By Jim Woods Follow @innothinkgrp_
It seems good business sense to expect creativity in business leaders and employees from the frontlines to the echelons of the ivory tower. But … we know from experience the obvious is easily discarded for the past. In our experience the consistently great companies contain leaders and employees who expect uncertainty and complexity. They take the initiative to build confidences in personal and organizational capabilities to prosper from complexity.
How do they make decisions quickly while adapting them to changing conditions?
They embrace five things:
- Strategic resilience in every aspect organizationally
- They seek unprecedented methods of changing the organization by setting the stage for innovations in processes and products that improve relationships with customers, employees and suppliers.
- They rethink new approaches to understand their employees and customer.
- They make uncertainty an asset rather than a blip.
- They abhor, “When things get back to normal then we’ll do it.”
Creativity then becomes not merely replacing red colors on a pallet for white. Instead creativity becomes embracing turmoil, competition, low entry competitors and complexity and uncertainty as new normal’s which can be prepared for. In Strategy and Business Matt Palmquist adds these suggestions:
… unfortunately, managers have some work to do if they want to spark the imagination of their workers. The authors found a wide range of variability in the managers’ test results, and the scores were particularly low for six of the eight skill areas. Overall, the scores ranked highest for two competencies—giving feedback and encouraging broadening—that managers themselves said had relatively little value. But the scores plummeted in the two areas that appeared to be of the highest value: providing resources and managing surroundings to ensure a diverse and ever-changing workplace. Ideally, the authors note, these findings should be reversed, and management should be best at applying the most valuable skill sets.
Strikingly, female managers outscored their male counterparts across all eight of the competency areas. This could owe something to the cultural and genetic characteristics that lead women to be more supportive, on average, than their male colleagues. It could also imply they take a more holistic approach, realizing that creative output depends on many different levels of organizational strategy and setup, from conducting evaluations to designing office space.
Finally, the findings underscore the value of schooling managers in the methods needed to unleash their subordinates’ creativity. Managers with training in such methods posted substantially higher test scores, the authors report, even though their development sessions didn’t necessarily focus on the eight areas studied. And the more managerial training, the better, leading the authors to conclude that “measuring and training relevant managerial competencies will likely result in more creative output by subordinates.” […] Read full article via Unleashing Creativity
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Jim is president of InnoThink Group and Leadership Matters. He is a leader in workplace learning, productivity, performance, and leadership training solutions. For over 25 years, we have helped companies improve their performance, productivity, and bottom-line results.