What is Organizational Creativity

A Releasing Your Unlimited Creativity discussion topic

Copyright 2008 by K. Ferlic, † All Rights Reserved

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Organizational Creativity captures the concepts, principles and understanding relating to organizational transformation, organizational design and organizational dynamics resulting from an exploration of creativity in the workplace and a subsequent exploration of our individual inherent creativity. Applications of these concepts, principles and understanding to organizations and groups are discussed in the topics "Transforming the Organization" and "Transforming the Heart of the Organization."

What is provided in Organizational Creativity and its applications in "Transforming the Organization" and "Transforming the Heart of the Organization." is not the definitive statement on organizational management, organization design, organizational dynamics or organization transformation.. Nor is it all that you need to know about creativity in organizations. Rather it provides a perspective on the issues that keep individuals from creating the organizational performance they desire and provides some thoughts and recommendations as to what to do about the key issues.

The initial goal of the exploration of creativity in the workplace was to bring creative solutions into an organization to solve safety, health and organizational issues and transform the way a rather large multi faceted, well established industrial complex did business. However, based on what was revealed, the exploration of creativity in the workplace lead to a deeper exploration of our individual inherent creativity for people lie at the heart of any organization and what that organization can, and cannot do.

The results of these explorations was the awareness within each of us the existence of what is best described as our creative spirit and the need for this creative spirit to be properly harnessed. by the organization. This creative spirit catalyzes our life and gives us the passion and energy to engage life. This creative spirit needs to be called forth to be released. In being released it must be properly and effectively nurtured. Otherwise, it will withdrawal and we will be unable to create what we desire individually or organizationally.

Organizational Creativity captures and merges two sets of experiences. One set of experiences contains the observations and lessons learned based on traditional management and organizational approaches and philosophies related to organizational transformation, organization design and organizational dynamics. The second set of experiences contain the observations and lessons learned from the exploration of creativity in the workplace and exploration of our inherent creativity which started as a result of the inadequacies encountered in the traditional management and organizational approaches and philosophies.

The lessons learned and observations relative to our inherent creativity revealed in the journey of the exploration are captured in the Releasing Your Unlimited Creativity material and understanding. The lesson learned and observations relative to organizations and groups of individuals for application are captured in Organizational Creativity and their application in two complementary topics: "Transforming the Organization" and "Transforming the Heart of the Organization."

The findings of the exploration of creativity in the workplace revealed there are three areas to address relative to organizations and creativity. One area is about the organization becoming creative. It is to bring a creative energy into an existing organization or group of individuals to achieve full performance to meet organizational and/or workplace goals. That is, bring new ideas and new ways of thinking and being into an existing organizational system or to a group of individuals desiring to become more creatively responsive and/or more adaptable to a changing environment. The second is for the organization to respond in a creative way to desired or necessary changes. The third is to create an organization and organizational system accessing the individualís full potential to achieve organizational goals and in which creativity flourishes. The ultimate form of such an organization is an improvisational organization.

Although these three areas are related, they are different and require similar but different approaches. The three can be seen to lie on a spectrum. At one end of the spectrum is about making a change to some of the beliefs as to the way business is done. The other end represent a change in the way the organization functions as an entity. In between these two endpoint is the typical change faced by an organization. "Transforming the Organization" addresses the first and "Transforming the Heart of the Organization" addresses the second.

It has been observed, many attempts at organizational change are cosmetic and do not go deep enough into the structure. Going into what gives rise to the organizational structure is too much work for most. True organizational change involves cultural change of the members in the organization. That is, the culture of the organization needs to move from its old way of doing business to a new way, a new culture, of doing business. This means individuals have to change and most individuals are reluctant to change.

What need to be understood, people lie at the heart and the center of any organization. It is the individualís heart which lies at the center of the individual. Each of us are the foundation for any organization. True organization transformation starts with transformation of the heart of the individual. Some refer to this transforming the heart of the individual as a culture change to change the organization culture sufficient to release the necessary creativity and creative passion for the desired direction.

In many ways what is done within an organization and for people using the Organizational Creativity approach appears no different than other management approaches and philosophies. In fact, most management and organization philosophies work well with the Organizational Creativity ideas and concepts. The reason for this is Organizational Creation is a complement to any existing organizational development and/or organizational dynamics approach. It is not some new or different organizational theory. Rather, its primary purpose is to provide individuals an understanding and insights as to how to "get out of the box" of mind set and tunnel vision to manage organizational change and transformation. What is significantly different is its view as to why an organization even exists and the individualís relationship with the organization. That perspective makes all the difference in what is created within the organization. (More on .... the Organizational Creativity perspective)

Visionary Leadership

Performing an organizational transformation to effectively address the changing future requires visionary leaders capable of breakthrough results. Organizational Creativity sets the stage to create leaders who function at a new level of performance capable of accessing the visionary leadership. That is, a visionary leader is capable of accessing and holding a vision of a world/organization not yet manifested and have the knowledge of the creative process, discipline, strength of will, and passion to hold that vision through the entire creative process and simultaneous lead other into the manifestation of that vision.

In gaining such leadership, organizations and/or a group of individuals are able to find creative solutions to any problem or issue facing the organization. Here we need to note that the mind which created the problem or issue we face that is necessitating the change is not the mind which will solve the problem. We will need a shift in consciousness and create a new belief structure and perspective to think differently. A shift in consciousness is about reinventing oneself to address the future. What is seen to be required for creating visionary leaders is discussed in the topic, "Developing visionary leaders."

The intent of organizational creativity

Organizational Creativity is designed to capitalize on an organizationís most valuable asset through accessing the creative spirit found within each individual for improved organizational performance. The intent of Organizational Creativity is to provide insight and understanding to access and properly harness the creative spirit of each individual within the organization and synthesizing and harmonizing them into a coherent whole.

This information provides a way to see how to improve overall organizational performance, quality, safety and health while simultaneously providing the necessary nourishment to the individual creative spirit. Contrary to what many believe and/or fail to fully understanding nourishing the creative spirit and achieving organizational goals are not mutually exclusive or conflicting aims. Rather, achieving organizational goals is inherently dependent on the creative spirit found within each individual.

Organization Creativity looks to create an organizational structure unique to meet both the needs of the organizational mission and the individual creative spirit. In many ways it is a dance which parallels the dance between heart and mind in any creative endeavor. It is a dance between the organizational needs and the need to nourish the source of the organizational energy - the individualís creative spirit. To many this seems like an impossibility. But, in reality an orchestra achieves this end anytime the individual musicians are inspired to play their instrument to perform a particular piece of music.

Using the concept of an orchestra, one philosophical approach to understanding Organizational Creativity to create an organizational system is discussed in the concept "Orchestrating the Organization." Orchestrating the organization is build on two key understanding. One is that normal organization operation is often blind to the details that make it function smoothly as discussed in the topic, "A case for Organizational Creativity." The second is that the organizational performance is much like an orchestra. That is, it is the sum total of all its individual operating parts performing the part it is assigned. (More on .... Orchestrating the Organization)

When an organizational structure is created were both the organizational needs are served and the individualís creative spirit is properly harnessed in a way that it is nurtured almost anything can be accomplished. The end result of such an effort is improved quality, workplace health and safety and overall organizational performance. It allows for the possibility of creating an improvisational organization that can quickly, effectively and efficiently respond to unforeseen changes and/or events. (More on ... creating a responsive/improvisational organization)

Related topics
Transforming the Organization
Transforming the Heart of the Organization

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