Origins of Organizational Creativity and its understanding

A Releasing Your Unlimited Creativity discussion topic

Copyright 2008 by K. Ferlic, † All Rights Reserved

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The seed which give rise to origins of Organizational Creativity actually was an experience by the author in his senior year of college as the Company Commander of a Naval Office Reserve Training Center Band. This experience is described in the topic, "Band Company - the first real experience in organizational theory." The primary lessons learned from this experience was to begin to look at the assumptions we make about what we experience and the problems we face in a organization. The experience revealed we cannot assume the simple answer is the correct answer and often individuals fail because they are being "set up" to fail by how they are being managed.

The experience of Band Company consciously or nonconsciously biased all the observed the author made when it came to organizational performance and the performance of the individual within an organization. That is, the author looked at the assumptions being made by managers about their organizational performance and the performance of the individual within the organization. Over the subsequent years, the author watched and observer a variety of different types and kinds of organizations incorporating a variety of different management philosophies and organizational approach. Only when the author found it extremely difficult to find individuals who could provide true creative solutions to the problems being faced within an organization as opposed to attempting to apply others peoplesí solutions to seeming similar problems did he begin to reflect on the observations he had been making.

In reflection, the author realized he encounters a similar issue in other organizations of which he was a member and/or other organization which he had the opportunity to observe.The author began to wonder as to why individuals were not getting to the root cause of the problems that were being faced. He wondered why individuals were not free to play with ideas and possibilities much the way they played as a young child early in life. Seeing what as needed were truly creative solutions but yet few could provided such solutions the author ask the question "Why?" and being to proverbially "pulling the string" to get to the root as to why. Pulling the string necessitated a journey into the exploration of our inherent creativity that when well beyond the boundaries of the organization and how the author perceive creation/Creation to work.

The author observed many organizations and individuals seemed to lack the ability to create the ability it, or they, needed to find a solution to truly address the root cause of their problems. That is, the organizations lack the ability to be organizationally creative and individuals were unable to access the inherent creative power that lied within. Rather, they tend to proverbially bury the root cause under a carpet of management concepts, organizational philosophies, personal beliefs and the like that worked for others. In essence, the outward undesired activities were fixed but the root lays unaddressed only to come back and haunt the organization and/or individuals at a later time.

Additionally, it was also observed many of the typical difficulties encountered in organization change or transformation was that managers did not look at the uniqueness of their organization and its members in attempting to apply solutions to problems which worked for others. Similarly, individuals did not look at their own uniqueness when they tried to apply the recommendations and advice of others. The end result was that most organizations and individuals lacked the ability to effectively respond to the changing demands being placed on them and/or were unable and/or ill prepared to respond to unforeseen changes. Few were proactive in their actions. Most were reactive and responded to what was being presented rather than capitalizing on the opportunities offer in change.

It was observed that "cookbook" approaches were observed not work in true organizational change or in a true creative endeavor. Rather every organization and every individual has a uniqueness. Unless that uniqueness is face the changes never take root. Here lies the primary observed organizational issue - who understands the true issue being faced and who is going to be empowered to do what needs to be done to bring forth the desired changes? Who had the vision of what we required for the future and/or required to deal with changes being presented.

The initial perception relative to organizational performance was that there was something that needed to be understood about creativity to bring it into the organization to get creative solutions needed to solve the problems which the organization was facing. However, what was found was there was nothing really to learn about creativity for creativity is inherent within our being. What needed to be learned was why individuals, individually and collectively, were unable to release what was within.

In understanding the origins and need for Organizational Creativity, it needs to be clearly understood creativity and ability of any organization to response to any event arises from within the individuals within the organization. It was found how organizations do, or do not, respond to organizational upsets was reflected in the creativity of its people. It was observed few organizations seem to have been able to figure out how to effectively tap and release the creativity within the average individual and found within their creative spirit. Rather, it was observed the creative individual who brought forth the creativity needed by the organization often survived in the organization in spite of the organization and independent of the organization nurturing their creative spirit.

The average individual are the organizationís eyes, ears and hands to response to any situation. Machines cannot do everything. Humans will always be needed. Humans, as a minimum, are needed to maintain the machines. Although it is the passion that lies within the individualís creative spirit that gives them the energy and ability to function in an organization, most organizations harness the individualís talents in a way that the individualís creative spirit is suppressed if not denied. In fact, many early management approaches initially suppressed the creative spirit. That, in turn, denies the organizationís most valuable asset.

Organizational Creativity and its applications in "Transforming the Organization" and "Transforming the Heart of the Organization" capture the lessons learned and understanding of gain in the journey of the exploration of our inherent creativity as they apply to the questions discussed here and organizations. What is provided in Organizational Creativity is a complementary approach to any existing organizational management, organizational design, organizational transformation and organizational dynamics.

Related topics
Understanding from where a creation ultimately comes

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