar with the domain in which the product was created (…). Thus, creativity can be regarded as the quality of products (…) judged to be creative by appropriate observers, and it can also be regarded as the process by which something so judged is produced." (Amabile, 1996, p. 33). Consequently, I will define "successful productions" as productions where 1) appropriate observers independently agree it is creative, i.e. productions where the audience (measured by ticket sales and the number of sold out performances), critics (measured by number of "stars" and "hearts" given in reviews of the productions), the artistic director (measured by his evaluation of the production), the performing actors (measured by their professional evaluation of the production) and the theatre director (measured by his/her satisfaction with and evaluation of the production) agree that the production is successful and 2) the rehearsal process prior to the end result (i.e. the production) is regarded as creative (measured by the performing actors' and the director's experience and judgment).

The Royal Danish Theatre as a creativity laboratory But where does one go in order to gain knowledge about how to facilitate creativity? This paper is based on findings from a major research project where I have chosen The Royal Danish Theatre in Copenhagen as a useful platform for developing new theories on the motivation, management and leadership of highly specialized creative employees. A useful by-product of the research project was a pattern of common denominators of the characters of successful theatre directors and the methods they used. For a number of reasons, the world of theatre offers a unique insight into these issues. Firstly, The Royal Danish Theatre's main task is to produce creative productions within the realms of theatre (plays), opera and ballet. Secondly, the manager (i.e. the theatre director) spends a lot more time interacting directly with the employees (i.e. the artists) than the typical manager does, thus providing unique insights into not only the management and leadership processes but also into how they facilitate creative work processes. Thirdly, although rehearsal processes are by nature sensitive, performing artists are used to being observed. This does not eliminate the methodological issues related to observation, but it does make observation easier. For these reasons, the world of theatre makes it possible to get a close-up view of the creative work process and of the employees engaged in producing creative productions and, last but not least, the theatre director facilitating the creative processes.

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The collection of data has taken place over a period of 3 years, from 2005-2009, and has generated a vast amount of data, primarily collected through qualitative observations and qualitative interviews. A total of 30 productions within the Opera, Ballet and Drama departments have been observed (5 Opera, 12 Ballet and 13 Drama), ranging from observation of morning class (ballet), readings (drama) and ordinary rehearsals all the way through to the rehearsal process ending with dress rehearsals and the premiere. The typical production has a duration of 8 weeks, each rehearsal typically lasting 4-6 hours. Each production has been observed 2-5 times a week, depending on the rehearsal cycle and the phases of the creative process. In order to observe what happens when the theatre director is no longer in charge (do the artists obey when performing on stage, where the theatre director no longer has any power and most often is not even present during the performance?), performances of each production have also been observed at least 4 times, some of them from back stage. These observations have all been made with the primary objective of observing the behavior of artists as well as managers on all organizational levels. With the objective of establishing how managers think and reflect in regards to highly specialized creative employees, it is important not only to observe the interaction between employee and manager, but to also observe managers “backstage”. Therefore, a total of 180 managerial meetings have been observed, ranging from executive meetings, department meetings, evaluation meetings, strategy meetings etc. Lastly, more than 100 qualitative interviews have been conducted. Interviews with artists comprises opera soloists, choir soloists and academy soloists, principal dancers, soloists and corps dancers and actors (full-time employed as well as free lance actors). Interviews with managers comprises stage directors (called theatre directors in the Drama department), ballet instructors and teachers, producers, stage managers, directors’ assistants, artistic directors, the managing director etc. In addition, numerous informal talks have added to the data material. These interviews were conducted in order to investigate on how both employees and managers think, reflect and explain their behavior. Later in the research process (see below) the interviews were also conducted with the objective of testing categories, hypotheses etc. Since the objective of the research project has been to develop new motivation and leadership theories, the use of grounded theory (Glaser & Strauss, 1967; Corbin & Strauss, 2008) seemed the only feasible method. Consequently, the observations started out as relatively unstructured observations – initially, the only guide was to observe reactions to management as well as reactions and behavior related to high/low motivation etc. Hinging on defining moments, data have been coded and concepts and categories developed and tested, making observations and interviews a bit more structured for a period of time. Thus going back and forth, categories or variables have been developed, and the relationship between those categories have been established, thus paving the ground for the development of new theories. And - as a useful by-product - a pattern emerged regarding common denominators regarding the character of and the methods used by directors of successful productions.

