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Leadership: Creativity And Innovation Leaders Know In Their Gut That Creativity And Innovation Are The Life Blood Of Their Organization.

8610 words - 34 pages

Leadership: Creativity and InnovationLeaders know in their gut that creativity and innovation are the life blood of their organization. New ideas can lead to programs that are superior to those that are already going on or planned in the organization and which would have been divested or never initiated had a better idea or program come along. So, the mission of every leader should be to search continually for ideas and programs that are superior to the ones the organization is currently committed to. In a word, it's called PROGRESS.But what can the leaders do to promote creativity and innovation? The most obvious answer, short of hiring a new work force, is to use management initiatives that create a work environment that stimulates the existing staff to be more creative and innovative.Creativity CAN Be Stimulated by LeadersThere are many who would challenge the implicit assumption that leaders can do anything to foster creativity. They would argue that creative people, like baseball hitters, are born, not made. Indeed, much of the anecdotal literature about creativity would suggest that creativity is some mystical power that only a chosen few possess. But, then, why are all children creative?Common Anecdotes about Creativity Are WrongPeople who have looked carefully at the creative process have learned that everyone of ordinary intelligence has latent creative abilities that can be enhanced by training and by a favorable environment. One recent book that is dedicated to defending this proposition is by D. N. Perkins, The Mind's Best Work.[1] He finds that after-the-fact anecdotes about well-known examples of great leaps of creative thought have generally received little or no close scrutiny of the mental processes that led to them. There are too many opportunities for the real mental correlates of creativity to be lost through excitement and distraction (as part of the "eureka" phenomenon), lack of need or desire to reconstruct the thought processes, and faulty skill and memory in reconstructing the process. Experiments where people have been asked to think aloud or report their thoughts during an episode of invention led Perkins to conclude that creativity arises naturally and comprehensibly from certain everyday abilities of perception, understanding, logic, memory, and thinking style.The Unconscious Is Not MagicSome people believe that creativity emerges from unconscious thinking. Even if that were true, it would not necessarily impart any special mystery to creativity, compared to other aspects of thought and behavior. Unconscious thought appears to contribute to creativity no more or no less than to mundane activities. Most all thinking operates in the unconscious, including everything we do from taking out the garbage, to tying our shoestrings, to driving our car, to hundreds of other covert mental processes.Why Leaders Hesitate to Foster CreativityListen to a typical commander as he thinks through the problems:I Need My People To Be More...

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