Friday, June 26, 2015

How to Integrate the Art and Science of Creativity into Corporate Culture

Culture is HOW people think and do things there!

Culture is the beating heart of an organization. It determines what the place feels like, how people behave, whether people feel empowered or not etc. The ideal culture is one of vision-driven leadership coupled with the empathetic listening of valued employees. So the question is that, “How can you effectively integrate the art and science of creativity and innovation into your teams and organizations?”

Humans have three intertwined instincts: All humans (without exception) are bestowed with three basic instincts which are HUMILITY (Egoless awareness and acceptance), CURIOSITY (Restlessness with the status quo), and CREATIVITY (Urge to change or improve the status quo). Amazingly, these three basic instincts are intertwined. Humility energizes curiosity and curiosity ignites creativity. In simple words, without humility, curiosity is feeble and without curiosity, creativity is ineffectual. Therefore, it is important to create and nurture an environment in your organization where humility is appreciated, curiosity is encouraged, and creative thinking is rewarded. When people feel empowered to be creative at work, school and the community- amazing things do indeed happen. All of us have a creative/artistic side while also having a curious and scientific side to us.

The theme of the teams - is the theme of the organizational evolution as well. Team work occurs at a certain stage, when in an organization, it is a high level of trust. Teams are built on a high level of person’s motivation (self-motivation), which can not be bought. Through social learning and development, creativity is either cultivated through positive reinforcement or squelched through negative reinforcement. Organizations with a command type of organizational culture indifferent to external innovations. Most of innovative organizations are headed by strong leaders with original ideas, who can see, understand and appreciate the merits of people who can think differently. If there are no inspiring ideas – people’s motivation is reduced. We are all born to be creative - isn't that wonderful! Given the nature of most companies, integration of the art and science of creativity is proportional to the need to maintain or increase the bottom line. Change for "some/most" is typically reactionary rather than proactive or innovative. If this were not the case, they would likely be more competitive and culturally healthier.

A healthy corporate culture is very important as a determinant of business performance. Among other considerations, it stands as a key factor not only in attaining organizational goals but also in the attraction and retention of desirable employees, creating a public image that is positive and building respectful relationships with stakeholders and within the organization itself. On the flip side, if the corporate culture is poison, expect high employee turnovers, an organization faced with ethical issues that detract from a positive public image, and a total disregard of stakeholders, and probably chronic bullying within the organization. There has been much resistance to change or problems arise when it comes embracing and integrating the art and science of creativity and innovation; but if integrate well, companies would indeed become more competitive and culturally healthier- to name just a few areas they would improve.

Culture should be based on what gives collective confidence. Corporate culture SHOULD be a business 'app,' in that if you can rally an entire organization around operationalized brand positioning, everyone can apply it each day as part of business performance. Culture should not be seen superficially as, "is everyone happy we have a fuseball table and wear jeans to work" but rather, what are the ideas within our walls that derive profitable action and collective confidence and wisdom. Corporate culture is obviously very important in a world class organization. How does one find a corporate culture that attunes to theirs? Massive research? Asking peers? When culture is "working," it can unlock powerful synergies that drive performance, especially in today's world that relies so much on collaboration and teamwork. Naturally the culture is hugely important in attracting the right employees. Creative types recognize repressive cultures and stay away in droves…

A culture of innovation isn't built in a day; it takes innovative leadership and long-term strategy. Change the culture is the mindset, though you can’t impose the desired culture to your organization, surely you can follow the principles and practices to transform your culture, and view resistance or problems as opportunities with endless possibilities and exponential value to be discovered, make continuous improvement as the right attitude, cultivated habit, and your organizational brand.


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