Organizational Culture, Creativity, Innovation

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It can be concluded with great certainty that certain organizational cultures inhibit creativity and innovation while others foster it. Some organizations are just better at identifying problems, generating and selecting valuable ideas and developing and commercializing them – this is why those firms tend to maintain competitive advantage and retain leaders in their field.

Another way to look at the problem is in terms of blocks. Certain organizations create or enhance blocks that prevent their human capital from working to its potential. Some of the many blocks include:

a) Conformity and risk aversion

b) Culture dictating behavior

c) A sense ofappropriate behavior

d) Negatively assessing own ideas

e) Logical thinking, scientific, cause and event thinking

f) Rejection of ideas without adequate valuation processes

g) Competition inhibiting behavior

h) Fear of being perceived as being unoriginal

i) Fear of being perceived as being unintelligent

j) Problems have an illusion of difficulty

k) Waiting for inspiration

l) Lack of resources

m) Lack of tangible progress of good ideas

n) Lack of focus or goal

Simply from an analysis of the above, it is appropriate that a number of areas require the attention of leaders, including:

a) Management of personalities and individual blocks

b) Management of organizational blocks

c) Management of ideas from problem identification to
commercialization

d) Distinctions and management of cultural and structural inhibitors

Resolution techniques include broad categorization – many blocks can be viewed as evaluation apprehension, and general solutions include:

a) Psychological safety (Vernon, 1980) – accepting the individual as unconditioned worth – recognizing that the individual is capable of producing but that their value is not based on producing

b) Psychological freedom (Vernon, 1980) – eliminating a climate in which external evaluation is absent; understanding empathetically – understanding the individual from their point of feeling and view.

These and other topics are covered in depth in the MBA dissertation on Managing Creativity & Innovation, which can be purchased (along with a Creativity and Innovation DIY Audit, Good Idea Generator Software and Power Point Presentation) from http: //www.managing- creativity.com

Kal Bishop, MBA

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