MGMT6020 Walden University

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MGMT6020 Walden University Shared Practice Response

Respond to two of your colleagues (select colleagues, if possible, who have not yet received feedback on their original post) in one or more of the following ways:

 

1.Based on your experience and the resources from the course, provide that person with additional suggestions and/or alternative approaches that he or she may not have considered specific to his or her evaluation.

2.Compare your colleagues’ ideas with what IDEO found to be successful. Does IDEO offer additional ideas that would enhance the potential for success of your colleagues’ suggestions?

3.Provide positive feedback that describes how the post gave you new perspectives on how to support and encourage a creative environment in the workplace. Provide details about how those perspectives influence the way you now think about creativity in the workplace.

References Included:

 

Ekvall, G. (1996). Organizational climate for creativity and innovation. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 5(1) 105–123.

 

Puccio, G. J., Mance, M., & Murdock, M. C. (2011) Creative climate: Work environment allows IDEO to deliver promise of innovation. In Puccio, Mance & Murdock, Creative leadership: Skills that drive change (pp. 314–320). Los Angeles, CA: Sage.

 

Amabile, T. M. (1998). How to kill creativity. Harvard Business Review, 76(5), 15–24. Retrieved from https://hbsp.harvard.edu/tu/86524396

 

1 Case Study: Creative Climate WORK ENVIRONMENT ALLOWS IDEO TO DELIVER PROMISE OF INNOVATION Excerpted from Puccio et al. (2011) Creative leadership: Skills that drive change. Los Angeles, CA: Sage. 2 The Challenge Are Ekvall’s 10 dimensions of a creative climate present at IDEO? Pepsi, Nike, Prada and other outstanding companies knock on your door when they are in need of an innovative product. Apple calls on you when they are stuck on a challenge and need a breakthrough. Your services promise the creation of breakthrough solutions, and your entire existence as a company rests on your ability to deliver innovation on demand. Are you up for the challenge and what will it take to succeed? Creative climate dimensions based on Ekvall. (1996) At IDEO:  Challenge & Involvement: Brainstorming and other practices encourages all to participate Reputation & setting big goals challenges IDEOers Fun design challenges given by leadership  Freedom: Freedom to customize workspace with more than just pictures. Freedom to select projects of most interest Freedom to have some downtime at work when needed.  Idea Time: Brainstorming is considered almost a religion. Movie and other types of excursions take place Workspace promotes spontaneous conversations  Idea Support: Constant encouragement / coaching by leadership Easy to get supplies for ideas/concepts Off project ideas supported i.e. Tech Cart  Trust & Openness: Lack of Rules and procedures Peer evaluations a common practice Team members interview and help make hiring decisions The Company Who could meet the challenges above and how do they do it? IDEO, the now famous  Playfulness & Humor: Practical jokes are common at IDEO Project teams often give out fun awards IDEOers are given the permission to play  Debates: (Viewpoints and ideas are appropriately challenged.) The Evaluate & Refine step of IDEO’s Innovation process provides time for discussion of different viewpoints. design firm headquartered in Palo Alto, California has created innovative products and solutions for over 20 years. Because he disliked corporate rules and was motivated to create a company that was fun to work for, David Kelly started what is now IDEO in  Low conflict: (Little or no presence of interpersonal tension) Strong efforts are made to blur the lines between management and workers. Intensive interviewing occurs to find employees that best fit IDEO’s culture.  Risk-Taking: “Fail often to succeed sooner” motto promoted by leadership Consistently try new things knowing some failures will occur  Dynamism: Past project prototypes appear throughout organization Flexible workspaces changing continuously with projects Regular guest speaker events 1978 under the name “David Kelley Design.” In 1991 Kelley’s company was renamed to IDEO, with a focus on industrial design. Today IDEO helps companies design innovative products, services and processes, employing approximately 350 people worldwide. 3 Since ABC’s Nightline news show reported on IDEO’s innovation process first-hand, the world has become familiar with their impressive achievements. Fortune magazine described their visit to IDEO as “A day at Innovation U.” The Wall Street Journal called IDEO “imagination’s playground.” There is consensus in the business/organizational world that IDEO is a leader in the area of innovation. What is it that enables them to consistently produce innovative solutions? Do they have more creative talent? Is it a charismatic leader? Do they have a secret formula? Cultivating Creative Consistency If you take a close look at IDEO and examine how they have consistently produced well-known innovations such as Crest’s Neat Squeeze stand up toothpaste tube, you won’t find any magic bullet. What you will find is a combination of effective leadership behaviors, creative work environment practices and a variety of processes that work synergistically together produce a culture that exemplifies creativity. Leadership One of the first clients Kelley worked for was Steve Jobs of Apple. The lessons he learned from this experience were more valuable than the paycheck he earned from Apple. He was inspired by Apple’s dynamic culture, and the atmosphere there reinforced his belief that having fun while working could be productive. Although founder David Kelly is no longer involved with the day-to-day operations at IDEO, his early actions set the tone for creativity to flourish. As the founder and early leader, Kelley frowned on rules. He participated in pranks and other fun antics, all of which made it clear that in his shop it was ok to be playful. Kelley’s actions influenced the way new and up-coming leaders of IDEO would behave. Leaders at IDEO have worked hard to eliminate the “us vs. them” mentality. Traditional indicators of hierarchy, such as plush corner offices and titles, are missing. Employee performance is 4 more important than seniority, and the behavior of IDEO leadership consistently demonstrates that flexibility is “in” and rigid rules are “out.” Leaders understand that risk-taking is essential and mistakes will occur. One-way risk-taking is encouraged and practiced is through in-house design challenges. Unlike a design challenge for paying customers, these in-house challenges typically have an open timeline and very few criteria. For example, a challenge was held to see who could design the best solution to a sun glare problem created by the office skylights. A simple and artistic solution won the “people’s choice” award using umbrellas dangling upside-down. Whether it’s modeling the way, helping design the workspace or supporting creative processes, IDEO leaders keep a focus on inspiring employee imagination and innovation. Work environment Because it understands the value of employees, IDEO pays a great deal of attention to the work environment, both physical and psychological, (emotional). Nothing is out of bounds if it is for a good cause. One employee built a pulley system to suspend his bike in the air over his workspace to get it out of the way. It turned out to be such a hit that others followed his lead. Physically speaking, IDEO’s offices look and feel like a cross between a college dorm, a daycare playroom and an art studio. Work areas are clustered together in different locations. Mind Maps and flip chart paper fill up walls. Old and new prototypes lie around or hang from the ceiling, providing fuel for new innovations. Magazines and unique gadgets are also in abundance throughout the workspace, providing even more fuel for ideas. There is some method to their madness. IDEO has learned that having the right size workspace makes a difference. Too much workspace decreases energy and slightly tight space generates energy. There are opportunities for spontaneous interactions among people. A studio system, similar to a movie studio, helps keep work groups small and flexible as the company grows. These studios are 5 designed like little neighborhoods, having common areas where people can collaborate and private areas for solo time. They even have their own distinct personalities. Workspaces are modular and moveable to accommodate changing projects, new teams or any crazy needs that arise. Most importantly, employees have the freedom to customize their personal areas beyond the simple family pictures. When it comes to the human psyche, the environment at IDEO doesn’t miss a beat. Their leadership practices reflect an environment where workers are energized, ideas flow, confidence is high and imagination is plentiful. Some of these practices include allowing employees to select projects of most interest to them; bringing guest speakers in on a regular basis; providing generous amount of food and drink for employees and putting on interesting end-of-year work parties. There are fun project trips and spontaneous excursions to the movies. According Scott Underwood of IDEO, such practices keep employees