Creativity in Organizations

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(1) INTRODUCTION: Creativity in organisations may be defined as the process by which new ideas that make innovation possible are developed. It is the ability to generate novel and useful ideas and solutions to everyday problems and challenges. For many years, technology has supplanted people in the performance of many routine jobs and has increasingly assumed prominence in more sophisticated processes. The universal availability of inexpensive technology has created a highly competitive global marketplace and fuelled the growth of robust, knowledge- based economies in developing countries, with India and China as the prime examples. Developed countries such as the United states no longer claim a competitive advantage based on exclusive access to advanced technology and a well trained workforce. (2) RELAVANCE IN TODAY’S ERA: Creativity has traditionally been viewed as the gift of a small number of talented people. The concept that groups and organizations can function creatively reflects the growing importance of creativity as a driver of innovation and organisational success As the global playing field becomes increasingly level, many business forecasters are predicting that workforce creativity and innovation will be the most important factors in establishing and maintaining a competitive advantage. Logic, linear thinking and rule based analysis-functions located in the left side of the human brain-will remain important, but are no longer sufficient to succeed in the global economy. Many experts, such as author Daniel Pink (a keynote speaker at the Society for Human Resource Management’s 2007 Annual Conference and Exposition) believe that, to succeed, organisations must place greater emphasis on right brain functions: artistic, big picture thinking and the ability to put things in context. Management practices that support creative and innovative thinking will undoubtedly be more challenging than managing task oriented, routine jobs. These concepts create a fundamental challenge for HR professionals. The recruiting and retention of highly talented workers has long been a cornerstone of strategic human capital management. However some leaders in the study of creativity are challenging the assumption that individual creativity is solely a question of talent and are looking at how the environment influences creative outputs. (3) HOW TO BECOME MORE CREATIVE: Creativity becomes more and more important, as it becomes more and more clear that for business to thrive, it is necessary to tap into the creative talents of staff. Many businesses have big problems in getting their staff to work more creatively. There are few businesses where a culture of creativity, improvisation, etc. is accepted. Film making, music, marketing, advertising and product design are often pointed at as examples of areas where creativity is truly appreciated. But most organisations are structured rather rigidly, with hierarchical reporting lines and defined responsibilities and tasks. The big problem for most organisations is that they lack the structure to allow creativity. Increasingly, new structures such as networking become popular. Nevertheless, it turns out to be very difficult to change established attitudes of people. No matter how much is spent on assertive training, counselling, personality building and similar programs, most people still wait to be told what to do, rather than to take initiative and risk personal failure, while the few who do grab the opportunities are generally regarded as abusing the system. It becomes clear that it is very hard to make people creative; creativity is not something that evolves under pressure, on demand or even at the sound of money. A promise of promotion may make people willing to perform and eager to achieve goals, but it cannot suddenly turn people creative; creativity is especially lacking in people who for the most part of their lives have been working in a disciplined environment. The...
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