What is creativity? What is innovation?
Both creativity and innovation are essential forces in any workforce that is keen to achieve it’s objectives. “Creativity is what you do in your head to generate an idea, while innovation is the process of putting it into practice. In order to implement both in a workplace or a place of learning one will need the both in order succeed.
Creativity can be subjective making it hard to evaluate creatives and the benefits they provide, these are assets within a workplace and place of study, introducing innovation into the workplace will be beneficiary assert a stable system.
Upon investigation a deeper analysis of innovation and creativity in workplaces. The motivation behind the analysis is due to the importance the two have to help the organisation realise their dreams. The two cannot be achieved if the organisation has not put in place appropriate measures to drive their agenda. In the past, creativity closely associated with arts and sports. However, due to the changing dynamics in the business world driven by technological changes, have made it necessary for individuals to become innovative as well as creative to remain competitive.
Theresa Amabile (1988) conducted a study in which she established important factors in instrumental solving or personal creativity. The study involves around one hundred and twenty innovators serving in research and development organisations. She identified personal characteristics to be directly correlated to creativity. These personal characteristics are personality traits, cognitive abilities, self-motivation, and expertise in their area of career, social kills, diverse experience and brilliance, Theresa Amabile 1988, pp. 128- 129). According to him, personal characteristics are important ingredients of creativity and innovation. In the study, Amabile was not able to separate creativity and innovation. The individual who was found to be creative was also innovative, a product of their creativity.
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. An environment that promotes freedom of expression, provide sufficient resources and has good management enhance the creativity and innovativeness of the employees. The employees who participated in the study expressed that organisation “a mechanism for considering new ideas, a corporate climate marked by co-operation and collaboration across levels and divisions, and an atmosphere where innovation is prized and failure is not fatal” (p. 147).
According to Lund, B. (2018), the environment that fails to promote creativity are an organisation that exhibits poor project management, financial constraint, provide not or insufficient resources, lack of co-operation across divisions and different level of the
organisation and organisation with no employee incentives to boot their morale. Communication is another aspect that will make the workplace environment conducive for creativity and innovation. In his study, (09090), he established the need for effective communication. Case studies expresses that there must be an effective communication channel to execute freedom of expression among the employees and between the management and the employees. When employees can express themselves freely, their confidence is built hence bringing forth their abilities (Lund, 2018). Employees will feel valued and have not difficulties paying back with their creative ideas that will lead to innovation.
“Theodore Levitt puts it best: “What is often lacking is not creativity in the idea-creating sense but innovation in the action-producing sense putting ideas into work.”
Another important factor from the study, regarding environments, is the role played by social factors to the innovativeness of employees. According to the researcher, social factors are important than personal characteristics.
The highest portion of innovators choosing any single personal characteristic was 41%, while the top five of the group characteristics, all received a higher rating. There was a, therefore, greater consensus about social factors than individual ones. Studies show how many of the group factors could be influenced by management and how few by the innovators themselves. Authority ascertain organisational characteristics, sets the tone for the corporate climate, and determines whether or not the organisation is interested in innovation.
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It also dominates whether there are competent project management, evaluation, sufficient resources, and an emphasis on the status quo, constraint and competition. While Amabile studied the characteristics of individuals and environments contributing to and interfering with individual and organisational creativity, (Gatzweiler et al, 2016). understood organisational creativity as a combination of the creative process, creative product, creative person, creative situation, and how these components interacted together (Gatzweiler et al, 2016).
”Individual creativity is a function of antecedent conditions (e.g. past reinforcement history, biographical variables), cognitive style and ability (divergent thinking, ideational fluency), personality factors (self-esteem, locus of control), relevant knowledge, motivation, social influences (social facilitation, social rewards), and contextual influences (physical environment, task and time constraints)”.
It is notable that the manager and employees trying to encourage innovation cannot affect the past, cognitive style, ability or personality of employees but can influence the knowledge, motivation and social and contextual influences. What the manager could conceivably do is choose employees with certain historical, cognitive, ability and personality profiles. A homogeneous and exclusionary workforce could thereby be created, however, thus losing the potential benefits of diversity.
Theory concludes there are close relations between individual creativity, idea-creating and innovation. Implementation of creativity and innovation will enhance a workplace and place of study to developing ideas, inspiration.
While some may disagree with these factors, the more prominent factor is motivation for both encouragement and innovativeness; The right leadership can implement and influence motivation among the employees, effective communication should begin from the highest level of leadership. Communication is one of the tools to influence creativity and innovation. Through communication, employees will understand the values, plan and dreams of the organisation hence being in a position to come up with plans to realise them.
Communication will also make an employee included and valued within the organisation. The feeling of belonging will give them a deeper sense of ensuring they do what they can to make the organisation better. Constant communication will also give employees a sense of pride in the organisation and will show what they are capable of doing. In the process, their action will lead to innovation which in long run will increase not only productivity but the success of the organisation at large.
Employers pushing forward creative ideas will push a smooth environment amongst employees to enforce new markets, and shutting down existing companies and products.
- Gray, C., & MacBlain, S. (2015). Learning theories in childhood.
- Lund, B. (2018). The creative university: Contemporary responses to the changing role of the
- university. Leiden: Brill Sense.
- In Gatzweiler, F. W., & In Von, B. J. (2016). Technological and institutional innovations for marginalized smallholders in agricultural development.
- Utterback, M. James. (1994) Mastering the creativity in innovation
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