Creativity and Implementation Achieving Balance
Paul is an entrepreneur and he is liked by his employees. The relationship between Paul and his employees is close and camaraderie. There are high levels of motivation, strong team spirit and shared working values. However, this situation has created a problem to the managers as the subordinates buy into the visions from Paul more than his instructions. This norm has directed influence the daily operations. The most problem is, as Deakins and Freel (2003) argue that reacting and conforming to norms often limits creative options. As a result, the company is suffering from slow market penetration and revenue generation.
The following ways are suggested to achieve a better balance between generating the creative ideas necessary for the business to develop and their subsequent implementation.
Paul¡¦s role culture affects creativity. It is because all the ideas are developed around him. The disadvantage is the tendency for his employees think vertically and on the one way of any problems. Deakins and Freel (2003) argue that a creative individual will think laterally rather than vertically. Therefore, it is desperately that Paul should restructure the management styles in the company to reduce central control and promote greater flexibility and employee autonomy.
Paul should step back from the operations, provides visions for the future development of the company, and allows the employees to think creativity for the subsequent issues without him. This would help to release the employees from focusing on Paul¡¦s ideas and perceive many possible divergent options. The redistribution of power should also enable the managers to implement creative ideas effectively, rather than waiting for Paul¡¦s involvement which is often too late to get the benefits.
Only creative thinking is not enough. Kao (cited in Deakins and Freel, 2003) suggests that environmental conditions influence creative potential. So Paul should create work environments to encourage the development of ideas and creativity. For example, open communications must be allowed and encouraged. Paul should try to harness good and creative ideas because this way will encourage future contributions. Sometimes, job rotations or team works might stimulate employees¡¦ creativity but it must be accompanied with freedom for expression of thoughts. Brainstorming is a good technique for creative thinking, but Paul should consider dividing the employees into small group for brainstorming to allow different ideas.
Recruitment is one of the problems hindering creativity. Although it is good to recruit the employees for same shared beliefs, it is easily to create group norms. Group norms would have tendency for employees conform to whatever ideas Paul has proposed. Hence, Paul should allow diversity in his company. This can be done by recruiting a mixture of different individuals. Different individuals have different backgrounds, shared value, and culture, etc which would generate different point of views that are benefited to the growth of the company.
Obviously there is a lack of effective feedback system in the company. Idea formulation takes time to refine. Hence, idea generation benefit from discussion with others, from research, from information gathering and from feedback (Deakins and Freel, 2003). Feedback is important because it lets the employees know what idea is good or bad, whether the research or information gathering is effective or not, and how their performances are. This process is reiterated until the ideas are feasible, economical and creative for implementation. Effective feedback system can also serve as motivation to encourage more creative ideas. Employees can also benefit from learning through the feedback process.
As a conclusion, Paul should change the management styles in the company, create environmental conditions for the employees, and review recruitment and feedback systems to encourage creative thinking and ideas to complement the business growth and the required greater productivity. In the long-term, these suggestions can achieve a better balance between generating the creative ideas necessary for the business to develop and their subsequent implementation.
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