Nov 132013

Three women posing as three monkeysThere comes a time in any organization that change becomes detrimental to the survival of the company. An organization that does not or will not consider change is destined to failure and eventually will cease to exist. Barriers to creativity and innovation must be identified and a creative innovation implementation plan set in place.

First, it is important to identify such barriers in order to overcome them. Fear- Fear of failure, ridicule, of decision- making, making mistakes, of taking risks, of change, and fear of the unknown can all be factors, which can hinder the creative mindset. This keeps a person from exploring new ideas and is the number one reason that creativity and innovation do not take place. In addition, poor leadership and commitment to change can play a massive role. If an employer is not given the opportunity or encouraged to be creative, it can almost be guaranteed that nothing new will occur.

Sometimes old policies can also stifle new ideas and fresh approaches. A company’s mind-set and procedures can smother out inventiveness to a point where fewer ideas come forward and the creative minds tire of attempting to hurdle the obstacles of numerous policies and procedures.

At times the pressure that a company may expect its employees to produce immediate results can hinder the creative and innovative side giving way to productivity coming first and foremost. It should also be recognized that each employee has his or her own background, beliefs, attitudes, and values. This can lead to a lack of personal ambition and motivation.

So now that the barriers have been identified, how can a company create an atmosphere to promote creativity and innovation? The minds of the employees must be stimulated, excited, and nurtured to produce creative thinking. They must be freed of any barriers that impede the ability to fully expand the potential within their grasp. A company should promote an atmosphere where ideas are valued, considered, and possibly even implemented as needed. This will allow trust, passion, and a vision for creativity in the workplace. That being said, time for creative thinking must also be implemented into the work schedule to allow for such. Also, it is important to establish a measuring system for the creative and innovative capacity of the organization. What gets measured tends to get done. It may be an incentive to employees as well if there is some type of reward.

Leadership roles must also change their attitudes towards creativity and change. If an employee can see that their ideas will not be subjected to harsh criticism or be ignored, but will genuinely be considered, the fear factor will begin to dissipate. A company should attempt to make creativity and innovation a part of all strategies and policies. This should be sewn into every meeting that staff members attend. Set up broad perimeters for then to operate upon, and then step back and allow them to work. It is also imperative that employees have the tools and training available to them to unlock their creative and innovative potential.

Promote and expect a climate of cooperation and collaboration. Lastly, avoid any quick fix solutions or change. A long-term strategy must be put into place to ensure an ongoing focus on creativity and innovation. This will allow the organization to maintain their competitive edge, meet new challenges, and continue to grow and improve. This will keep your organization “one step ahead”, being free to search opportunities through innovative methods for growth and improvement. Change is constant in today’s society, so we must allow ourselves to embrace and accept that change with excitement, readiness, and preparedness.

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