May 31, 2007 0 comments
Ensure participative safety
Employees can only be encouraged to think creatively if they are not afraid of criticism or punishment.
If a project fails and the champion is in fear of losing his job then he will never take the risk of thinking creatively again.
Employees should be encouraged to challenge their assumptions and perceptions regarding procedures, products, services and processes
(Jones and McFadzean, 1997; McFadzean, 1996a).
In particular, they should examine procedures that
“have always been done that way”.
Managers should encourage “visioning”
Creative thinkers look into the future and visualise where they would like to be in five or ten years time.
This can be applied to the company as a whole or to a department or section or to products, services, procedures and processes.
Climate of Excellence
Establish a climate of excellence
Creative ideas need to be implemented effectively in order to succeed.
Managers should ensure that employees are committed to achieving a first-rate performance.
This can be undertaken by developing achievable objectives (both as an organisation and as individuals) and by producing a strategy for fulfilling them.
Question Corporate Viewpoint
Employ people who do not seem to fit in (Jones and McFadzean, 1997). By upsetting the status quo, it encourages people to look at situations from different perspectives instead of a “corporate viewpoint”.
This may not necessarily be comfortable for management but it can help the company produce some excellent innovative ideas.
Facilitate Pet Projects
Allow people to spend time on their pet projects so they can be researched and developed (McFadzean, 1996b).
For example, the Post-It Note was developed by 3M because the company had allowed its inventor - Arthur Fry - to spend time working on the concept. 3M allows 15 percent of time to be spent on researching pet projects (Nayak and Ketteringham, 1991).
Senior Management Support
There must be senior management support for creativity and innovation (Jones and McFadzean, 1997).
Often, managers will articulate their support but will not enact it.
They must provide sufficient resources and training, encouragement for developing new ideas, time to work on pet projects and/or financial support.
Atmosphere of Enjoyment and Fun
Encourage an atmosphere of enjoyment and fun. Creative thought can be greatly enhanced if participants are enjoying themselves.
An appropriate atmosphere may be created by reducing distractions and enhancing relaxation
Creative Problem Solving Teams
Develop creative problem solving teams that can work together and develop trust for one another
Problem solving teams will be more effective if the participants have the same goals and are supported by a trained facilitator (Briggs and Nunamaker, 1996; Nelson and McFadzean, in press).
Group members who share goal congruence will work towards their objectives together rather than working with hidden agendas and conflicting interests, which will ultimately reduce the efficiency of the group.
Groups will work more effectively together if supported by a competent facilitator.
The facilitator helps the group to reach its objectives and can help the group to look at the situation from different perspectives by using a variety of creative problem solving techniques (McFadzean and Nelson, 1998).