Obstacles and problems facing an organization relative to embracing truly creative solutions 

A Releasing Your Unlimited Creativity discussion topic

Copyright 2008 by K. Ferlic,   All Rights Reserved

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The obstacles and problems facing an organization relative to embracing truly creative solutions are, in essence, no different than what an individual will face in any creative endeavor. However, because an organization is a group of individuals and creates a collective mentality, the normal issue facing a creative endeavor are compounded. It is not uncommon for one individual in the correct spot to complete thwart the creative endeavor of an organization.

Probably the two greatest issue in any creative endeavor is that the creative process requires a sacrifice of creation and a result chaos of creation and the need to be able to step out of mind to go with the flow of the creative process. One solution to assist facing the obstacles in an organizational creative endeavor is to have one or more visionary leaders who have been through the creative process so as to guide the individual through the creative process as it unfolds in the organization. An alternative solution would be to study the creative process but studying the process does not make up for an experiential knowing of the process as reflected in someone who has gone through the process in a creative endeavor.

Since each organization is unique and each creative endeavor is unique, there is no single list of issue that will be complete and no way to adequately describe what may be faced. What is provided here is a list of things of which we need to become aware. That awareness will help to anticipate problems and provide us some ways to deal with what raises.

The sacrifice of creation. For any creative endeavor something must change. There will be a sacrifice of creation and some type and kind of death faced by someone in the organization. Transition rituals are often helpful in helping individuals let go of the past.

Stepping out of mind: The bottom line here is the mind that created the problem we face is not the mind that will solve the problem. There will be the need for each individual to step out of mind. That is, each will need to move past what they currently think and believe to move to some new beliefs and a new way of thinking and believe. How big an issue this becomes is totally unique to the organization and the change that is being introduced.

Fear and the unknown. For any change we face, we can expect fear to arise and we will have to deal with the fear. The issue with fear in the organization is that any one fear held by an individual can interfere with the entire creative endeavor if the individual in is the correct spot. In this regard, the fears of individuals cannot be taken lightly. If the individual fears are not address and discarded as being unimportant, the individual whose fear is not address will resist the necessary changes. In some cases the organization can just "steam roller" over the individual. However, it is not uncommon for the fears of individual to interfere with the overall progress simply by resisting the changes. This is especially true of managers and their fears. Since managers are often in key parts of the organization they resistance is amplified for they command the energy of all those under their management. This can become an acute issue when the manager intentionally thwarts the creative endeavor.

The uniqueness of the individual. Every individual is unique. Here again, anyone individual in the correct spot can thwart an overall effort. Just because an individual is a single entity in the organization does not mean they do not have an impact. Battles have been won and lost based on the actions of single individuals. The fact that every individuals is unique should not make one paranoid as to a myriad of individual issues arises. However, we do need to be attentive as to bringing everyone on board with the changes and look to see where the resistance lies.

Here in the uniqueness of the individual there is the issue that what currently exists in the organization may effectively nourish the creative spirit of some individuals. However, when the organization changes and new tasks, responsibilities or ways of doing business are required they may no longer provide that nourishment. Exactly how the individual response will not be known until it happens. We should not be surprised if response patterns long buried in the past become active and many of them may be childish in nature. The reason for this is, in most cases, our creative spirit suffered its greatest thwarting as a young child. As our creative spirit becomes thwarted in the organizational changes, the individual may call upon one of these long dormant protective responses.

Differing perspectives. Although we acknowledge that each of us are unique, we often forget we each have a different perspective about reality and the world we face. We may have similar perspectives but we all perceive differently as a result of the experience we have had and all that we have come to think and believe. It is often necessary to actually look to change the organizational culture for large organizational changes to create a single perspective. The goal here it to bring all the different perspective into one coherent perspective.

Organizational mind set. Organizational mind set is the reverse of differing perspectives. Organizational mind set is where the organization as a whole can only see very narrow options. Here there is the need to shift the organization perspective and collective to see and embrace the change.

Expectations: Individuals join an organization to meet some expectation. Many of these expectations often go unexpressed and do not make their appearance until they are somehow threatened. How they appear can span the range from mild disappointment to outright anger. Organizational creative endeavors may or may not affect the expectation of the individuals. As these expectations are affected by the changes the individual may offer resistance or there may be disillusionment or anger that does not seem to make rational sense.

All individuals may not survive the changes: Individuals who start and manage an organizational change usually assume all the individuals in the organization will be able to move to eventually embrace the new changes. Resistance is expected and delay in accepting the changes are also expected. But what needs to be realized is some individuals will be unable to make the changes for whatever reason. The recommendation is to allow the individual to decide for themselves what they wish to do and help those that want to live to live. That is, look to see where the individual can be useful in another part of the organization or even outside the organization. The more the organization is seen working with in all the individuals in the organization even those not happy with the changes, the more others in the organization willing to work with the changes for they know they will not be abandoned. To some this may not seem important. But, when facing the fear of change it can go a long way to make the changes more acceptable. There is more of a feeling we are in this together than something is being done to us.

Related topics
Shifting the culture of the organization

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