Maximising Corporate Creativity
9 May 2008 David Goldsmith
To create, maintain and develop success, a business requires creative vision. David S Goldsmith, president of Your Talent Manager, explains how the inclusion of management in the creative process could unlock greater success.
The current economic climate means businesses may not always get by employing just knowledge, education and experience. Without a creative approach, it becomes easy for companies to lose their competitive edge. They must keep in touch with their markets, adapt to industry changes and be able to fend off new competitors.
If you want your company to keep its competitive edge, spur growth and develop creatively, you will need to create management teams with depth and vision. And the best way to nurture a team’s creative capital is by combining executives with department heads.
By using creativity teams, your department heads and executives will develop the ability to recognise industry changes, allowing your company to redefine itself and adapt. To achieve this, creativity teams need to establish a process that will allow each member to develop their creative skills. It is important they do not over-analyze, use market research or other forms of technical data when evaluating an idea or trying to solve a problem.
Rather, team members should be encouraged to express a free-flow of ideas and ask questions that will develop their intuitive skills. Structuring teams in this manner will allow each member to learn how to effectively overcome challenges, become creative problem solvers and recognise new opportunities and know how to take advantage of them.
ESTABLISHING A CREATIVE CULTURE
Once your creativity teams are set-up, there are several techniques and strategies that need to be put into place. The executives and managers must be from different departments, with each team establishing a culture that encourages generating fresh, new ideas. Creativity teams are an ideal vehicle for brainstorming.
Another strategy is to encourage questions that challenge conventional ideas. By continually questioning the way things are currently being done can keep your organisation growing. It is important to know that the more your managers practice using their creativity the better their creative skills will become.
Another technique your creativity team should use is framing, which will allow your team to view issues and problems from all angles. Before your meeting, present each member with a challenge, such as ‘think of how we can grow by 20% next year’. Have each member keep a journal and write down ideas as they come to them on how to solve the problem. In the meeting, have each member give their definition or interpretation of the problem as they perceive it.
Each member should be allowed to question ideas and have an opportunity to brainstorm. Framing helps team members view problems from different perspectives, allowing new and innovative solutions.
Today’s companies can no longer do things the way they used to; they must continually find better ways to serve their markets. Managers need to adapt to achieve their growth goals and stay leaders in their field. Creativity teams are an excellent vehicle for management to meet new challenges and recognise and pursue new opportunities.