sharp and the environment buzzing with energy. Another very important aspect of IDEO’s creative work environment is the presence of teams. According to Tom Kelley, “Teams are the heart of the IDEO method.” With a strong belief against the “lone” inventor, IDEO establishes teams for all types of tasks and projects. By leveraging diverse knowledge bases, personalities and experiences, IDEO teams generate countless breakthroughs. Teams provide continuous, open exchange of information and ideas. In many cases employees work on multiple project teams at one time, which helps promote crossbreeding of ideas. It is also very common and welcome for people outside a project team to spontaneously drop by and offer ideas during a brainstorming session. Processes Over the last 20 years IDEO has developed a 5-step new product development process that harnesses the collective imagination of project teams. Not only is the process repeatable, it also compliments and 6 strengthens their culture. The five-step process used during most new product development projects consists of Understand, Observe, Visualize, Evaluate and Refine, and Implement. • Understand. When taking on a project, IDEO employees try to understand all of its aspects. This may include such things as the market, the client and /or any possible constraints. • Observe. IDEO invests much time and energy into understanding consumer needs and wants. Conducting real world observations provides a great deal more insight beyond the typical interview process. For example, observing mountain bikers in action inspired a water bottle that keeps mud out of a rider’s mouth. • Visualize. This step is the most brainstorming-intensive. It includes the generation of many ideas or concepts, some rough prototyping and in some cases even storyboardillustrated scenarios. • Evaluate and Refine. Supporting one of their company’s mottos, “Fail often to succeed sooner,” this step is essential for developing well thought out innovations. Clients, consumers and other IDEOers evaluate and refine some of the key prototyped concepts. • Implement. Moving ideas from concept to commercialization is typically the longest step in the process. Implementation one of the most rewarding steps for IDEO employees because it validates the whole process of making ideas into a reality and developing innovations. Brainstorming is a mini process with a significant influence on the IDEO culture. According to General Manager, Tom Kelley, brainstorming is a crucial activity at IDEO. Although brainstorming sessions are loose, freewheeling thinking sessions at IDEO, they are also taken seriously. Rules are not just posted on the walls; they are painted on in big letters. Leaders sometimes join in and always 7 support the brainstorming sessions with all types of resources. Because brainstorming is viewed as a skill, everyone works to continuously improve how well they do it. Although brainstorming is most evident in the “Visualize” step of IDEO innovation process, it has a ripple effect throughout the company. It encourages people to collaborate and share ideas even outside of sessions. Productive brainstorming sessions fire up teams with confidence, optimism and energy, making it one of the engines behind IDEO’s culture. What Are the Results? Having leaders who lead by example, a work environment that frees your mind and flexible processes that guide you down a repeatable path have established a work culture at IDEO that produces exceptional results. With thousands of successful products over a 20-year history, it is easy to find examples of innovation. Although there is not a single factor that causes this innovation, it is clear that the blending of leadership that actively facilitates creative thinking, a work environment that supports employee imagination and a product development process that is repeatable, does much to ensure ongoing innovation. How successful has IDEO been? Since the beginning, it has never had an unprofitable quarter. Potential clients are continuously knocking on their door and many are turned away for lack of time. The turnover ratio for key employees is less that 5%. IDEO has played key roles in the creation of many well-known innovations including the first consumer computer mouse, the Aerobe Football, and the Palm V. Their products, such as the Forerunner Portable heart defibrillator, have also saved lives. As IDEO continues to be recognized for its accomplishments, winning awards, gracing the cover of popular magazines and, of course, being featured on primetime television, its reputation and creative legacy grow. The creative climate and commensurate culture are powerful examples of the bottom-line effectiveness of how creativity and leadership work together. 8 Sources: Site visit & tour, IDEO, (August 5th, 2004). Interview with Scott Underwood, IDEO, (August 5 th, 2004). IDEO website Retrieved September, 2004, http://www.ideo.com Brown, Ed, “A day at Innovation U”, Fortune, Volume 139, Issue 7, Pages 163-165, New York, Apr 12, 1999. Ekvall, G. (1997). Innovations in organizations. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology. 5 (1) 105123. Kelly, T. (2001) The art of innovation: lesson in creativity from IDEO. NY, NY: Doubleday Tom Peters interview with David Kelley, Retrieved June 6, 2004, www.tompeters.com/cool_friends/friends.php Tom Peters interview with Tom Kelley, Retrieved June 6, 2004, www.tompeters.com/cool_friends/friends.php www.hbrreprints.org How to Kill Creativity by Teresa M. Amabile Included with this full-text Harvard Business Review article: 1 Article Summary The Idea in Brief—the core idea The Idea in Practice—putting the idea to work 2 How to Kill Creativity 12 Further Reading A list of related materials, with annotations to guide further exploration of the article’s ideas and applications Product 98501 This document is authorized for use only in Angela Montgomery’s EXPIRE – WAL WMBA 6020 Fostering a Culture of Innovation at Laureate Education – Baltimore from Sep 2018 to Nov 2019. How to Kill Creativity The Idea in Brief The Idea in Practice If the mantra for the current business climate is Innovate or die, why do so many companies seem to be choosing the latter option? In business, it isn’t enough for an idea to be original—the idea must also be useful, appropriate, and actionable. It must somehow influence the way business gets done—for example, by significantly improving a product or service. Creativity gets killed much more often than it gets supported. The problem is not that managers smother creativity intentionally— the business need for coordination and control can inadvertently undermine employees’ ability to put existing ideas together in new and useful ways. COPYRIGHT © 2000 HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL PUBLISHING CORPORATION. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. To foster an innovative workplace, you need to pay attention to employees’ expertise, creative-thinking skills, and motivation. Of these three, employees’ motivation—specifically, their intrinsic motivation, or passion for a certain kind of challenge—is the most potent lever a manager can use to boost creativity and his company’s future success. Within every individual, creativity exists as a function of three components: 1. expertise (technical, procedural, and intellectual knowledge). The broader the expertise, the larger the intellectual space a person has to explore and solve problems. 2. creative-thinking skills. These aptitudes, shaped by an individual’s personality, determine how flexibly and imaginatively someone approaches problems. 3. motivation. Expertise and creativethinking skills provide an individual’s natural resources for creativity; motivation determines what a person will actually do. Extrinsic motivation comes from outside the individual—whether it’s the offer of a bonus or the threat of firing. Extrinsic motivation doesn’t prevent people from being creative, but in many situations it doesn’t boost their creativity either. On its own, it can’t prompt people to be passionate about their work; in fact, it can lead them to feel bribed or controlled. pervisory encouragement, and organizational support. Some specific recommendations: • Match the right people with the right assignments, so employees are stretched but not stretched too thin. Work teams that have diverse perspectives will generate more creativity than homogenous groups. • Give people freedom within the company’s goals. Tell them which mountain to climb, but let them decide how to climb it. Keep the objectives stable for a meaningful period of time—it’s hard to reach the top of a moving mountain. • Allocate appropriate amounts of time and project resources. Organizations routinely kill creativity with fake deadlines— which cause distrust—and impossibly tight ones—which cause burnout. • Let employees know that what they do matters. This will help them sustain their passion for the work. Intrinsic motivation, by contrast, comes from inside the individual. It’s a person’s abiding interest in certain activities or deep love of particular challenges. Employees are most creative when they are intrinsically motivated—in other words, when the work itself is motivating. It can be time consuming to try to influence an employee’s expertise or creative-thinking skills. It’s easier to affect someone’s intrinsic motivation—and the results are more immediate. Activities that enhance intrinsic motivation fall into a few general categories: challenge, freedom, resources, work-group features, supage 1 This document is authorized for use only in Angela Montgomery’s EXPIRE – WAL WMBA 6020 Fostering a Culture of Innovation at Laureate Education – Baltimore from Sep 2018 to Nov 2019. Keep doing what you’re doing. Or, if you want to spark innovation, rethink how you motivate, reward, and assign work to people. How to Kill Creativity COPYRIGHT © 1998 HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL PUBLISHING CORPORATION. