Creativity and Creative Thinking
The concepts of creativity and creative thinking have in recent years been highlighted as core skills and capabilities for both individuals and organisations to be effective and successful in the highly fluid and dynamic social, political, economic and commercial landscape of the early 21st century. With the rapidly increasing pace of technological change and the ubiquitous transparency of knowledge and information in the hands of increasingly discerning and value focused customers, the argument by many is how effectively and creatively organisations are able to adapt to a dynamic marketplace in a flexible and nimble manner with have a clear and tangible competitive advantage. Creativity and Creative Thinking as a high value strategic lever!
Creativity and creative thinking and your ability to leverage and capitalise on these will be your true competitive advantage in the customer driven marketplace of the 21st century.
Core Concepts and Ideas – Reading and Materials
Organisations are increasingly valuing creative skills. A report by the Business Council of Australia, for example, has called for a higher level of creativity in graduates. The ability to “think outside the box” is highly sought after. However, the above-mentioned paradox may well imply that firms pay lip service to thinking outside the box while maintaining traditional, hierarchical organisation structures in which individual creativity is condemned.
Creativity is required at all stages of the product development process, from the generation of new product ideas to their commercialisation. A work environment that stimulates employee creativity is generally believed to be beneficial for a firm’s new product performance. When people at any level in the organisation have creative capabilities they can contribute to innovation, despite claims that people at lower levels of an organisation introduce fewer and less radical innovation. All organizational members can directly (e.g., as part of new product development (NPD) team) or indirectly contribute to product innovation, especially in less structured organisations.
There has been much research globally on the core behaviours and cultural cues that are most likely to engender creativity and innovation in individuals and groups both inside and outside organisations, some of these are;
LISTENING – Members of an organisation’s internal and external community often have tremendous insights and ideas that lead to new innovations.
STAY OPEN – Ideas don’t always come from experts. Sometimes the greatest innovations come from novices and backroom tinkers. Open-minded organisations often convert off-the-wall ideas into marketable products and services.
COLLABORATE – No organisation holds all the cards in developing new innovation. Collaboration with outside groups—complementary businesses, corporations, universities, government agencies, and think tanks—often brings new perspectives and ideas to the innovation process.
GO FLAT – A flat management structure doesn’t have the long approval processes and disjointed lines of communications that impede innovation. Organisations that can’t go flat in management can achieve the same results by empowering workers to act independently.
EMBRACE FAILURE – Many of the greatest innovations’ leapfrogs were unintended results and, often times, created by accident. Breakthroughs such as the discovery of penicillin or the power of microwaves were the result of accidents.
An innovative culture begins with the organisational attitude of accepting that the world really has changed. It’s about cultivating a mindset to learn to see the world in new ways
Creative Thinking Articles
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