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Creativity part 2


Change creates issues which usually derive from an individuals’ natural resistance to change.
Attention to behavioural needs can smooth the path of change.

There are some key points to consider.

Plan for change

Change is often a precursor to reduced motivation.
Change will require a movement in peoples’ behaviours from old to new.
You must plan for the new behaviours by planning the positive reinforcement that is required.
It should be implemented immediately.
There should be no promises of ‘rewards’ appearing months into the future.

Extinction should take place for all old behaviours, that is, remove the positive reinforcement for any unwanted behaviours.

Any positive reinforcement for the new behaviours should be in excess of what you may think is OK.
The more you can give the better.
It is very important for all levels of managers to give plenty of social reinforcement.

There will be behaviours associated with the extinction process that you will need to be aware of.
The act of repeating old behaviours (see Creativity - part 1) shows a need for additional positive reinforcement of the new behaviours.

Emotional behaviour is often punished by most managers although it is natural effect of extinction.
Rather than fostering a negative approach by listening to complaints, (that is a positive reinforcement by the willingness to listen), you would be better to encourage views on how to do things better.

The last stage of resurgence will only occur if positive reinforcement is poor.

The vision

Change is often seen when a new vision is agreed and has to be brought into reality.
The key areas here are when to begin making the change and where to start.

Aspects of implementing a vision are discussed in more detail in (see The Complete Leadership package).

Split the organisation into more manageable chunks.
Assess these and create an order of priority and then implement your plans to reach your vision in the most important areas first. This is particularly important if resource is at a premium.
Bring the other areas on board as soon as possible.
The vision will be communicated to all departments, it’s just more practical to focus on a few areas at first.

Improving motivation for the change prior to its introduction is very important.
It won’t happen successfully without the backing of the majority of people.

Before you can instigate anything people must see the need for the change and the implementation of the vision.
There will be many reasons for change, for example, market share plummets, scandals, relocations, a change in legislation.

Clearly, you can not start anything until everything has been agreed with senior management including budgets and other resources.
To make any changes every level of management must be committed. Without the support of management at each level it will fail.

How ever you implement or communicate the vision you will need lots of energy and enthusiasm as there will be many more projects that you will be handling.

Maximising creativity

Creativity means finding new ways of doing things, that is, new behaviours.
Many of the key points for maximising the potential for creativity have already been raised.
It’s about arranging for the right environment in which creativity can breathe.

  1. Whenever you see opportunities for encouraging ideas give them plenty of positive reinforcement.
  1. Identify and reduce any negative barriers that may exist for the generation of ideas. Make it easy to put forward ideas.
    Remember the example of the Japanese (see Reward Systems – part 1) who will raise many more ideas per person than their Western counterparts.
    By developing systems that allow for easy generation of ideas you will not hinder the production of the few exceptional ideas.
    If putting forward an idea requires a lot of form filling the number will drop dramatically.
  1. Seek ideas from all departments. Even the lowliest worker will have ideas that are based upon their own unique experiences
    not only of their own position but by the way they see other task requirements.
  1. Cross functional teams are designed to create a spark for creative thinking.
    This will only work if there is good control within the team to encourage open speaking and the discussion of new ideas.
  1. Ideas are useless if they are not recorded for later detailed discussion. This is the basis of the brain storm (see The Complete Project Management package).
    Ideas are recorded simply, word for word from the proposer, on a flip chart, for example.
  1. Put people in new environments to stimulate a different way of thinking. This is often done by having meetings off-site but special visits to particular venues, prior to discussions, may be of benefit.
    Just try out new ideas.
  1. You may wish to set some challenging goals. When you do this you may find that normal techniques within the organisation will not necessarily work and individuals are forced to confront creativity to find new solutions.
  1. Develop a culture that is diverse. This may mean people from differing backgrounds of experience. Persons from different training backgrounds and universities. Employ people that fill the gaps in your own skills and experiences. Embrace different ways of approaching problem thinking, for example, monochronic and polychronic thinkers.
  1. Improve training techniques in fluency so that you may be able to improve skills in more than one area so that skills in other areas may prove easier to accomplish.
  1. Luck. Don’t discount good fortune. Recognise when good opportunities present themselves and take advantage of them.

These ideas and many others can keep thinking fresh which will always help to improve creativity and general motivation.