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. by Teresa M. Amabile When I consider all the organizations I have studied and worked with over the past 22 years, there can be no doubt: creativity gets killed much more often than it gets supported. For the most part, this isn’t because managers have a vendetta against creativity. On the contrary, most believe in the value of new and useful ideas. However, creativity is undermined unintentionally every day in work environments that were established—for entirely good reasons—to maximize business imperatives such as coordination, productivity, and control. Managers cannot be expected to ignore business imperatives, of course. But in working toward these imperatives, they may be inadvertently designing organizations that systematically crush creativity. My research shows that it is possible to develop the best of both worlds: organizations in which business imperatives are attended to and creativity flourishes. Building such organizations, however, requires us to understand precisely what kinds of managerial practices foster creativity—and which kill it. harvard business review • september–october 1998 What Is Business Creativity? We tend to associate creativity with the arts and to think of it as the expression of highly original ideas. Think of how Pablo Picasso reinvented the conventions of painting or how William Faulkner redefined fiction. In business, originality isn’t enough. To be creative, an idea must also be appropriate—useful and actionable. It must somehow influence the way business gets done—by improving a product, for instance, or by opening up a new way to approach a process. The associations made between creativity and artistic originality often lead to confusion about the appropriate place of creativity in business organizations. In seminars, I’ve asked managers if there is any place they don’t want creativity in their companies. About 80% of the time, they answer, “Accounting.” Creativity, they seem to believe, belongs just in marketing and R&D. But creativity can benefit every function of an organization. Think of activity-based accounting. It was an invention—an accounting invention—and its impact on business page 2 This document is authorized for use only in Angela Montgomery’s EXPIRE – WAL WMBA 6020 Fostering a Culture of Innovation at Laureate Education – Baltimore from Sep 2018 to Nov 2019. How to Kill Creativity Teresa M. Amabile is the M.B.A. Class of 1954 Professor of Business Administration and senior associate dean for research at the Harvard Business School in Boston, Massachusetts. has been positive and profound. Along with fearing creativity in the accounting department—or really, in any unit that involves systematic processes or legal regulations— many managers also hold a rather narrow view of the creative process. To them, creativity refers to the way people think—how inventively they approach problems, for instance. Indeed, thinking imaginatively is one part of creativity, but two others are also essential: expertise and motivation. Expertise encompasses everything that a person knows and can do in the broad domain of his or her work. Take, for example, a scientist at a pharmaceutical company who is charged with developing a blood-clotting drug for hemophiliacs. Her expertise includes her basic talent for thinking scientifically as well as all the knowledge and technical abilities that she has in the fields of medicine, chemistry, biology, and biochemistry. It doesn’t matter how she acquired this expertise, whether through formal education, practical experience, or interaction with other professionals. Regardless, her expertise constitutes what the Nobel laureate, economist, and psychologist Herb Simon calls her “network of possible wanderings,” the intellectual space that she uses to explore and solve problems. The larger this space, the better. Creative thinking, as noted above, refers to how people approach problems and solutions— their capacity to put existing ideas together in new combinations. The skill itself depends quite a bit on personality as well as on how a person thinks and works. The pharmaceutical scientist, for example, will be more creative if her personality is such that she feels comfortable disagreeing with others—that is, if she naturally tries out solutions that depart from the status quo. Her creativity will be enhanced further if she habitually turns problems upside down and combines knowledge from seemingly disparate fields. For example, she might look to botany to help find solutions to the hemophilia problem, using lessons from the vascular systems of plants to spark insights about bleeding in humans. As for work style, the scientist will be more likely to achieve creative success if she perseveres through a difficult problem. Indeed, plodding through long dry spells of tedious experimentation increases the probability of truly creative breakthroughs. So, too, does a work style that uses “incubation,” the ability to harvard business review • september–october 1998 set aside difficult problems temporarily, work on something else, and then return later with a fresh perspective. Expertise and creative thinking are an individual’s raw materials—his or her natural resources, if you will. But a third factor— motivation—determines what people will actually do. The scientist can have outstanding educational credentials and a great facility in generating new perspectives to old problems. But if she lacks the motivation to do a particular job, she simply won’t do it; her expertise and creative thinking will either go untapped or be applied to something else. My research has repeatedly demonstrated, however, that all forms of motivation do not have the same impact on creativity. In fact, it shows that there are two types of motivation— extrinsic and intrinsic, the latter being far more essential for creativity. But let’s explore extrinsic first, because it is often at the root of creativity problems in business. Extrinsic motivation comes from outside a person—whether the motivation is a carrot or a stick. If the scientist’s boss promises to reward her financially should the blood-clotting project succeed, or if he threatens to fire her should it fail, she will certainly be motivated to find a solution. But this sort of motivation “makes” the scientist do her job in order to get something desirable or avoid something painful. Obviously, the most common extrinsic motivator managers use is money, which doesn’t necessarily stop people from being creative. But in many situations, it doesn’t help either, especially when it leads people to feel that they are being bribed or controlled. More important, money by itself doesn’t make employees passionate about their jobs. A cash reward can’t magically prompt people to find their work interesting if in their hearts they feel it is dull. But passion and interest—a person’s internal desire to do something—are what intrinsic motivation is all about. For instance, the scientist in our example would be intrinsically motivated if her work on the blood-clotting drug was sparked by an intense interest in hemophilia, a personal sense of challenge, or a drive to crack a problem that no one else has been able to solve. When people are intrinsically motivated, they engage in their work for the challenge and enjoyment of it. The work itself is motivating. In fact, in our creativity research, my students, colleagues, and I have found so page 3 This document is authorized for use only in Angela Montgomery’s EXPIRE – WAL WMBA 6020 Fostering a Culture of Innovation at Laureate Education – Baltimore from Sep 2018 to Nov 2019. How to Kill Creativity much evidence in favor of intrinsic motivation that we have articulated what we call the Intrinsic Motivation Principle of Creativity: people will be most creative when they feel motivated primarily by the interest, satisfaction, and challenge of the work itself—and not by external pressures. (For more on the differences between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, see the insert “The Creativity Maze.”) The Creativity Maze To understand the differences between extrinsic and intrinsic motivation, imagine a business problem as a maze. One person might be motivated to make it through the maze as quickly and safely as possible in order to get a tangible reward, such as money—the same way a mouse would rush through for a piece of cheese. This person would look for the simplest, most straightforward path and then take it. In fact, if he is in a real rush to get that reward, he might just take the most beaten path and solve the problem exactly as it has been solved before. That approach, based on extrinsic motivation, will indeed get him out of the maze. But the solution that arises from the process is likely to be unimaginative. It won’t