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Enhancing Creativity: Enriching the Organization and Workplace Essay

1. Risk taking is acceptable to management: a. Management must recognize the risk/reward relationship and find organizational mechanisms for handling it. And it must communicate a clear understanding that reasonable risks are acceptable, since they are the handmaidens of progress. On the innovative front, two methods are available for dealing with risk: diversification and cheap failures. They can and should be used in concert. i. Diversification- allows companies to spread risk over many rolls of the dice, as opposed to betting the company on a single roll. Because one can never know in advance which ideas will be winners and which will be losers, having a diversified “portfolio” of ideas in play makes sense. ii. Cheap Failures- project or experiment that is terminated with the least possible outlay of resources—just enough to tell managers that “This isn’t going to work.” They back promising ideas with small budgets and look for ways to test them with the least input of resources. Like card players, they quickly fold when they recognize that they have a weak hand. Conversely, they increase backing for strong ideas.

2. New ideas and new ways of doing things are welcomed b. The worst environment for creativity is one that is unwelcoming to new ideas. “We’ve been successful over the years by doing things this way, so why should we change?” An organization with this attitude is heading for trouble. In fairness, management is compelled to shoot down good ideas when (1) those ideas lack a strategic fit with the business, or (2) the organization lacks the resources to pursue them. In these cases, how- ever, management has a responsibility to communicate its reasoning to employees. Beyond welcoming new ideas, the organization should view innovation as a normal part of business—not a special activity practiced by a handful of employees.

3. Information is free flowing c. Information can stimulate thinking, which leads to idea generation. Many creative ideas are formed at the intersection of different lines of thought or technology. When people communicate and share information, they get ideas that haven’t been considered yet. In hierarchical firms, information is often hoarded as a source of organizational power. Information flows are controlled and channeled through the chain of command. People must demonstrate a “need to know” to have access to certain information. This control impedes the catalytic function of communication and limits opportunities for different pieces of information to intersect and combine in people’s minds. Managers can encourage the free flow of information in many ways: through e-mail, the physical co-location of team members, joint work sessions, and regular brown-bag lunches.

4. Employees have access to knowledge sources d. Knowledge is often the raw material of creative thought. Some companies have developed elaborate knowledge management systems to capture knowledge, store it, and make it easily avail- able for reuse. These systems help ensure that what was learned by someone in Unit A doesn’t have to be learned anew by someone in Unit B. iii. Another way to help employees tap sources of internal knowledge is through the creation of communities of interest. A community of interest is an informal group whose members share an interest in some technology or application. Whatever the interest may be, newsletters and periodic meetings held by these communities provide opportunities to share knowledge and spark the imagination. iv. External knowledge is equally important as a stimulant to innovation. External knowledge invigorates and adds vitality to organizations. Employees access that knowledge when they have opportunities to attend professional and scientific meetings and to visit customers and benchmarking partners, and when outside experts are brought in to share their know-how via lectures and workshops.

5. Good ideas are supported by executive patrons e. Organizations need people in high places who will champion good ideas and provide them with moral support and protection as they travel the bumpy road toward commercialization. Although executive patronage is often necessary for radical innovation, such support is not always well directed. Senior executives are not necessarily more clairvoyant than other managers, and they sometimes place their bets on the wrong ponies. Nevertheless, research points to executive patronage as an important contributor to radical innovation.

6. Innovators are rewarded f. Creativity will not flourish in the absence of a reward system that encourages individuals to stretch beyond the bounds of normal work. Creative energy is quickly dissipated and must be replenished some- how. Rewards serve this purpose. v. Recognition vi. Control vii. Celebration viii. Rejuvenation g. Motivating reward can either be intrinsic or extrinsic. An intrinsic reward appeals to a person’s desire for self-actualization, curiosity, enjoyment, or interest in the work itself. An extrinsic reward appeals to a person’s desire for attainment distinct from the work itself: a cash bonus, a promotion, or stock options.

Enriching the Physical Workplace a. Physical surroundings can also have an impact on creativity. Like the organizational environment, the physical environment can be engineered in ways that encourage higher creative output. For example, when an environment is filled with many types of stimuli and when it provides physical and electronic links between individuals, it encourages people to see new connections and to think more broadly. Workspace design and work effectiveness are linked. b. Organizational researchers have known for a long time that the frequency of communication between co-workers decreases dramatically as the physical distance between them increases. Workspace design and the physical location of project team members have a major impact on the depth of communication and knowledge sharing. c. The idea to improve the physical environment is to encourage the interactions that lead to information sharing and creative ideas.

What is the nature of this article? The nature of this article is to provide with guidelines and examples of information regarding making the organization’s culture and physical workplace more supportive of creativity and innovation.

How does the article relate to business, management and leadership, and what is its significance to the field of business? This article relates to business, management and leadership because it provides for guidelines and the sharing of information so that after you have put together a really hot team of creative people, the organization will no be condemned to having a team produce disappointing results due to an unfriendly environment to new ideas. The purpose of this article is to provide will the implementation of a system within the organization, both physically and culturally, to create a more supportive workplace that enhances creativity and innovation.

What are the objectives of the article? The objectives of the articles are to provide an organization with useful information to create organizational enrichment through characteristics that support creativity and innovation. And to create an enriched physical workplace that allows having a positive impact on creativity.

Examine the author’s position within the article, what assumptions do they make? Through the information and examples provided by the author, the reader is to believe that the implementation of such guidelines and useful information will create an organization whose environment is welcoming and friendly to creativity and innovation. That this implementation will create for a physical and cultural workplace that enriches the follow of generating new ideas and the share of vital information between employees and managers of the organization.


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