Friday, September 25, 2015

Is There a Common Solution to Meet the Need for Creativity

Creativity has a language, but it is altogether different from the one found in the business environment.

As businesses get more cut-throat and it is understandable for them to push employees doing more with less, this puts stress on the labor force that is not conducive to relaxed or experimental thinking. And unfortunately, it stifles workforce creativity and business competency for the long term. So the creativity dilemma facing in any organization include: On one hand, the budget is tight, on the other hand, organizations desperately need the new ideas for long-term growth. So, "will you allow people to make mistakes? Spend time on something with no guarantee of ROI? Work on what interests them?" Or is there a common solution to meet the need for creativity?

Creativity is, by nature, unique to each person. There is no template which you can apply and suddenly have a creative workforce. It must be done slowly, patiently, and individually. That is why so many companies won't do it. Creativity has a language, but it is altogether different from the one found in the business environment. Generally speaking, you must allow room for failure, for tangents, for being "different." Creativity is a long-term endeavor. It must be cultivated, but most businesses measure success at the end of every growth cycle. The best way to foster creativity is to help people to communicate in a way that instills confidence, not fear. Unfortunately, the competitive, trying-to-get-a-leg-up atmosphere in many companies squashes any tiny seed of creativity.

Creativity has a language, but it is altogether different from the one found in the business environment. There is an idea of 'productive friction' as a way of encouraging and instilling a creative innovative environment. In a world of continual change, no one has all the answers. In fact, solutions often come from the floor and not the ceiling. Therefore, organizations need to support the process of improvisation which means "Accept what is given," "Yes and…," "Build on what you have." However, most businesses value monoculture, in the organizations that are pretending to be interesting in employee creativity, they will roll out half-hearted attempts that are more theater than reality. It just wastes everyone's time and energy and the employees will eventually see through the sham.

Build a culture of innovation and encourage free thinking and experimenting. Part of creating an organizational environment that facilitates creativity involves paying attention to employee wellbeing and building individual emotional resilience to generate more positive emotions and reducing unnecessary organizational pressures. This helps facilitate creativity because the research indicates that when we are experiencing higher levels of positive emotion, we are more open to experience and more likely to be creative in the workplace. Another factor to bear in mind when creating organizational environments is the vital role that knowledge plays in the creative process, creativity is all about dot-connecting, the more interdisciplinary knowledge you have, the better opportunity to get connected and create something new.

There is no global solution to meet the need for creativity, and HR is most certainly not the place to build innovation and creativity. They don't have the credibility. It's a function of each manager to establish an environment where people can grow and develop--no matter what the corporate culture might be. Creativity is a synthesis of two qualities: imagination with which you create new ideas and the concreteness with which you can transform ideas into real works. Some of us are mostly imaginative, other practical: only very few possess both qualities in equal, high, measure. But it is practical to set creative groups in which, under the guidance of a charismatic leader, visionary people work together synergistically with practical people to achieve a shared mission.


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