provide new insights about the nature of the problem or reveal new ways of looking at it. The rote solution probably won’t move the business forward. Another person might have a different approach to the maze. She might actually find the process of wandering around the different paths—the challenge and exploration itself—fun and intriguing. No doubt, this journey will take longer and include mistakes, because any maze— any truly complex problem—has many more dead ends than exits. But when the intrinsically motivated person finally does find a way out of the maze—a solution—it very likely will be more interesting than the rote algorithm. It will be more creative. There is abundant evidence of strong intrinsic motivation in the stories of widely recognized creative people. When asked what makes the difference between creative scientists and those who are less creative, the Nobel prize–winning physicist Arthur Schawlow said, “The labor-oflove aspect is important. The most successful scientists often are not the most talented, but the ones who are just impelled by curiosity. They’ve got to know what the answer is.” Albert Einstein talked about intrinsic motivation as “the enjoyment of seeing and searching.” The novelist John Irving, in discussing the very long hours he put into his writing, said, “The unspoken factor is love. The reason I can work so hard at my writing is that it’s not work for me.” And Michael Jordan, perhaps the most creative basketball player ever, had a “love of the game” clause inserted into his contract; he insisted that he be free to play pick-up basketball games any time he wished. Creative people are rarely superstars like Michael Jordan. Indeed, most of the creative work done in the business world today gets done by people whose names will never be recorded in history books. They are people with expertise, good creative-thinking skills, and high levels of intrinsic motivation. And just as important, they work in organizations where managers consciously build environments that support these characteristics instead of destroying them. harvard business review • september–october 1998 Managing Creativity Managers can influence all three components of creativity: expertise, creative-thinking skills, and motivation. But the fact is that the first two are more difficult and time consuming to influence than motivation. Yes, regular scientific seminars and professional conferences will undoubtedly add to the scientist’s expertise in hemophilia and related fields. And training in brainstorming, problem solving, and so-called lateral thinking might give her some new tools to use in tackling the job. But the time and money involved in broadening her knowledge and expanding her creative-thinking skills would be great. By contrast, our research has shown that intrinsic motivation can be increased considerably by even subtle changes in an organization’s environment. That is not to say that managers should give up on improving expertise and creative-thinking skills. But when it comes to pulling levers, they should know that those that affect intrinsic motivation will yield more immediate results. More specifically, then, what managerial practices affect creativity? They fall into six general categories: challenge, freedom, resources, work-group features, supervisory encouragement, and organizational support. These categories have emerged from more than two decades of research focused primarily on one question: What are the links between work environment and creativity? We have used three methodologies: experiments, interviews, and surveys. While controlled experiments allowed us to identify causal links, the interviews and surveys gave us insight into the richness and complexity of creativity within business organizations. We have studied dozens of companies and, within those, hundreds of individuals and teams. In each research initiative, our goal has been to identify which managerial practices are definitively linked to positive creative outcomes and which are not. For instance, in one project, we interviewed dozens of employees from a wide variety of companies and industries and asked them to describe in detail the most and least creative events in their careers. We then closely studied the transcripts of those interviews, noting the managerial practices—or other patterns—that appeared repeatedly in the successful creativity stories and, conversely, in those that were unsuccessful. Our research has also been bolstered by a quantitative survey instrument page 4 This document is authorized for use only in Angela Montgomery’s EXPIRE – WAL WMBA 6020 Fostering a Culture of Innovation at Laureate Education – Baltimore from Sep 2018 to Nov 2019. How to Kill Creativity Deciding how much time and money to give to a team or project is a judgment call that can either support or kill creativity. called KEYS. Taken by employees at any level of an organization, KEYS consists of 78 questions used to assess various work-place conditions, such as the level of support for creativity from top-level managers or the organization’s approach to evaluation. Taking the six categories that have emerged from our research in turn, let’s explore what managers can do to enhance creativity—and what often happens instead. Again, it is important to note that creativity-killing practices are seldom the work of lone managers. Such practices usually are systemic—so widespread that they are rarely questioned. Challenge. Of all the things managers can do to stimulate creativity, perhaps the most efficacious is the deceptively simple task of matching people with the right assignments. Managers can match people with jobs that play to their expertise and their skills in creative thinking, and ignite intrinsic motivation. Perfect matches stretch employees’ abilities. The amount of stretch, however, is crucial: not so little that they feel bored but not so much that they feel overwhelmed and threatened by a loss of control. Making a good match requires that managers possess rich and detailed information about their employees and the available assignments. Such information is often difficult and time consuming to gather. Perhaps that’s why good matches are so rarely made. In fact, one of the most common ways managers kill creativity is by not trying to obtain the information necessary to make good connections between people and jobs. Instead, something of a shotgun wedding occurs. The most eligible employee is wed to the most eligible—that is, the most urgent and open—assignment. Often, the results are predictably unsatisfactory for all involved. Freedom. When it comes to granting freedom, the key to creativity is giving people autonomy concerning the means—that is, concerning process—but not necessarily the ends. People will be more creative, in other words, if you give them freedom to decide how to climb a particular mountain. You needn’t let them choose which mountain to climb. In fact, clearly specified strategic goals often enhance people’s creativity. I’m not making the case that managers should leave their subordinates entirely out of goal- or agenda-setting discussions. But they should understand that inclusion in those dis- harvard business review • september–october 1998 cussions will not necessarily enhance creative output and certainly will not be sufficient to do so. It is far more important that whoever sets the goals also makes them clear to the organization and that these goals remain stable for a meaningful period of time. It is difficult, if not impossible, to work creatively toward a target if it keeps moving. Autonomy around process fosters creativity because giving people freedom in how they approach their work heightens their intrinsic motivation and sense of ownership. Freedom about process also allows people to approach problems in ways that make the most of their expertise and their creative-thinking skills. The task may end up being a stretch for them, but they can use their strengths to meet the challenge. How do executives mismanage freedom? There are two common ways. First, managers tend to change goals frequently or fail to define them clearly. Employees may have freedom around process, but if they don’t know where they are headed, such freedom is pointless. And second, some managers fall short on this dimension by granting autonomy in name only. They claim that employees are “empowered” to explore the maze as they search for solutions but, in fact, the process is proscribed. Employees diverge at their own risk. Resources. The two main resources that affect creativity are time and money. Managers need to allot these resources carefully. Like matching people with the right assignments, deciding how much time and money to give to a team or project is a sophisticated judgment call that can either support or kill creativity. Consider time. Under some circumstances, time pressure can heighten creativity. Say, for instance, that a competitor is about to launch a great product at a lower price than your offering or that society faces a serious problem and desperately needs a solution—such as an AIDS vaccine. In such situations, both the time crunch and the importance of the work legitimately make people feel that they must rush. Indeed, cases like these would be apt to increase intrinsic motivation by increasing the sense of challenge. Organizations routinely kill creativity with fake deadlines or