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Introduction to The Royal Danish Theatre The Royal Danish Theatre, located in the centre of Copenhagen, dates back to 1748 when the theatre was established with royal patronage. Up until 1848, The Royal Danish Theatre held a monopoly position in Danish theatre – and even then The Royal Danish Theatre still retained the right to performing the more serious repertoire. In 1849 The Royal Danish Theatre shifted its status from being the King’s theatre to becoming the national theatre – at the same time adding a special obligation to take on projects that smaller theatres cannot take on. The Royal Danish Theatre is one of the few theatres in the world where ballet, opera, drama and concerts are produced by the same institution. Until recently, the arts shared two main stages (and two smaller stages for experimental drama performances). Today, the theatre houses three main stages in three different buildings: The Old Stage, The Opera, and The Royal Danish Playhouse. The Old Stage features only one stage, The Opera (opened in January 2005) features a main stage and a studio stage, and The Royal Danish Playhouse (opened in February 2008) boasts one main stage, a medium studio stage and a small studio stage. The Royal Danish Theatre is an organization riddled with history and tradition, the most prominent sign of this being the famous words “Ei blot til lyst” (Not solely for pleasure) that have been inscribed on the proscenium of Old Stage since 1774. The overall responsibility of the management of the theatre lies with a 8 person board and with the managing director. Since the completion of the field studies the theatre has appointed new artistic directors of both the ballet department and the drama department. At the time of the field studies all three artistic directors directed plays, operas and ballets at the theatre. The Royal Danish Theatre (Drama) traces its history back to some of the greatest names in Danish literature and culture such as Ludvig Holberg and Adam Oehlenschläger. Both were outstanding contributors to Danish cultural heritage – and today, monumental statues of Holberg and Oehlenschläger guard the entrance to Old Stage. For a number of years The Royal Danish Theatre (Drama) boasted a large ensemble – today, it is very small with only 19 full time employed actors making the use of a considerate amount of free lance actors necessary.

Cases For the analysis, two productions (both plays) have been singled out as being the most successful productions of the 30 productions observed. Below, I will give a short introduction to both productions. Production no. 1: This play was new, made especially for The Royal Danish Theatre. The director (Director no. 1) was a woman, famous for her untraditional way of making plays. The theme of the play was the modern man. There was no script – the script was made during the rehearsal process as a result of improvisations. 5 male actors was picked for the production. The decision about which male actors to pick was mostly made by the director with suggestions from the artistic director of the play house. The director picked one male actor with whom she had worked previously; one, whom she knew, but

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hadn’t worked with; two actors that she had seen in previous plays and wanted to work with, and one full-time employed actor of The Royal Danish Theatre at the suggestion of the artistic director. All actors were picked based on a preliminary analysis of which characters were needed: The divorced single parent father; the young father-to-be; the mid-life crisis man; the contemplative family man and the gay, life-experienced man. By her side during the entire rehearsal process the director had a female assistant with whom she had worked a number of times. As this director works very differently from "traditional" directors, I will give a short overview of the process: At the start of the rehearsal process the director and her assistant spent a week alone with each of the actors. They would start each rehearsal by talking about the modern man and his role in society. The director would ask each actor a lot of questions: What are you dreams? When do you find it most difficult to be a man? When do you feel most like a man? Etc. During the conversation, the director would pick up on some of the answers and ask the actor to improvise a scene about that particular paradox, dream, situation etc. All improvisations were recorded on video. After a week, the actor was given a gross list of possible monologues to work with. After five weeks – one week alone with each actor – the director gathered all actors for one week for improvisations for common scenes. Asking the men questions like: Why does it take several trips to Silvan (a big Danish DIY chain) and a competition about who has the most motorized tools for a group of men to hang a shelf on the wall? What do men talk about in the dressing room before a football game? Etc. Thus, after 6 weeks of rehearsals, each actor had a gross list of possible monologues and a list of possible common scenes. There was still no script – just a list of themes. Then, the “real” rehearsal process began. The director asked all the men to come in for a run-through of the play. The director invited a number of guests – the dramaturge of the production and a couple of friends, all female. This is highly unusual in many respects. First of all, it is very unusual to start off with a run-through of the play. Secondly, it is very unusual to invite guests for the first run-throughs. Thirdly, it is unusual to ask for a run-through when there is no script, as run-throughs are often made when the actors more or less know their lines. Then, after the very first run-through, the actors were sent home, and the director met with her friends to discuss what they had just seen. The men came back to next day and started off by getting notes. The rest of the rehearsal process consisted of rehearsals (improvisations) of individual monologues and common scenes, run-throughs (always with the same female friends as guests), notes, more rehearsal, more run-throughs and more notes. From time to time, the director made a decision to cut a monologue or a common scene and exchanging it for another monologue or common scene on the gross list (all the time also cutting short the gross list). As the improvisations and rehearsals progressed, the assistant made a gross script for the players with lines for them to learn. However, changes in the scripts were made all the way through to the dress rehearsal. Approximately 4-5 weeks into the rehearsal process, the focus of the rehearsals shifted from improvisations to more traditional rehearsals of lines, positions, fine-tuning of the lines etc. Run-throughs were made at least once a

