Setting the stage for creativity: Upstream, mid-stream, and downstream

Leigh Thompson*, David Schonthal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


The most common question we get as researchers and practitioners is: how to instigate creativity in teams and organizations? Some managers are focused downstream, on the development of a product; others are focused upstream-such as how to start thinking big. However, managers often forget about the mid-stream process. In this chapter, we combine insights from scientific research with actual examples and case studies to identify specific stage-setting processes that leaders and managers need to take in order to keep the raft moving through the mid-stream rapids and get downstream, and finally ashore. We point out the key challenges at each point in the creative river and how to leverage the talents of the team and organization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationStrategy and Communication for Innovation
Subtitle of host publicationIntegrative Perspectives on Innovation in the Digital Economy
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9783319495422
ISBN (Print)9783319495408
StatePublished - Mar 6 2017


  • Creative enterprise
  • Design firm
  • Quantity goal
  • Social loafing
  • Task conflict

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • General Engineering
  • General Social Sciences


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