CREATIVITY in DESIGN ORGANIZATIONS
Post 372 ⇒ by Gautam Shah →
Design Organizations thrive on new ideas, concepts, innovations, etc. A creative environment in a design organization comes about through many factors. There should be teamwork spirit, willingness to help each other, commitment and dedication to assigned tasks, trust with fellow workers. Design personnel should have access to appropriate resources, including facilities, equipment, information, funds, and human resources.
If work is challenging or tasks are intriguing than there is an attraction to handle it. Staff members should have some control on tasks they carry out, or freedom to decide how to accomplish a task. A manager or leader who sets clear goals and is able to communicate well with subordinates, encourages creativity. Existence of defined as well as surprise rewards encourages creative efforts. A collaborative atmosphere sets in, when the staff shares the vision and goals of the organization.
In any well knit organization, creativity comes about, through several layers of activities, carried out by individuals with many different talents and personality traits. ‘It operates like a relay race, but the participants have no idea who will take over, at which level and when’. Often the racers have no idea, whether they were running forward or backward, i.e. towards or away from the finish line or goal.
Organizations become and remain creative when roles that personnel are required to play, are very definite. Where there is a knowledgeable and visible structure, one knows who is going to take over at what time and at which level. A creative idea or concept will be accommodated, supported and carried through, if necessary, by even changing the goals of the organization. The leaders of such organizations are sensitive, and have a ready mechanism to improvise the goals of their organization on a continuing basis.
Creativity fails to spread in an organization because there is:
- Fear of ridicule.
- Fear of theft of idea (loss of authorship or patent)
- Lack of time
- Lack of competence to further the idea
- Lack of power and resources to further the idea
- Lack of buyers / takers of different ideas
- Lack of compensation
In organizations where obnoxious quality control checks, evaluations, secret reportage, etc. abound, personnel come under pressure and become sterile. Promotions other than on qualitative criteria, allocation of resources other than on needs based assessments, recognition of wrong members, delayed or inadequate compensation, etc. are some other factors that vitiate the working of an organization.
A good leader makes the personnel realize that real measure of creativity is in the gains or advantages that accrue to the organization. This is a difficult proposition, as it requires a very high degree of transparency in work procedures and in accounting, and auditing processes. Everyone must clearly realize what an effort will cost, and how much benefit the organization will get out of it.
Creativity is both a personal and group pursuit. A personal innovation must have confirmation of the larger group, and the group’s achievements must remain impersonal.
Creativity is not in specialization (capacity to excel in limited fields) or in generalization (capacity to handle many different situations) in any field. Specialization means, being consistently proficient in sustaining the technical superiority, whereas Generalization means, being efficient or productive, but not at the cost of quality.