impossibly tight ones. The former create distrust and the latter cause burnout. In either case, people feel overcontrolled and unfulfilled—which invariably damages motivation. Moreover, creativity often page 5 This document is authorized for use only in Angela Montgomery’s EXPIRE – WAL WMBA 6020 Fostering a Culture of Innovation at Laureate Education – Baltimore from Sep 2018 to Nov 2019. How to Kill Creativity In many companies, new ideas are met not with open minds but with time-consuming layers of evaluation. takes time. It can be slow going to explore new concepts, put together unique solutions, and wander through the maze. Managers who do not allow time for exploration or do not schedule in incubation periods are unwittingly standing in the way of the creative process. When it comes to project resources, again managers must make a fit. They must determine the funding, people, and other resources that a team legitimately needs to complete an assignment—and they must know how much the organization can legitimately afford to allocate to the assignment. Then they must strike a compromise. Interestingly, adding more resources above a “threshold of sufficiency” does not boost creativity. Below that threshold, however, a restriction of resources can dampen creativity. Unfortunately, many managers don’t realize this and therefore often make another mistake. They keep resources tight, which pushes people to channel their creativity into finding additional resources, not in actually developing new products or services. Another resource that is misunderstood when it comes to creativity is physical space. It is almost conventional wisdom that creative teams need open, comfortable offices. Such an atmosphere won’t hurt creativity, and it may even help, but it is not nearly as important as other managerial initiatives that influence creativity. Indeed, a problem we have seen time and time again is managers paying attention to creating the “right” physical space at the expense of more high-impact actions, such as matching people to the right assignments and granting freedom around work processes. Work-Group Features. If you want to build teams that come up with creative ideas, you must pay careful attention to the design of such teams. That is, you must create mutually supportive groups with a diversity of perspectives and backgrounds. Why? Because when teams comprise people with various intellectual foundations and approaches to work— that is, different expertise and creative thinking styles—ideas often combine and combust in exciting and useful ways. Diversity, however, is only a starting point. Managers must also make sure that the teams they put together have three other features. First, the members must share excitement over the team’s goal. Second, members must display a willingness to help their teammates through difficult periods and setbacks. And third, every harvard business review • september–october 1998 member must recognize the unique knowledge and perspective that other members bring to the table. These factors enhance not only intrinsic motivation but also expertise and creative-thinking skills. Again, creating such teams requires managers to have a deep understanding of their people. They must be able to assess them not just for their knowledge but for their attitudes about potential fellow team members and the collaborative process, for their problem-solving styles, and for their motivational hot buttons. Putting together a team with just the right chemistry—just the right level of diversity and supportiveness—can be difficult, but our research shows how powerful it can be. It follows, then, that one common way managers kill creativity is by assembling homogeneous teams. The lure to do so is great. Homogeneous teams often reach “solutions” more quickly and with less friction along the way. These teams often report high morale, too. But homogeneous teams do little to enhance expertise and creative thinking. Everyone comes to the table with a similar mind-set. They leave with the same. Supervisory Encouragement. Most managers are extremely busy. They are under pressure for results. It is therefore easy for them to let praise for creative efforts—not just creative successes but unsuccessful efforts, too—fall by the wayside. One very simple step managers can take to foster creativity is to not let that happen. The connection to intrinsic motivation here is clear. Certainly, people can find their work interesting or exciting without a cheering section—for some period of time. But to sustain such passion, most people need to feel as if their work matters to the organization or to some important group of people. Otherwise, they might as well do their work at home and for their own personal gain. Managers in successful, creative organizations rarely offer specific extrinsic rewards for particular outcomes. However, they freely and generously recognize creative work by individuals and teams—often before the ultimate commercial impact of those efforts is known. By contrast, managers who kill creativity do so either by failing to acknowledge innovative efforts or by greeting them with skepticism. In many companies, for instance, new ideas are met not with open minds but with timeconsuming layers of evaluation—or even with page 6 This document is authorized for use only in Angela Montgomery’s EXPIRE – WAL WMBA 6020 Fostering a Culture of Innovation at Laureate Education – Baltimore from Sep 2018 to Nov 2019. How to Kill Creativity harsh criticism. When someone suggests a new product or process, senior managers take weeks to respond. Or they put that person through an excruciating critique. Not every new idea is worthy of consideration, of course, but in many organizations, managers habitually demonstrate a reaction that damages creativity. They look for reasons to not use a new idea instead of searching for reasons to explore it further. An interesting psychological dynamic underlies this phenomenon. Our research shows that people believe that they will appear smarter to their bosses if they are more critical—and it often works. In many organizations, it is professionally rewarding to react critically to new ideas. Unfortunately, this sort of negativity bias can have severe consequences for the creativity of those being evaluated. How? First, a culture of evaluation leads people to focus on the external rewards and punishments associated with their output, thus increasing the presence of extrinsic motivation and its potentially negative effects on intrinsic motivation. Second, such a culture creates a climate of fear, which again undermines intrinsic motivation. Finally, negativity also shows up in how managers treat people whose ideas don’t pan out: often, they are terminated or otherwise warehoused within the organization. Of course, ultimately, ideas do need to work; remember that creative ideas in business must be new and useful. The dilemma is that you can’t possibly know beforehand which ideas will pan out. Furthermore, dead ends can sometimes be very enlightening. In many business situations, knowing what doesn’t work can be as useful as knowing what does. But if people do not perceive any “failure value” for projects that ultimately do not achieve commercial success, they’ll become less and less likely to experiment, explore, and connect with their work on a personal level. Their intrinsic motivation will evaporate. Supervisory encouragement comes in other forms besides rewards and punishment. Another way managers can support creativity is to serve as role models, persevering through tough problems as well as encouraging collaboration and communication within the team. Such behavior enhances all three components of the creative process, and it has the added virtue of being a high-impact practice that a single manager can take on his or her own. It is better still harvard business review • september–october 1998 when all managers in an organization serve as role models for the attitudes and behaviors that encourage and nurture creativity. Organizational Support. Encouragement from supervisors certainly fosters creativity, but creativity is truly enhanced when the entire organization supports it. Such support is the job of an organization’s leaders, who must put in place appropriate systems or procedures and emphasize values that make it clear that creative efforts are a top priority. For example, creativity-supporting organizations consistently reward creativity, but they avoid using money to “bribe” people to come up with innovative ideas. Because monetary rewards make people feel as if they are being controlled, such a tactic probably won’t work. At the same time, not providing sufficient recognition and rewards for creativity can spawn negative feelings within an organization. People can feel used, or at the least under-appreciated, for their creative efforts. And it is rare to find the energy and passion of intrinsic motivation coupled with resentment. Most important, an organization’s leaders can support creativity by mandating information sharing and collaboration and by ensuring that political problems do not fester. Information sharing and collaboration support all three components of creativity. Take expertise. The more often people exchange ideas and data by working together, the more knowledge they will have. The same dynamic can be said for creative thinking. In fact, one