As we continue our series on Creativity and Innovation, Senior Strategic Partner, Charles Parnell provides some real world questions to ask yourselves about your organization and its role in creating an environment that allows for Creativity and Innovation throughout the entire workforce. We think you will get a lot out of this week’s Power Idea.

The principal components of creativity and innovation are expertise, creative thinking skills and motivation. It’s critical that managers and leaders influence and guide these to ensure maximum effectiveness. The discourse in organizations regarding creativity and innovation continues to be that they are critical to achieving their strategic goals. It’s worthwhile to candidly examine some characteristics of a creative and innovative work environment. This will determine if corrective action is needed.

The following are in the form of questions:

* Do we attract and retain the most talented people?
* Do we have a “good” business model that embraces creative and innovative ideas before going to market?
* Do we make the best use of our internal and external resources to solve problems and explore new markets?
* Do we place the responsibility for creative and innovative goal achievement on all staff?
* Do we have a follow up system to track the progress of ideas and measure them against goal achievement?
* Do we have a performance management system that measures creative and innovative behaviors and link them to performance goals?
* Do we have human resource systems that ensure diverse thinking (or learning) styles?
* Do we have effective self-managed and self-directed teams empowered to make decisions and mistakes along the way?
* When our team members fail, do we help find the learning in the failure?
* Does our organizational culture encourage risk taking?
* Do we have organizational mechanisms to avoid groupthink such as tolerance for diverse thinking and behavioral styles?
* Do we have mechanisms to effectively resolve interpersonal conflict which can result from creative and innovative ideas?
* Do our current rewards motivate group members to be creative?
* Do we reward collaboration with team members to achieve strategic goals that require creative and innovative thinking?

In organizations, there is a passion for excellence and world class customer service delivered to our internal and external customers. It’s a documented fact that global competition will require results-based leadership. This type of leadership will require different strategies and thinking to achieve organizational goals – embedded in this structure are creative and innovative components.

A candid and in-depth analysis of the foregoing questions will assist you in determining whether you have an innovative and creative organization. This will enable you to develop an Action Plan with specific action steps for success. This will assist you in being competitive in this global marketplace.