Creativity, Inc: Building an Inventive Organization

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Harvard Business School Press, 2003 - Business & Economics - 232 pages
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Introduction To survive and prosper in the long term, people in companies need to create and innovate. And they need to do so as regularly and reliably as they breathe. We begin our discussion of the need for creativity with a look at a successful company that recognized and met a serious new challenge by installing effective creative practices. In the late 1980s, Steelcase Inc., one of the largest U.S. manufacturers of office furniture, like its competitors was investing heavily in research and development in the hot area of its business, modular furniture units.1 "We had all evolved to the same perspective," says Mark Greiner, senior vice president of R you have to encourage and tease out creativity individual by individual. Both creativity and innovation need to be nurtured at every level and function for a corporation to become systemically creative. Creativity happens with individuals, coalitions and teams, and organizations. Systemic creativity, sustained creativity throughout a company, has three operating arenas: individual creativity, the creativity practiced by coalitions and teams, and the support that organizations give to each. Once individuals have a clear sense of their own creativity wellspring, they can revitalize creativity in themselves and in the people around them. Creativity for coalitions and teams begins with the fragile process of moving from creativity to innovation. Finally, for success, a company needs to prepare itself to provide the resources, the strategy, and the climate that encourage both individuals and groups to perform at their creative best. Only with the grasp of and the practice in all three of these arenas is it possible to think and operate creatively on a full corporate scale. There are four critical dynamics. Underlying creativity are four linked, interacting dynamics: motivation, curiosity and fear, the breaking and making of connections, and evaluation. Fluency in these dynamics will guide individuals and companies in reclaiming, using, and polishing creativity and innovation. Ultimately, these four dynamics are the heartbeat of systemic creativity. Creativity depends on climate. Climate has an overwhelming influence on the success of creativity. Creativity does not occur in a vacuum; it needs a sympathetic environment. Individuals need to build a climate to nourish and protect their own creativity from the indifference or hostility of the larger climate. Companies need to transform the larger climate into one that actively supports creativity throughout the organization. Systemic creativity asks everyone to be a leader. Each person in a company has the potential for leadership in creativity. With systemic creativity, there are no artificial designations between "creative" people and "everyone else." Everyone can be creative. Everyone is responsible for sparking ideas and shepherding them into useful innovation. A receptionist, no less than a corporate manager, can observe an unhappy customer, create an idea to correct the situation, and work to make the idea happen. Anyone who takes this initiative leads. Creativity, Inc. divides the exploration of its themes into three parts: Part I, Creative Thinking; part II, Climate; and part III, Action. The first six chapters, parts I and II, cover building capability for creative thought. The final three chapters, part III, put creativity to purposeful work. Part I, Creative Thinking, addresses the dynamics of personal, team, and corporate creativity. How does individual creativity work, what gets in the way of it, and how can one reinvigorate it? And group creativity-how does creativity work on an enterprise scale, so that everyone in the organization can give his or her creative best and boost company performance? Part II, Climate, discusses creativity and its environment. The degree to which people and companies benefit from creativity depends on the degree to which a company provides a climate sympathetic to the dynamics of the creative process. This section discusses creative climates and how to nourish them for individuals and for companies. Part III, Action, presents a guide and examples for purposeful, focused innovation. It explores the demands and possibilities of business leaders who aspire to systemic creativity and discusses the constant call to sustain and reinvent creative initiative.

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Creativity Inc.: Building an Inventive Organization

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Many business authorities have touted creativity and habitual renewal as integral to corporate longevity and viability, but few have the practical experience and insight of Mauzy and Harriman, who ... Read full review

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In reading browsing the book I can't agree that creativity is can be taught, nurtured, or fully used by any company.
First of all, creativity is a God given talent. Whether it is musical, art, or
invention. Creative people are people who are first individuals. Thus the term team building suggests that you are going to get wonderful ideas from a TEAM member. It will never happen.
I would suggest that Harvard Business School teach methods of stealing creativity and new ideas, just as good OLE corporate America or world corporations for that matter.
Several years ago I changed the methods of doing a procedure of a fortune 500, DOW listed company. Once the company had adopted the idea they fired me. Just as a musician writes a song, a creative person writes an idea. They should both be protected in the same manor.
This is everything that is wrong in corporations.
They have even come out with a form to sign which virtually states that any new ideas that you have while working for the company is the property of that company. That defines slavory to a tea.

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