Friday, February 03, 2006

Business Creativity ( why you need it and how to buy it) Part 2

More reasons to embrace creativity in your business

Part of a successful innovation strategy

Taken to its simplest level, Innovation is simply a function of creativity (the way we generate ideas), knowledge (existing ideas and the ability to combine them) as well as the processes that have been put in place to manage all of this. Read about the Innovation Equation. Without creativity only incremental innovation can take place and then only in a small way. If you are considering new products, new markets or both the creativity will certainly help as you will definitely need to adopt new mindsets.

Improved organisational culture

There are three main drivers for creativity – intrinsic motivation, tools and techniques, existing knowledge and experience. If you accept that you are going to embrace creativity in some way then you will have to create a programme that directly or indirectly addresses these topics. The interesting thing is the link with intrinsic motivation. If your business has a culture of creativity then there will be high intrinsic motivation, however the converse is not necessarily true. High intrinsic motivation is the desire of many an HR department as it is linked to improved performance and low staff turnover.

There are other aspects of creativity too, such as improved communications and increased trust, which all contribute to improved organisational culture.

Removal of strategic barriers

Strategic barriers exist mainly because of mindsets and a lack of being able to see any other course of action apart from the current one. Also a rigid culture prevents a business of responding to a rapidly changing marketplace or to new business opportunities.

Adopting a more creative stance allows us to address the four main types of strategic barriers and in some cases remove them completely:

  • Preferred modes of operation

  • Too much or too little choice

  • Overcoming embedded values e.g. charities, religious organisation

  • Overcoming perceptual barriers e.g. self image or sensitivity to risk

In subsequent articles I shall look at further reasons to embrace creativity and also some of the things that businesses should consider when engaging external assistance. You can read the full text of Creativity as a Business Tool from the web by clicking on the link.

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