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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Creativity and Purposeful Innovation

"Creativity, a quality more traditionally associated with artistic endeavors, has been slow to find its acknowledged place in the business world. "

So begins an article from the Harvard Business School's Working Knowledge site called "Getting Down to the Business of Creativity."

Key points:
  • Business leaders must manage and support creativity just as they would any other asset.
  • People have their best days and do their best work when they are allowed to make progress.
  • Their research suggests that most managers are not in tune with the inner work lives of their employees.
  • For the longest time, creativity was considered the work of a genius operating on their own, however, there's a construction of creativity that involves many other actors.
BOTTOMLINE: Creativity, when sought after and encouraged, MUST be done purposefully.

Innovation, which is really just another name for creative problem-solving, must be done in such a way as to support the overall strategy of the organization. Discipline V - Innovate Purposefully is a discipline that is detailed in the award-winning handbook Six Disciplines for Excellence. It is not an isolated event in an annual or quarterly cycle; it's a mindset that permeates the culture of an excellent organization.


Arnold Remtema said...

Great summary. The balanced discipline in keeping innovation and creativity working to produce synergy for the employee and organization is important and difficult to maintain with the pressure of ROI. I try to think of it in terms of Innovation, Interaction, Integration, and Implementation moving from the (creative) idea to the product.

Adam Zuercher said...

Excellent points, Skip. I was just thinking I need to carve out more time each week to think and create. Your post affirms that. Taking time to think and create always leads to my biggest breakthroughs!