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week. The order of the monologues and common scenes shifted throughout the rehearsal period, only to be settled for good a few days before the premiere. The rehearsal process was not an easy one and took its toll on both the director and the actors. Conflicts arose on a regular basis, making this perhaps the most demanding rehearsal process out of the 30 productions observed. However, both the director and the actors agreed that it was also a very useful and inspiring process and reminded each other that a demanding rehearsal often leads the better results than a "feel good" process. In the end, the play got raving reviews. It played for a number of weeks at The Royal Danish Theatre, went on tour and due to public demand was later performed by the same actors at a small theatre in Copenhagen. Production no. 2: Production no. 2 was a classic play by Shakespeare and this play was picked to open the new Play House in Copenhagen – a very big event and thus a very important production as this production was said to be the one who should justify all the millions of kroners of tax money that went into building the new Play House. The director (Director no. 2) was a successful Norwegian male director, who had directed a few plays in Denmark as well. The director and the artistic director of the Play House collaborated on picking the actors for the play. The artistic director made suggestions as to whom to pick, and the director had suggestions as well. However, not knowing the Danish pool of actors as well as a Danish director would, the director didn’t play as big a role as other directors probably would in picking the actors for the performance. The main character was played by one of the most well-known and respected young Danish actors (free-lance – not full time employed by the theatre) and most of the other main characters were played by full-time employed actors of The Royal Theatre. The supporting characters were mainly played by free lance actors. This 8 week rehearsal process was much more traditional, moving from an investigative, analytical and playful phase to more traditional rehearsals where focus was on position, learning the lines, playing through each scene etc. through to dress rehearsal and premiere. Being a Shakespeare play, there was a script - however, the script was edited by the director and the dramaturge. Consequently, that set another kind of framework for the rehearsal process, though still leaving room for improvisations. The director gave notes every day, most often at the end of the day, but sometimes at the beginning of the rehearsal. Run-throughs of each act was scheduled from week 4, and run-throughs of the entire play was scheduled from week 6. The end result was a moderately daring interpretation of the Shakespeare play and this production received raving reviews as well. Almost every performance sold out.

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What do successful theatre directors do in order to facilitate creativity? The analysis will be divided into the three (leaving out Expertise from Figure 1) factors mentioned earlier: Creative Thinking, Environment and Motivation. Even though they are correlated, I will try to deal with them separately. Creative Thinking Two factors proved especially important in spurring creative thinking from a leadership perspective: Establishing a clear framework and phase management. Establishing a framework Rephrasing the famous quote by Louis Pasteur: "Chance favors the prepared mind", most artists (and scientists) will agree that creativity favors the prepared mind (Hein, 2007). Preparation of the mind comes through rehearsing, sticking to a routine, studying, mastering etc. - things that belongs in the "Expertise" box in Figure 1. American dancer and choreographer Martha Graham once said that "technique is a dancer's freedom". Only by mastering domain-relevant techniques, skills and knowledge is it possible to break free from one's expertise and creative something new and valuable. But preparation of the mind also comes through establishing a framework. Contrary to common belief, creativity does not evolve in a vacuum or in an open, boundaryless space. Rather, it requires boundaries and a clear framework. Or, referring once again to Twyla Tharp: "Before you can think out of the box, you have to start with a box." (Tharp, 2003, p. 78-79). So, creativity requires boundaries: Boundaries of space, boundaries of time, boundaries of interpretation, boundaries of expression. Both directors made sure to establish a framework for the productions. This was done in a number of ways. One important factor is communicating the vision of the production. Both directors did that not once, but numerous times during the 8 week rehearsal period. In doing that, they both proved to be very eloquent about their vision and understood the importance of picking the right words to express a clear vision. Director no. 1 repeated her vision with the production several times: She wanted to discuss the modern man's role in society as society changes and female and male roles are negotiated. She wanted to discuss changes in society, and this production was one of three plays that would discuss important issues in modern society. The first one discussed the changing female role in society, the second one the changing male role in society and the third one, which opened in 2010, discussed the changing role of the elderly in society. Her vision was to create awareness and make people reflect on the changes in modern society in general. Director no. 2 repeated his vision several times as well: He wanted the audience to perceive of the main character in Shakespeare differently. His interpretation was different from previous interpretations done in Denmark.