way to enhance the creative thinking of employees is to expose them to various approaches to problem solving. With the exception of hardened misanthropes, information sharing and collaboration heighten peoples’ enjoyment of work and thus their intrinsic motivation. Whether or not you are seeking to enhance creativity, it is probably never a good idea to let political problems fester in an organizational setting. Infighting, politicking, and gossip are particularly damaging to creativity because they take peoples’ attention away from work. That sense of mutual purpose and excitement so central to intrinsic motivation invariably lessens when people are cliquish or at war with one another. Indeed, our research suggests that intrinsic motivation increases when people are aware that those around them are excited by their jobs. When political problems abound, people feel that their work is threatened by page 7 This document is authorized for use only in Angela Montgomery’s EXPIRE – WAL WMBA 6020 Fostering a Culture of Innovation at Laureate Education – Baltimore from Sep 2018 to Nov 2019. How to Kill Creativity others’ agendas. Finally, politicking also undermines expertise. The reason? Politics get in the way of open communication, obstructing the flow of information from point A to point B. Knowledge stays put and expertise suffers. From the Individual to the Organization Can executives build entire organizations that support creativity? The answer is yes. Consider the results of an intensive research project we recently completed called the Team Events Study. Over the course of two years, we studied more than two dozen teams in seven companies across three industries: high tech, consumer products, and chemicals. By following each team every day through the entire course of a creative project, we had a window into the details of what happened as the project progressed—or failed to progress, as the case may be. We did this through daily confidential e-mail reports from every person on each of the teams. At the end of each project, and at several points along the way, we used confidential reports from company experts and from team members to assess the level of creativity used in problem solving as well as the overall success of the project. As might be expected, the teams and the companies varied widely in how successful they were at producing creative work. One organization, which I will call Chemical Central Research, seemed to be a veritable hotbed of creativity. Chemical Central supplied its parent organization with new formulations for a wide variety of industrial and consumer products. In many respects, however, members of Chemical Central’s development teams were unremarkable. They were well educated, but no more so than people in many other companies we had studied. The company was doing well financially, but not enormously THE THREE COMPONENTS OF CREATIVITY Expertise is, in a word, knowledge—technical, procedural, and intellectual. Creativethinking skills Expertise Creativity Motivation harvard business review • september–october 1998 page 8 This document is authorized for use only in Angela Montgomery’s EXPIRE – WAL WMBA 6020 Fostering a Culture of Innovation at Laureate Education – Baltimore from Sep 2018 to Nov 2019. How to Kill Creativity Some creative ideas soar; others sink. To enhance creativity, there should always be a safety net below the people who make suggestions. better than most other companies. What seemed to distinguish this organization was the quality of leadership at both the topmanagement level and the team level. The way managers formed teams, communicated with them, and supported their work enabled them to establish an organization in which creativity was continually stimulated. We saw managers making excellent matches between people and assignments again and again at Chemical Central. On occasion, team members were initially unsure of whether they were up to the challenge they were given. Almost invariably, though, they found their passion and interest growing through a deep involvement in the work. Their managers knew to match them with jobs that had them working at the top of their competency levels, pushing the frontiers of their skills, and developing new competencies. But managers were careful not to allow too big a gap between employees’ assignments and their abilities. Moreover, managers at Chemical Central collaborated with the teams from the outset of a project to clarify goals. The final goals, however, were set by the managers. Then, at the day-to-day operational level, the teams were given a great deal of autonomy to make their own decisions about product development. Throughout the project, the teams’ leaders and top-level managers periodically checked to see that work was directed toward the overall goals. But people were given real freedom around the implementation of the goals. As for work-group design, every Chemical Central team, though relatively small (between four and nine members), included members of diverse professional and ethnic backgrounds. Occasionally, that diversity led to communication difficulties. But more often, it sparked new insights and allowed the teams to come up with a wider variety of ways to accomplish their goals. One team, for example, was responsible for devising a new way to make a major ingredient for one of the company’s most important products. Because managers at Chemical Central had worked consciously to create a diverse team, it happened that one member had both a legal and a technical background. This person realized that the team might well be able to patent its core idea, giving the company a clear advantage in a new market. Because team members were mutually supportive, that harvard business review • september–october 1998 member was willing and eager to work closely with the inventor. Together, these individuals helped the team navigate its way through the patent application process. The team was successful and had fun along the way. Supervisory encouragement and organizational support were also widespread at Chemical Central. For instance, a member of one team received a company award as an outstanding scientist even though, along the way, he had experienced many failures as well as successes. At one point, after spending a great deal of time on one experiment, he told us, “All I came up with was a pot of junk.” Still, the company did not punish or warehouse him because of a creative effort that had failed. Instead, he was publicly lauded for his consistently creative work. Finally, Chemical Central’s leaders did much to encourage teams to seek support from all units within their divisions and to encourage collaboration across all quarters. The general manager of the research unit himself set an example, offering both strategic and technical ideas whenever teams approached him for help. Indeed, he explicitly made cross-team support a priority among top scientists in the organization. As a result, such support was expected and recognized. For example, one team was about to test a new formulation for one of the company’s major products. Because the team was small, it had to rely on a materials-analysis group within the organization to help conduct the tests. The analysis group not only helped out but also set aside generous blocks of time during the week before testing to help the team understand the nature and limits of the information the group would provide, when they would have it, and what they would need from the team to support them effectively. Members of the team were confident that they could rely on the materials-analysis group throughout the process, and the trials went well—despite the usual technical difficulties encountered in such testing. By contrast, consider what we observed at another company in our study, a consumer products company we’ll call National Houseware Products. For years, National had been well known for its innovation. But recently, the company had been restructured to accommodate a major growth spurt, and many senior managers had been fired or page 9 This document is authorized for use only in Angela Montgomery’s EXPIRE – WAL WMBA 6020 Fostering a Culture of Innovation at Laureate Education – Baltimore from Sep 2018 to Nov 2019. How to Kill Creativity transferred. National’s work environment had undergone drastic changes. At the same time, new product successes and new business ideas seemed to be slowing to a trickle. Interestingly, the daily reports of the Team Events Study revealed that virtually all creativity killers were present. Managers undermined autonomy by continually changing goals and interfering with processes. At one quarterly review meeting, for example, four priorities that had been defined by management at the previous quarterly review meeting were not even mentioned. In another instance, a product that had been identified as the team’s number one project was suddenly dropped without explanation. Resources were similarly mismanaged. For instance, management perennially put teams under severe and seemingly arbitrary time and resource constraints. At first, many team members were energized by the fire-fighting atmosphere. They threw themselves into their work and rallied. But after a few months, their verve had diminished, especially because the pressures had proved meaningless. But perhaps National’s managers damaged creativity most with their approach to evaluation. They were routinely critical of new suggestions. One employee told us that he was afraid to tell his managers about some radical ideas that he had developed to grow his area of the business. The employee was wildly enthusiastic about the potential for his ideas but ultimately didn’t mention them to any of his bosses. He wondered why he should bother talking about new ideas when each one was studied for all its flaws instead of its potential. Suggested Readings Teresa M. Amabile, Creativity in Context: Update to the Social Psychology of Creativity (Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1996). Teresa M. Amabile, Robert Burnside, and Stanley S. Gryskiewicz, User’s Manual for KEYS: Assessing the Climate for Creativity (Greensboro, N.C.: Center for Creative Leadership, 1998). Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Frontiers of Management (Boston, Mass.: Harvard Business School Press, 1997). harvard business review • september–october 1998 Through its actions, management had too often sent the message that any big ideas about how to change the status quo would be carefully scrutinized. Those individuals brave enough to suggest new ideas had to endure long—often nasty—meetings, replete with suspicious questions. In another example, when a team took a new competitive pricing program to the boss, it was told that a discussion of the idea would have to wait another month. One exasperated team member noted, “We analyze so long, we’ve lost the business before we’ve taken any action at all!” Yet another National team had put in particularly long hours over a period of several weeks to create a radically improved version of a major product. The team succeeded in bringing out the product on time and in budget, and it garnered promising market response. But management acted as if everything were business as usual, providing no recognition or reward to the team. A couple of months later, when we visited the team to report the results of our study, we learned that the team leader had just accepted a job from a smaller competitor. He confided that although he felt that the opportunities for advancement and ultimate visibility may have been greater at National, he believed his work and his ideas would be valued more highly somewhere else. And finally, the managers at National allowed political problems to fester. Consider the time a National team came up with a great idea to save money in manufacturing a new product—which was especially urgent because a competitor had just come out with a similar product at a lower price. The plan was nixed. As a matter of “policy”—a code word for long-held allegiances and rivalries within the company—the manufacturing division wouldn’t allow it. One team member commented, “If facts and figures instead of politics reigned supreme, this would be a no-brainer. There are no definable cost savings from running the products where they do, and there is no counterproposal on how to save the money another way. It’s just ‘No!’ because this is the way they want it.” Great Rewards and Risks The important lesson of the National and Chemical Central stories is that fostering creativity is in the hands of managers as they page 10 This document is authorized for use only in Angela Montgomery’s EXPIRE – WAL WMBA 6020 Fostering a Culture of Innovation at Laureate Education – Baltimore from Sep 2018 to Nov 2019. How to Kill Creativity Fostering creativity often requires that managers radically change how they build and interact with work groups. think about, design, and establish the work environment.Creativity often requires that managers radically change the ways in which they build and interact with work groups. In many respects, it calls for a conscious culture change. But it can be done, and the rewards can be great. The risks of not doing so may be even greater. When creativity is killed, an organization loses a potent competitive weapon: new ideas. It can also lose the energy and commitment of its people. Indeed, in all my years of research into creativity, perhaps the most difficult part has been hearing people complain that they feel stifled, frustrated, and shut down by their organizations. As one team member at National told us, “By the time I get home every day, I feel physically, emotionally, and intellectually drained. Help!” Even if organizations seemed trapped in organizational ecosystems that kill creativity—as in the case of National Houseware Products— it is still possible to effect widespread change. Consider a recent transformation at Procter & Gamble. Once a hotbed of creativity, P&G had in recent years seen the number of its product innovations decline significantly. In response, the company established Corporate New Ventures (CNV), a small cross-functional team that embodies many of the creativity-enhancing practices described in this article. In terms of challenge, for instance, members of the CNV team were allowed to elect themselves. How better to make sure someone is intrinsically motivated for an assignment than to ask for volunteers? Building a team from volunteers, it should be noted, was a major departure from standard P&G procedures. Members of the CNV team also were given a clear, challenging strategic goal: to invent radical new harvard business review • september–october 1998 products that would build the company’s future. Again departing from typical P&G practices, the team was given enormous latitude around how, when, and where they approached their work. The list of how CNV broke with P&G’s creativity-killing practices is a long one. On nearly every creativity-support dimension in the KEYS work-environment survey, CNV scored higher than national norms and higher than the pre-CNV environment at P&G. But more important than the particulars is the question: Has the changed environment resulted in more creative work? Undeniably so, and the evidence is convincing. In the three years since its inception, CNV has handed off 11 projects to the business sectors for execution. And as of early 1998, those products were beginning to flow out of the pipeline. The first product, designed to provide portable heat for several hours’ relief of minor pain, was already in test marketing. And six other products were slated to go to test market within a year. Not surprisingly, given CNV’s success, P&G is beginning to expand both the size and the scope of its CNV venture. Even if you believe that your organization fosters creativity, take a hard look for creativity killers. Some of them may be flourishing in a dark corner—or even in the light. But rooting out creativity-killing behaviors isn’t enough. You have to make a conscious effort to support creativity. The result can be a truly innovative company where creativity doesn’t just survive but actually thrives. Reprint 98501 To order, see the next page or call 800-988-0886 or 617-783-7500 or go to www.hbrreprints.org page 11 This document is authorized for use only in Angela Montgomery’s EXPIRE – WAL WMBA 6020 Fostering a Culture of Innovation at Laureate Education – Baltimore from Sep 2018 to Nov 2019. How to Kill Creativity Further Reading ARTICLES One More Time: How Do You Motivate Employees? by Frederick Herzberg Harvard Business Review September–October 1987 Product no. 388X Originally published in the January–February 1968 issue of HBR, this classic article offers enduring insights into the psychology of motivation, providing further explanation for why intrinsic motivation is more powerful than extrinsic. In common-sense, often humorous terms, Herzberg explores myths of motivation, outlines steps for job enrichment, and discusses the merits of various forms of the KITA (“kick in the ass”). This article includes an update by the author. BOOK Harvard Business Review on Breakthrough Thinking Harvard Business School Press 1999 Product no. 181X Amabile’s “How to Kill Creativity” is one of the eight articles in this collection. Other topics explored include identifying customer needs that customers themselves have not yet recognized, promoting new understanding of the competitive environment, and fostering innovation. Another article, “A Film Director’s Approach to Managing Creativity,” is an account of the filming of Night Moves. It describes how director Arthur Penn successfully managed stress, conflict, motivation, and other elements familiar to businesses. Job Sculpting: The Art of Retaining Your Best People by Timothy Butler and James Waldroop Harvard Business Review September–October 1999 Product no. 4282 To Order For Harvard Business Review reprints and subscriptions, call 800-988-0886 or 617-783-7500. Go to www.hbrreprints.org Butler and Waldroop demonstrate how intrinsic motivation can help companies address one of the thorniest problems in today’s economy: retaining top talent. Many managers are dangerously unfamiliar with the psychology of work satisfaction, which holds that employees are the most engaged when their responsibilities coincide with their “deeply embedded life interests.” These interests—the authors identify eight—don’t determine what people are good at; they drive the activities that make people happy. Once an employee’s life interests are known, manager and employee can customize work responsibilities through job sculpting—matching the employee to a job that allows her deeply embedded life interests to be expressed. For customized and quantity orders of Harvard