Thursday, April 19, 2018

Three Signals of Creative Workforce

Organizations need to support the process of improvisation and develop a creative workforce to compete for the future.

Creativity is a long-term endeavor. The organizations of the future are increasingly exhibiting digital characteristics in various shades and intensity. One of the aspects of running a digital organization is how to build a creative working environment where individuals or groups can generate creative ideas regularly and frequently, and the business can manage innovation effectively. The management needs to ask themselves: Which type of work activities, roles, industries, require great deals of creativity? Which signals shall you detect for assessing how creative your workforce or workplace is? How do you, as leaders involve all people in creative thinking and actions? And how can you help improve the harvest of the creative seeds?

Productive friction: The idea of 'productive friction' is a way of encouraging and instilling a creative innovative environment. Creating productive friction is about flow, quality, and creativity. It is important to create and nurture an environment in your organization where inquisitiveness and humility are appreciated, curiosity is encouraged, and creative thinking is rewarded. Build individual emotional resilience to generate more positive emotions and reduce unnecessary organizational pressures. If people challenge each other to have to translate/transform their PoVs into new expressions, and then not only is the combined creative output novel, but their individual inputs are also novel. However, many organizations are not fertile ground for ideation, there is the negative vibe surrounding their working environment, silo thinking, bureaucracy, and internal politics all stifle innovation to the certain degree. In the environment with productive friction, creativity is stimulated via cross-functional communication, cross-generational brainstorming, and cross-industrial dots connection.

Creative tension: Have you seen the creative tension through the abundance of digital flow: information flow, mind flow, and talent flow? Do you find yourself getting inspired, challenged or intimidated by people of a different background from you? Does diversity spur new perspectives in an individual or in a collective corporate setting? Can you always discover new perspectives and really valid learning points in work or any social community? Creative tension, when you see it, you know it. Creative people gain in-depth understanding through asking the right questions and open for varying answers. Often those creative workplaces have the right dose of creative tension and healthy competition to spark innovation. You can feel creative tension when you sense the freedom to be creative, the harmony is achieved not through compliance, but through idea sharing and quality debating. Innovation needs to become your business routine, you have to live it and breathe it every day, otherwise, your working environment will go stale and taste flavorless.


Constructive disobedience: As the say goes, you cannot make the omelet without breaking some eggs. The innovation challenges the status quo and that is important for developing a healthy, innovative organization. Impatient with the status quo and believing there is always a better way to do things is a strong signal of having a creative workforce. Thinking outside the box is all about "rule breaking"; the more "unruly" you are, the more creative you are. There is no innovation without disobedience. Constructive disobedience has a positive sense - it’s about the desire to make something better and the willingness to try and explore new possibilities. Innovation is the progression, innovation is doing something better than it currently is, having an innate curiosity to improve. Being innovative is a mindset.

In fact, innovative solutions often come from the floor and not the ceiling. Therefore, organizations need to support the process of improvisation and develop a creative workforce to compete for the future. Creativity must be cultivated, part of creating an organizational environment that facilitates creativity involves paying attention to employee wellbeing and you must allow room for failure, for tangents, for being "different." So collective creativity becomes the business competency.




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