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The vision works as an overall framework for the production. But both directors also set a precise framework for each scene by asking the actors to move within a limited space or by asking them to play the scene expressing certain emotions. They also did that by reminding the actors what the purpose of a particular scene was in relationship to the entire play and the overall vision of the play, thereby not only creating a purpose and a vision of the play but also of the individual scenes and characters. Phase management Understanding the creative process and the different phases of the creative process is crucial to facilitating creativity. Both directors were excellent "phase managers" on both the macro and the micro level. On the macro level they divided the entire rehearsal process into different phases and knew when to move from one phase to another. Both productions were divided into three phases: 1) Investigation/improvisation; 2) Rehearsal and 3) Closing. On the micro level they knew when to stop a rehearsal of a specific scene and leave time for incubation. The Investigation/improvisation Phase was characterized by a playful and investigative spirit. There were long discussions about a monologue or the meaning of a scene as well as discussions about the characters and the relationship between the characters. The actors were permitted to "go wild" - laugh a lot, play a lot, discuss a lot, try different and somewhat extreme approaches to a scene or a character. "No" was a seldom word during this phase. Almost anything was allowed, and there was ample time to discuss and investigate. The Rehearsal Phase was characterized by solving the puzzle. The pieces of the puzzle were made during the first investigative phase, and in the second phase it was time to put it all together. This phase was more analytical in the sense that the framework was not really debated. Scenes were rehearsed several times a day, using props and sometimes costumes. Investigations and improvisations were still welcomed, but the boundaries were narrowed significantly compared to the first phase. It was investigation within the framework. "No" was a much more common word during this phase, and most of the time, "no" would be accompanied by an explanation that related to the vision of the play and to the agreements made during the first phase. Finally, the Closing Phase was characterized by numerous run-throughs of separate acts or of the entire play, most of the time as dress rehearsals (using costumes, props, lighting, special effects etc.). This phase was about mastering. Mastering timing, mastering the characters, mastering positions, mastering expressions, mastering scene changes etc. Only slight changes were made. Entering a phase and moving from one phase to another phase wasn't announced - it was more of a covert, subtle announcement. For example, Director no. 2 made use of symbols that underlined the spirit of each phase. During the first investigative phase, he would put on music before the rehearsal, so the actors would enter a room full of music. Both directors would invite the actors to join him/her

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around a table, seemingly acting like their peer. The leadership style was very democratic, and both directors allowed themselves to be goofy and relaxed and "going with the flow". They would both make a schedule for each day, but they didn't necessarily stick to the schedule but felt free to make changes on the spot. During the second (Rehearsal) phase, Director no. 2 didn't put music on. Both directors would sit on a chair facing the actors, watching them rehearse, giving notes and corrections, commenting on their acting etc. The leadership style shifted from democratic to authoritative, but most of the time polite (e.g.: "Could you try facing that way…" or "What would happen if…." etc.). During this phase the schedule was much more tight. One hour was devoted to working on a specific scene, and when the hour was up at the latest, they would continue working on the next scheduled scene. Neither director kept working on a scene until they reached a point of clarity. Instead, they would stop when the time was up and sum up the solved and unsolved pieces of the puzzle and ask the actor(s) to think about a solution until the next rehearsal of the scene. This way, both directors made time and space available for incubation, thus spurring the "illumination moment" for themselves as well as the actor(s) involved. During the third (Closing) phase, the directors would sit on the first row in front of the stage watching the run-throughs on stage. Both directors would be silent during the run-through. They would make notes and only speak when absolutely necessary. After a run-through they would give notes - sometimes explaining their notes, sometimes just ordering someone to make a change. Their leadership style was much more dictatorial. From time to time they would still take the time to discuss a problem with one or several actors, if they felt that it was needed, e.g. if an actor was particularly unsure about a scene or a monologue - but they never wavered from their vision and from their directions. Instead, they took the time to listen and explain. Environment In establishing an environment that is supporting and rewarding of creativity, three factors can be learned from the directors: Creating a safe container; shielding leadership and understanding flow and flow frustration. Creating a safe container For a number of reasons, some of which are discussed below, creative work is sensitive work. It involves asking questions and suffering the frustration of not being able to come up with the answer, it involves mastering and learning and often divergent thinking, and it involves values such as courage, discipline and curiosity. In order for people to feel safe and secure in doing work that is sensitive by nature, it is important to create a safe container where hot and sensitive issues can be handled. Making suggestions as an actor is highly sensitive. Using yourself as a creative tool is highly sensitive. Running the risk of failing is highly sensitive. Therefore, it is important to encourage a behavior that is grounded in courage and

