By : Anamitra Roy
Creativity is the source of knowledge. It is that attribute that helps us to create new concepts, new thoughts, ideas and philosophies.
In today’s world organizations consider “creativity” amongst employees and managers as a desirable and important factor because of the following reasons:
1) Creativity can be a problem solving technique: Creative people often come out with solutions to complicated problems. Such people can imagine and think of newer options of solving problems, which may not take birth in the minds of non-creative people.
Here we can cite the example of Henry Ford. Most entrepreneurs usually go to an enterprising person for getting their problems solved. Henry Ford, being a very creative entrepreneur thought differently. He used to go to lazy people for getting his problems solved. He found that lazy people cannot stay with problems longer. So they always manage to find a simple solution to a complicated problem and that also very quickly. Henry Ford could generate this idea because of his creative nature.
2) Innovations: In today’s world, management systems depend hugely on innovation for acquisition of business. Creativity is the source of innovations. Creative people are imaginary people who act as the source of innovative ideas in the systems.
3) Inventions: Creativity gives rise to inventions. All great inventors in the world are considered creative. They think, visualize and materialize newer ways of looking at life. In the management profession also, creative people act as the source of inventions.
Leonardo da Vinci, who is considered one of the greatest inventors of all time, was a very creative person. It was because of his creative nature that he discovered the parachute and the glider.
4) Reduce Stress: Exercising of creative skills helps to express oneself. It is while exercising the creative skills that a person forgets the expectations of the world around him/ her and thinks of creating something new without any fear. The joy that is generated while using the creative skills helps to reduce stress. That’s why; in organizations around the world the HR department today is making an effort to produce a platform in front of their employees where they can exercise creativity. This is being done by conducting workshops on music, literature etc.
What measures can organizations take to increase creativity?
Handling creativity and helping employees to increase it, is one of the biggest challenges for the management of any organization.
This can be done by the following ways:
1) A democratic environment: A creative mind always needs an environment where there is no fear. The management of any organization should try to create a fearless and democratic environment in order to help its employees improve their creativity.
2) A peaceful environment: A creative mind also needs a peaceful environment. Organizations should help their employees to maintain the peace within their minds by securing their future. This can be done best by insuring the employees, paying them salaries at the right time etc.
3) Workshops: Arrangement of workshops on music, films, literature, paintings etc. can help to increase creativity.
4) Incentives: Creative minds should be motivated to carry on being creative and generate new ideas.
Here, we can cite the example of Union Carbide. In the late 80’s the personnel department of Union Carbide use to reward the employees who produced the best suggestions for improving the management system. This is how the management was trying to improve the level of creativity amongst employees.
5) Appreciation through use of new ideas: When a creative employee comes with a new idea, that idea if found applicable should be applied by the management. This will encourage other creative minds in the system to exercise their creativity. This is so that the other creative minds in the system will try to get appreciated by exercising their creativity.
A discussion on the relationship between creativity and problem solving:
Creativity (meaning as per the Oxford dictionary: “being inventive, imaginative and having the ability to create something new”) is the expression of ones thoughts and ideas without the fear of a failure. It can be called the ability to create something … fearlessly.
Creativity gives rise to thinking. To be specific it helps/ catalyzes free thinking. It improves the thinking capacity of a man. So a creative man can think more than a non-creative man. Creativity also helps to think and generate new ideas, new ways of looking at life. A creative mind looks at the world with optimism. To a creative mind problems are not problems. They are means of finding out new ideas to solve them.
There is relation between creativity and problem solving.
A creative mind is a thinking mind.
A thinking mind can generate new ideas.
These ideas can be used to solve problems.
In reality it is seen that organizations which encourage creativity and successfully can create a democratic environment are organizations where a problem gets solved easily. This is because in such organizations, the human resources can think and implement their thinking fearlessly.
It is thinking that helps to solve problems easily and it is creativity that helps to think. This is the greatest point of connection between problem solving and creativity.
Thomas Alva Edison was a creative person. So he could think. This thinking ability helped him to discover electric bulb which solved a problem. This is a great example of creativity and problem solving.
This idea is applicable in any sphere of life. Creativity and problem solving go side by side … it is a natural law.