Creativity from an organizational perspective does not just mean generating ideas or new perspectives. Creativity in organizations must be focused on ideas that are useful and actionable. One may have a very creative workforce but if none of their employees ideas are really actionable, then this is a wasted use of creativity within an organization. More importantly, creative ideas should also have a desirable impact on organizational goals and factors such as productivity, communication, coordination, or product quality.
Good managers view creativity as an important element responsible in part for ensuring organizational success. It should help managers find new answers and solutions to problems. Examples of challenges that managers face can be discovering new ways to motivate employees or finding ways to deal more effectively with competitors. Without the implementation of creativity in organizations, they would see no reason to break away from old norms. Creativity enables businesses to find new ways to deal more efficiently with accomplishing tasks by generating solutions to organizational inefficiencies.
There are many ways to increase creativity in organizations, but I will focus on the following three actions that I have personally observed as having an effect on creativity. Challenging workers can both encourage and discourage creativity. Employees should not be placed in jobs that are too simple because they may become bored or distracted from being creative. On the other, hand if someone is placed in a job that is too difficult for them, then they may feel overwhelmed and therefore not inclined to generate creative solutions. Therefore, a manager needs to analyze each employees potential in order to assign them an adequate level of challenge, pushing them to the edge but not over.
A second way to support creativity is by affording employees the proper amount of time to accomplish work. This goes hand in hand with challenge. Managers should encourage workers to explore ideas as if they are on an expedition when plenty of time is awarded in order to achieve a goal. While under high time pressure, managers should encourage workers to feel as if they are on a mission to discover a solution.
Lastly one of the most effective ways that I have found to increase creativity within organizations is by letting employees know that their creative efforts are valued and important to that organization. This will help motivate employees to continuously be thinking of creative and innovative ideas. A previous post of mine describes more in depth the reasoning behind motivation. People are motivated to be creative, innovative and over achievers by the “why” factor as described by Simon Sinek. Click here to continue to this post.
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