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curiosity. However, it is a fine line - it takes only a few minor mistakes to discourage that type of behavior. Both directors were exemplary in that they succeeded in creating such a container. During the first investigative phase, they never once ridiculed or laughed at an failed attempt to try something new. They never acted negatively if an idea didn't pan out or if a suggestion didn't prove feasible. Instead of discarding of the idea and creating a negative atmosphere around ideas that proved "wrong", they welcomed failures and crazy suggestions by saying "yes" a lot, by laughing at jokes that weren't funny, by nodding vigorously even though something clearly didn't work, by going along with an idea in order to explore it etc. They were willing to goof around by acting themselves or by telling jokes. They were delighted to give suggestions a try - and happy when it didn't work out, because that meant that one more stone had been turned. In the first investigative phase, failures have value, and both directors made sure to find a way to add value not only to successful ideas but also to failures. Also, they knew the unspoken roles of praise and critique. Praise is one way of welcoming and encouraging ideas and suggestions. Saying "yes" or "good" or "well done" etc. is more of a ritual that allows creativity than a positive evaluation of what is being said or done. Actors know that this is a ritual. Therefore, praise given inside the rehearsal studio or on stage during rehearsal doesn't really count as validation, recognition or praise. It is a method and a ritual necessary for creating a safe container - it is not an evaluation or praise per se. Consequently, praise that is actually meant as praise, must be given outside the work space, e.g. in the hallway, in the cafeteria etc. Critique, however, is highly sensitive as people engaged in creative work is not only highly engaged but also often personally engaged and passionate. This makes critique a highly sensitive task where the leader must tread carefully. Both directors showed excellent praising and critiquing skills. They knew when and where and how to praise, and they knew when and where and how to criticize. Critique was given inside the rehearsal studio or on stage during rehearsal - never in hallway or in the cafeteria. When given inside the work space, critique is made less personal. Also, both directors often found ways to make it clear that critique was not to be taken personally. For example, by saying "he" or "she" referring to the character rather than saying "you", they kept a distance between the actor and the character. Practicing shielding leadership and understanding flow and flow frustration are important aspects of creating such a safe container. Shielding leadership For most professionals, there is a deep conflict between professional ethics (also known as duty ethics) and business ethics (also known as utility ethics) (Hein, 2009a + 2009b). Quite a few researchers Amabile probably being the front runner (Amabile, 1983 + 1996 + 1998; Amabile et al., 2002) - have stressed the fact that business imperatives may undermine creativity: That meeting business imperatives often results in organizing work in a way that makes little or no room for creativity. Also, many professionals feel that economics and management rhetoric constitute a threat to the calling and

