Building An Inventive Organization
Jeff Mauzy and Richard Harriman, two consultants from Synectics, a consulting firm that specializes in business innovation, discuss and demonstrate how organizations can embody and implement creativity that pays. They offer numerous ways sustained leadership can be used to make creativity an enterprise-wide capability that constantly supplies an organization with purposeful innovation. Using numerous examples of companies that have made giant leaps with creativity, the authors show companies how they can change their organizational climate, structures and procedures to build systemic creativity in employees, teams, and the organization as a whole.
The authors explain how creativity pays financially as well as through employee and customer satisfaction, growth, elevated market interest, competitive readiness, and attracting good talent. Throughout Creativity, Inc., they illustrate the power of creativity and innovation initiatives with many examples. These include:
- Snack-food powerhouse Frito-Lay attributed more than $100 million in cost reductions to creativity training sessions for employees.
- APL/NOL, a major ocean shipping company, has measured an impact of $46.6 million from cost reduction and avoidance, revenue increase, and improved asset management since a creativity change program began there.
- Technology company 3M, which aggressively pursues innovation, estimates that it has generated more than $4 billion from new product introductions for each of the last four years.
Creativity, Inc. explores innovation from three perspectives. The first is creative thinking. In the first part of their book, the authors look closely at the dynamics of personal, team and corporate creativity. By examining the way creativity works and the stumbling blocks that can get in the way of creativity, they show readers how they can reinvigorate it and make it work on an organizational level and scale.
After exploring the dynamics that underlie creative thinking, including motivation, curiosity, managing fear, making and breaking connections, and evaluation, the authors describe how exercise and practice can be used to strengthen them and put them to the best use. Once they have shown readers how they can find motivation in personal vision, Mauzy and Harriman address organizational creativity and ways companies can make the most of diverse employees, types of thinking, and leaders.
A Climate for Creativity
In the second part of Creativity, Inc., the authors discuss the environment where creativity takes place. They argue that "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." They also explain how organizations can best develop creative climates and keep them healthy for individuals and the company.
The many aspects that organizations can use to foster creativity and elicit innovative behaviors include autonomy, freedom and support of those who exercise entrepreneurialism. The authors write that relaxing the command-and-control model and giving employees broad autonomy rather than narrow command, stimulate creative behavior in the effort to achieve company goals. To help employees become more creative, leaders need to provide them with the right resources, which include: goal setting, feedback, training and the physical resources to improve productivity.
The last part of Creativity, Inc. presents a guide for organizations to use to help them put creativity and innovation into action. While showing leaders how they can develop foundations for transforming ideas into innovations with long-term vision, the authors explore the demands and possibilities of business leaders who want to make creativity systemic, and offer ways they can sustain and reinvent creative initiative. To help companies sustain the change to systemic creativity, the authors write that organizations must plan ahead, record results, expect resistance, and encourage the flow of information.
Why Soundview Likes This Book
Creativity is an elusive concept to grasp and turn into action, but the authors of Creativity, Inc. have done a splendid job dissecting it to reveal its potential and possibilities, and building a framework from which individuals and organizations can put it into action. Armed with numerous examples and case studies that provide firm support for their well-researched ideas, Mauzy and Harriman provide leaders with practical insights on building an organization that makes creativity and innovation guiding forces with which it can re-energize and expand its business.