Creativity in Management

Essay by LeechUniversity, Bachelor'sA, June 2004

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1 Introduction

We all possess the ability to think creatively. As human animals, we are born with come creative thinking abilities - it is in our biological makeup to create - but we probably acquired most of our higher levels of creativity. That is, the creative problem solving abilities we use to solve other than day-to-day problems are most likely learnt. Through training, we have learnt to respond to certain situations by custom designing our responses, creating solutions for non-routine situations (Vangundy, 1992)).

2 What is Creativity?

"Creativity is a process of developing and expressing novel ideas that are likely to be useful" (Swap & Leonard, 1999, pp.6)

Within this definition, there are 4 features. Firstly, creativity involves divergent thinking - a breaking away from familiar, established ways of seeing and doing things (breaking away from paradigms). Secondly, these novel ideas must be expressed or communicated to others. This expression provides a reality check on whether the ideas are really novel - or simply bizarre.

Thirdly, creativity must also include convergent thinking - some agreement that one or more of the novel ideas is worth pursuing. Finally, this agreed-on option must have the potential for being useful and for addressing the problem that initiated the development of options. The end result of the creative process is an innovation:

"Innovation is the embodiment, combination, and/or synthesis of knowledge in novel, relevant, valued new products, processes or services" (Swap & Leonard, 1999, pp.7)

3 Types of Thinkers

"It is not enough to have a good mind. The main thing is to use it well"

(Henry, 1992, pp. 25)

The way in which the managers and employees of an organisation think will have a great influence over the organisations daily business, the way problems are solved, and how changes and transitions are managed.