TTM associates Article
Why organisations need to nurture a CREATIVE and INNOVATIVE culture
The biggest challenge for organisations in the 21st century is to unlock the creative power of their people.
Businesses and their leaders, managers and staff are constantly being confronted with a whole host of challenges: the pace of change is accelerating; competition is increasing dramatically; new technology is being introduced at a Rapid rate, and the business environment is becoming more complex. To meet these challenges and to exploit the opportunities they create, businesses must be able to think on their feet. They need to be able to create innovative products for their customers, develop creative marketing strategies that out-perform their competitors and improve the effectiveness and efficiency of their business processes.
To meet these challenges and to exploit the opportunities they create, businesses must be able to think on their feet. They need to be able to create innovative products for their customers, develop creative marketing strategies that out-perform their competitors and improve the effectiveness and efficiency of their business processes. In order to do this, organisations need to improve the creativity of their teams and must foster the kind of culture which will turn that creativity into innovation. One of the key ways in which organisations can improve their creativity is through learning creativity processes. By developing the creative thinking skills of its people, an organisation is better able to tap into the creative energy within the business and unleash its potential. A business that is able to conjure up new ideas and think through problems to find original solutions is a business that is ahead of the curve. There is a prevailing belief that creativity is an inborn trait you are either creative or you’re not. The truth is, we are all creative and have many creative skills. Research shows that our propensity to generate truly original ideas reduces from 90 per cent at age five, to 20 per cent at age seven and even further to two per cent as adults!
However, unless you have suffered brain damage in your right hemisphere or had it surgically removed, you still have this part of your brain, so you are still creative. It’s just that maybe you don’t use your creativity skills as much as you used to.
I’m not Creative!
This links to the myth that creativity is a natural talent. Many people think that they are not creative. The truth is that as we already mentioned earlier, we are all creative. Some people are naturally more creative than others, but we can all have very creative ideas. The problem is that as w e grow older, we learn to inhibit our creativity for various reasons, often because this side of us is stifled by the cultural environment. This is illustrated in the chart above, which shows that the percentage of creative brainpower we use declines the older we get (and note that by the time we are adult, while we may be using up to 20 per cent of our creative brain power, we are only generating two per cent of truly original ideas). However, by regularly exercising your creative brain, you can regain the levels of creative brainpower you enjoyed as a child and reclaim your personal creativity. With this precept in mind, the big question that rises is whether organisations are willing to walk the extra mile to exploit and thus develop their employees’ creativity in the workplace.
One may therefore argue that many organisations have to strike the right balance between structured approach and free flow / flexible in a blame free culture that will trigger and maintain a creative working environment. It is of critical importance for organisations to evolve and adapt to change by leveraging their employee’s creativity. In order to maintain a competitive advantage creativity is a key component.