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the high standards. As a result, they often feel compelled to shield their calling and their higher purpose against the economic beast. For that reason, and many others, business ethics and a managerial vocabulary is often off-putting to many professionals and a prime reason for demotivation and frustration (Hein, 2009a + 2009b + 2009c). Both directors showed a common trait in their leadership - a trait I suggest we call "shielding leadership", where they shield the actors from business ethics, managerial vocabulary, budget decisions etc. Although deeply involved in discussions and decision making concerning economy etc., they never once mentioned the economic reasons for their decision making. They always argued from the perspective of art and focused on the higher purpose. They both succeeded in shielding the performers from any kind of economic issues, establishing a small world in the rehearsal room where art was the only concern. They managed to move between what we could call the managerial sphere and the artistic sphere without even once mixing up the two spheres - they always kept them separate and never once made use of the managerial vocabulary once they entered the artistic sphere. Understanding flow and flow frustration Flow is an essential part of creative work. Csikszentmihalyi (1991 + 1997) defines flow as a peak experience, where a person's capacity (in terms of body or mind) is stretched to its limits in an effort to accomplish something difficult or worthwhile. When an individual engages in this kind of extremely focused work, they may experience the feeling that their work is flowing effortlessly and they may lose track of time. This feeling is more frequently experienced during work than in leisure time (Csikszentmihalyi 1991 + 1997; Hein, 2009c). However, flow is not always a pleasant feeling. Flow is experienced when dealing with problem solving and problem identification and requires that the individual step outside their comfort zone. Being out there is obviously not always comfortable and may even be extremely frustrating. The paradox of flow is that people may feel very frustrated while at the same time enjoying themselves tremendously. Sometimes, there is a gap in the two feelings: Sometimes, the feeling of frustration is predominant, only to be exchanged for joy and happiness at a later stage (Hein, 2009a + 2009b + 2009c). A common problem with "flow frustration" at The Royal Danish Theatre was that - although they were highly experienced in the field of creative work - many directors and administrative employees mistook flow frustration for childish, immature behavior. When frustrated that they (the artists) were not (yet) able to solve a problem or not (yet) able to master a skill, task, or scene, artists would often react in a very frustrated way. Sometimes bickering, sometimes yelling, sometimes being unreasonable, sometimes crying, sometimes leaving the rehearsal studio, sometimes talking back to the director. Yet, this was not childish behavior, but the result of deep frustration - only, the frustration was not demotivating, but on the contrary very motivating. The artists know that feelings of frustration, doubt, insecurity, impatience etc. are part of the creative process, and they know that at some point in time, these negative feelings will probably be exchanged for much more positive peak experiences.

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Both directors stood out in this respect. They were able to see through flow frustration, and they never reacted in a negative way when actors reacted in a seemingly unreasonable way. They emb embraced flow and flow frustration and remained calm, even when the actors were not. After rehearsal, when the actors had left, they would sometimes vent their frustration to their assistant or to the artistic director. But in facing the actors, they remained calm and collected during times of frustration. Motivation Motivating from an archetypical perspective As mentioned previously, the main goal of the research project was to develop a new motivation theory focusing especially on highly specialized creative employees. As a result of the project a model of four archetypes of highly specialized creative employees were developed, each hhaving their own distinct motivational profile. Figure 2 shows all four archetypes in brief and places them on a scale according to their willingness to make sacrifices. This is not a question of how much time (or overtime) one is willing to invest in one's work, but rather the degree of mental, physical and emotional energy one invests in work, and the degree to which one iss willing to fight for what one believes in, regardless of the sacrifices that must be made to stay true to one's beliefs and values. Some me archetypes are averse to sacrifice, while others see sacrifice as a means to a meaningful or valuable end.

Figure 2: Four Archetypes of Highly Specialized Creative Employees (Hein, 2009c)

There is no claim as to which archetype is best or most valuable, rather it can be argued that a combination of Prima Donnas, Performance Addicts and Pragmatists is desirable, whereas Pay Check Workers constitute a number of problems, the primary problem being that they are a substantial reason for the demotivation tion of the other archetypes. For a more elaborate presentation and discussion of the archetypes, see Hein, 2009c. Both directors intuitively handled the actors according to differences in their motivational profile. They knew when (and where) to praise or when to critique; they knew how to reward each actor (by talking about the vision of the play, by praising them in front of others, by respecting their need for

