Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Position of Creativity in Organisational Innovation

In a slight change to the advertised post, today I will be looking at the position of creativity in recognising organisational innovation.

As organisational turbulence increases, so too does the requirement for organisations to innovate. Although on occasions, creativity and innovation have been used synonymously, it is more appropriate to consider creativity as representative of an idea, whilst considering innovation as the implementation thereof. As identified in the post 'Influencing Business - Creativity Defined', Creativity can be said to produce ideas which are novel, useful, and offer potential value. As we have identified innovation herein as involving the development and implementation of new ideas, creativity is a central component of organisational innovation. Whilst not synonymous, both creativity and innovation rely upon one another to offer value to the organisation. The link between creativity and innovation is best visualised as cyclical; whilst individual creativity feeds the organisation's innovation, the culture and environment of the organisation will invariably influence the workforce's propensity to engage in creative activities. As such, it is very difficult for one to exist without the other.

As the organisation’s reliance upon innovation as a means of addressing non-routine problems increases, ideas become a valuable organisational resource. The importance of individual creativity has increasingly been recognised as a key driver of innovation, however much debate exists around the topic. For instance, many authors have tried to identify skills deemed representative of the creative individual. Whilst many articles claim that certain characteristics and propensities enhance the likelihood that an individual will act upon a creative impulse, many others suggest that such characteristics do not exist. Although the debate surrounding the existence of creativity enhancing personality traits is likely to continue for several years, congruence concerning the composition of creativity is far higher. These components are Expertise, Creative Thinking and Motivation, and will examined in depth during my upcoming posts.

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