Getting Started With Creativity

Getting started with Creativity in your organisation

Getting started with creativity

Creativity is a powerful business tool

Creativity can be used every day for events such as meetings. Why not rewrite the ‘Meetings Handbook’ to include Edward de Bono’s Six Thinking Hats or include relaxation or visualisation as part of everyday working life? There are many ways of using creativity, however, I believe that a good starting point is to:

  • Measure the current creative climate within the organisation (How? use our Innovation Toolkit …)
  • Create a toolbox of essential models and techniques
  • Develop creative leaders and managers
  • Form creative teams
  • Explore alternative techniques for change, problem-solving and creating strategy
  • Use an external facilitator or catalyst to help kick-start the process

As a bare minimum, we believe that you should be looking at the following areas within your business or organisation. The list is only a small subset of the areas that we look at when carrying out audits. Contact us to find out how we can help you. In the meantime, you can use the following to take a look at possible areas for improvement within your organisation.

Strategic barriers to Creativity

Strategic barriers to creativity include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Preferred ways of decision making
  • Solving problems
  • Use of finance
  • Assessment of, and attitude towards risk

Organisational culture

‘Good’ organisational culture is characterised by individuals feeling empowered, constructive personal relationships and a sense of time and space to ‘play’ and learn. There should also be a feeling that the organisation acts as a whole with high intrinsic motivation amongst employees. There is nothing that you can do directly to create the ideal culture for creativity to flourish, all you can do is create the right environment and let it grow. This is a little like gardening. We can plant seeds or plants, water and feed them but standing and shouting GROW at them does not work.

Corporate culture

This is culture that is espoused by those in senior positions. If the organisation is in balance then organisational and corporate culture will mirror each other. Espoused values should centre on trust and freedom and open communications with tacit and explicit knowledge being valued equally.

Learning

Time should be allowed to prototype, to learn not to repeat our failures and to capture experiences for reuse later. Most importantly, all of these processes must be systematic. Quite often knowledge is seen as a source of power and the ability to learn and share might require a shift in HR policies within an organisation.

Process and Structure

Creativity must be’”un-managed’ i.e. a framework is required but without prescriptive manuals or procedures. It must be part of the organisational fabric. This will impact HR policies and also the way in which the organisation is led and managed. The types of structure required are loose and flexible, rather like those found in emerging social networks.

Leadership and Management

Strategic direction is set by those at the top. Often there are no concrete objectives and a strategy emerges quite by accident. A creative organisation must know where it is supposed to be going and what resources it has to do the job required. Research has shown that significantly over-resourcing a project has no effect and neither does under-resourcing. Creative Leadership requires both a traditional set of Leadership and Management tools and some new tools and techniques. Creative Leaders must be flexible, be able to live with ambiguity and select the right tools for the job.

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