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work-life-balance etc.) according to his or her archetypical profile. They handled each actor differently. In contrast, some of the not so successful directors handled the performing artists more or less the same, hanging on to their own preferred way of working, so that the performing artists had to adjust to the directors way of working, whereas Director no. 1 and Director no. 2, while not straying from their beaten path, adjusted to each actor's needs as well. Sustaining passion Thus, both directors spent a considerable amount of energy trying to sustain the passion of the actors during the rehearsal period. Sustaining passion for the Prima Donna means talking about the vision of the play and how they contribute to making a difference. The Extroverted Performance Addict sustains passion from being praised in public and being recognized in various ways, whereas sustaining passion for the Introverted Performance Addict is done by nerding, or rather "co-nerding" about the role, the play, Elizabethan theatre etc. On another level, both directors sustained passion in others by showing and sharing their own passion physically and psychologically. They dared show happiness when something succeeded or fell into place. They dared show anger, when someone was continually not doing as they were told. They dared use "big words". They dared criticize. Leaders often perceive of their role as leaders as a matter of being in control. A good leader is often defined as someone who knows what he or she is doing, who stays calm no matter what happens, who knows how to control their feelings etc. Director no. 1 and Director no. 2 proved that it is not only possible to be very passionate about something - it is also very effective leadership. Challenge - setting the bar high Another lesson to be learned from the two directors was that they both set a very high standard. They challenged the actors. They asked the actors to apply specific technical skills. They would not settle for a mediocre result. Also, they were able to create a match between the performers and their assignments. Naturally, they wouldn't shift characters and ask the actress hired to play e.g. the part of Gertrude in Hamlet to play the part of Ophelia instead, but they would adjust the assignment to each performer depending on their level of expertise. Director no. 1 did that by giving the most challenging monologues to the most skilled actors (and by giving them more monologues to perform) - but she did so in a covert way. She never said to an actor: "I don't think you have the skills required to do this monologue" - she would argue in terms of the flow of the play, the nature of the characters etc. Both directors set a high standard for all performers, and the standard was set in a way that depending on the level of skill - it constituted a challenge for each performer. But the level of challenge depended on the level of professional skills, the level of creative skills and the motivational profile.

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Autonomy The last lesson the be learned from the two directors is a lesson of autonomy. Each director gave autonomy to the performers in term of the means. But they didn't discuss the ends. Both directors were very clear about the goal of the performance: the story to tell, the interpretation of the play, the dramaturgy of the play - and they never wavered from that. But they allowed quite a lot of autonomy in respect to how to reach the goal. They set clearly specified goals, but allowed freedom in how to reach the goal. They would happily engage in discussions about the goal and discuss the overall idea of the play and the reason for playing this specific play and what they hoped the audience would walk away with, but they didn't do it in order to reflect on the goal or alter the goal - they did it to clarify the goal and to make a point about the vision of the play, thus instilling motivation. The directors set the framework for the process; they decided when it was time to move from one phase to another, but within each phase they granted the performers quite a bit of freedom about their individual processes. Every performer was granted autonomy and freedom and also allowed to test the boundaries of the framework. But they weren't allowed to change the goal and the vision of the play.

Conclusion: What can managers learn from theatre directors? There are several prerequisites for doing creative work, and even though we know a number of these prerequisites very well, instilling them in an organizational business context still proves a challenge. This is no doubt partly due to the way we organize work in a business setting, seldom leaving time for concentration, focus and incubation. But this is not the only reason a vast creative potential goes unrealized and creative workers seldom report of creative thinking during their work day. Another important reason is that the understanding creative work and skills for facilitating creative work is lacking in leadership. So what can leaders of creative work processes learn from theatre directors on facilitating creative work processes? Figure 3 shows the skills and tools that can be distilled from the two successful theatre directors used as exemplary case studies in this paper:

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Figure 3: Creativity from a confluence perspective: Lessons learned learned from successful theatre directors.

One major lesson to be learned from the two directors is that the way we perceive of effective leadership must be changed in a number of ways. Leaders must be willing give up on control. They must dare exposing themselves mselves - their vision, their passion etc. Leaders must be courageous. They themselves must be willing to step outside their comfort zone. They must have the stamina to shield the creative workers from considerations (regarding budgetary decisions, strateg strategic decisions etc.) that leaders often (mistakenly) share with their employees. They must inspire. They must be willing to define leadership in a new way. There is no doubt that fostering creativity and facilitating creative work processes is not an easy task. But it can be done. It may require changes in the way we organize creative work, but most importantly, it requires a unique set of skills on the part of the leader.

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Sternberg, Robert J. (2003): The Development of Creativity as a Decision-Making Process. In: Sawyer et al.: Creativity and Development. Oxford University Press. Sternberg, R. J. & T. I. Lubart (2007): The Concept of Creativity: Prospects and Paradigms. In: Sternberg, R. J. (Ed.): Handbook of Creativity. New York: Cambridge University Press. Tharp, Twyla (2003): The Creative Habit. Learn It And Use It For Life. New York: Simon & Schuster. Wallas, G. (1926): The Art of Thought. Harcourt, Brace, & World.

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