How to Innovate with Mundane TasksWould you give your most creative people the most mundane work?

This article on Harvard Business Review talks about why you should do it and how it would benefit your business.

Why Give Your Creative Team Mundane Tasks

Typically the grunt work is executed by young professionals so, those with the most experience, creativity, and expertise don't understand it's not working.

Take this example, for instance:

A first-rate programmer was assigned to fix a bottleneck manual process that required time-intensive and error-prone manual entries into Excel. Her software not only automated the process, it invited greater innovation. Successfully confronting scut work can stimulate the best of both worlds: Rickety, non-scalable and unreliable processes are eliminated and everyone in the organization now has more time and energy to add more value.

The adage, "If you need something done, give it to a busy person," works in this case because even the most mundane tasks can be reenergized by someone who doesn't have hours, but minutes, to spend on it.

How Does It Work?

Take a look around and outline some of the tasks that are done just because that's the way they've always been done. Can you find some things that you can ask some of your creative or experienced people to execute?

If the answer is yes, explain to your team members what you're doing and ask those people to work on those tasks for a minimum of one week.

After one week, reconvene and see what kinds of things are different. Can the task be done differently? Can it save you time? Does it restructure or make things more efficient?

It also requires your culture be one that is humble, willing to jump in and help, and without the "that's not my job" attitude.

If your culture fits that description and you're willing to try it, I suggest it for a week. See what happens. And report back!