Creativity and Innovation: Workplace Structure

Senior Strategic Partner, Charles Parnell has an uncanny ability to boil things down to the facts. His systematic and ordered brain allows him to distill complex ideas into working strategies. It is with this developed talent that Charles shares this week’s Power Idea about creativity and innovation as it relates to workplace structure. We know you will gain much from spending some time on Charles’s thinking on this subject.

Organizations recognize that innovation and creativity are central to organizational performance. They readily assert that they are imperative to their organizational survival. This has become more acute for them as they compete in the knowledge-based global marketplace. It is widely agreed that they are the most important human resources. Innovation begins with creativity. Creativity flourishes in organizations that support a culture of “open ideas”. Management should manage the process; however, they must not stifle it by prohibiting new ways of approaching and achieving strategic goals and problem-solving. There are three components of creativity: creative thinking skills, motivation, and expertise. They must all work in tandem to create and sustain creative behavior in the workplace.

Building and sustaining a creative and innovative workplace structure requires the following suggested components:

  • A system approach – as part of a wider context that connects all people in the organization
  • Responsibility – is placed on all staff for innovation; they must embrace the concept
  • Follow through – ambassadors must follow through on creative ideas presented
  • An enriched workplace that enhances creative thought
  • Teams set up to avoid groupthink with specific strategies
  • A performance management system that measures the creative impulses of the organization and their effect on performance
  • High levels of decentralization and functional differentiation and a range of specialized areas within the organization. This will empower people to think creatively to perform their jobs
  • Culture that recognizes and appreciates diverse thinking and behavioral styles
  • Culture that attracts and retains ethnically diverse people – they bring different experiences to the creative and innovative process
  • Strategies to resolve intellectual conflict within groups and the sources of the conflict
  • Determine what is learned from interpersonal conflict that can contribute to the creative process
  • Reward system – develop and execute strategies that reward people for creative ideas that enhance organizational performance.

As organizations commence their strategic and overall organizational planning for the next year, they will contemplate strategic plans to compete in their market segments. They will explore ways to expand their markets – domestically and globally. In order to achieve the goals, they will need a workforce that thinks innovatively and creatively. This will contribute to enhanced interaction with customers and goal attainment. This creative and innovative structure and its execution must be a goal moving forward. It will tangibly contribute to your organizational success!


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