Business Review article reprints, call 617-783-7626, or e-mai customizations@hbsp.harvard.edu page 12 This document is authorized for use only in Angela Montgomery’s EXPIRE – WAL WMBA 6020 Fostering a Culture of Innovation at Laureate Education – Baltimore from Sep 2018 to Nov 2019. Ieshaia Simmons RE: Discussion 2 – Week 6 The organization that I will be discussing is Benefitfocus. We provide cloud-based benefits software solutions for out employers, consumers, insurance carriers and brokers. The leadership within this organization has been consistent over the years. They try to be as open as possible while also trying to get the input of the employees. The environment as of lately has been very stressful. We are in the process of transitioning between teams and taking on new clients. Prior to all of the transitions the leadership has been very transparent, there is not much room for creativity, it is encouraged but most of the employees are about self and not about the team as a whole. When it comes to fostering creativity, it depends on the team that you are on and the kind of team lead that you have. Some of the leaders micro-manage which makes their team uncomfortable, some of the leaders do not know the goals of their employees or try to get to know their goals which can make for a very hostile team environment. When it comes to the creativity of the employees, we support one another. We are able to confide in one another when things get tough. If we need assistance on a case or if we are stuck, we are able to bounce ideas off of one another to solve cases. We vent to one another when we are voluntold to do something. The team environment is very different from the individual employee. With the team that I am on I do not socialize with everyone on my team, but we do reach out to each other when absolutely necessary to get input on cases. The current team lead is very involved in getting us to work towards our quarterly goals, she also shows an interest in helping us to move up within the company which allows us to be more creative but only on an individual level the team as a whole does not foster much creativity. Based on my observations and experience with the organization the initiative that that could be implemented to strengthen the climate for creativity would be updating the work environment. Just like in IDEO the work environment both physical and psychological are a very important part of nurturing creativity. As of right now the we only personalize our workspaces with pictures of family or little knickknacks, and the desks are very close together. I would increase the space between the desks and give the employees more freedom when it comes to making their workspace theirs. I would also celebrate the employees more. Everyone like to be recognized for their hard work or on their birthday. Celebrating employees makes them feel great about the work that they are doing and for some they like the recognition, so it motivates them to work harder. After reading the case study it really made me look at how my own creativity has changed over the years based on the people around me in the workplace. It made me take a step back and think about what I can bring to the next meeting to improve the working environment to improve the creativity. Reference: Creative Leadership: Skills that drive change, Second Edition by Puccio, G. J., Mance, M., and Murdock, M.C. Copyright 2011 by Sage. Reprinted by permission of Sage Publications Inc. Books via the Copyright Clearance Center. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology Publication details, including instructions for authors and subscription information: http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/pewo20 Organizational climate for creativity and innovation Göran Ekvall a a F.A. Institute, and University of Lund, Stockholm, Sweden Published online: 14 Jan 2008. To cite this article: Gran Ekvall (1996) Organizational climate for creativity and innovation, European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 5:1, 105-123, DOI: 10.1080/13594329608414845 To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13594329608414845 PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR ARTICLE Taylor & Francis makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of all the information (the “Content”) contained in the publications on our platform. However, Taylor & Francis, our agents, and our licensors make no representations or warranties whatsoever as to the accuracy, completeness, or suitability for any purpose of the Content. Any opinions and views expressed in this publication are the opinions and views of the authors, and are not the views of or endorsed by Taylor & Francis. The accuracy of the Content should not be relied upon and should be independently verified with primary sources of information. Taylor and Francis shall not be liable for any losses, actions, claims, proceedings, demands, costs, expenses, damages, and other liabilities whatsoever or howsoever caused arising directly or indirectly in connection with, in relation to or arising out of the use of the Content. This article may be used for research, teaching, and private study purposes. Any substantial or systematic reproduction, redistribution, reselling, loan, sub-licensing, systematic supply, or distribution in any form to anyone is expressly forbidden. Terms & Conditions of access and use can be found at http://www.tandfonline.com/page/termsand-conditions EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF WORK AND ORGANIZATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY, 1996,5 ( I ) . 105-123 Organizational Climate for Creativity and Innovation Goran Ekvall Downloaded by [University of Liverpool] at 11:49 26 August 2013 F.A. Institute, and University of Lund, Stockholm, Sweden This article describes an instrument for measuring organizational structure and climate for creativity and innovation. Its application and validation in organizational settings is also described. Recommendations are made for using the instrument to develop interventions to promote organizational innovation. THE CLIMATE METAPHOR The scholarly literature on organizational climate reveals two main contradictions, one about ontological issues (Ekvall, 1987; Guion, 1973; Naylor, Pritchard, & Ilgen, 1985), the other about scope and inclusion (Ashforth, 1985). The first line of demarcation runs between those theorists who conceive of climate as a common perception arising from the interaction between the members of the organization (e.g. Schneider, 1975) and those for whom climate is an objective property of the organization (e.g. Forehand & Gilmer, 1964; Friedlander & Margulies, 1969). The second demarcation separates those authors who include values, norms, and belief systems in the climate concept and thus make it identical with organizational culture (e.g. Payne & Pugh, 1976) from those who make a distinction between climate and culture (e.g. Ashforth, 1985). In the framework of this article, climate is regarded as an attribute of the organization, a conglomerate of attitudes, feelings, and behaviours which characterizes life in the organization, and exists independently of the perceptions and understandings of the members of the organization. This conception of climate implies that there is a certain degree of, say, trust and openness between the members, of commitment and motivation, of risk-taking mentality, etc. Climate is conceived as an organizational reality in an “objectivistic” sense (Ekvall, 1987). The framework also means that organizational climate is not identical to organizational culture. If climate, in this way of viewing i t , is to be included in a culture m o d e l , it should be regarded as a manifestation of culture on what Schein (1985) Requests for reprints should be addressed to Dr G . Ekvall, Flodavagen 8,161 42 Bromma, Sweden. 01996 Psychology Press, an imprint of Erlbaum (UK) Taylor & Francis Ltd Downloaded by [University of Liverpool] at 11:49 26 August 2013 106 EKVALL has described as the level of “artefacts” including “visible and audible behavior patterns”. In the context of organizational processes climate plays the part of an intervening variable (Fig. 1) which affects the results of the operations of the organization. The climate has this moderating power because it influences organizational processes such as problem solving, decision making, communications, co-ordination, controlling, and psychological processes of learning, creating, motivation, and commitment. The organization has resources of different kinds-people, money, machines, etc.-which are used in its processes and operations. These operations result in effects of many kinds and on different levels of abstraction: high or low quality of products or services; radically new products or only small improvements in the old ones; high or low well-being among employees; commercial profit or loss. Climate exerts a strong influence on these outcomes. But the effects in turn influence both resources and climate. The causal picture becomes complicated. Good or bad circular movements are in action. THE CREATIVE CLIMATE QUESTIONNAIRE (CCQ) This instrument grew out of a research programme in Sweden during the 1980s concerning organizational conditions that stimulate or hamper creativity and innovation (Ekvall, 1990). It is a 50-item questionnaire People Know-how Matcrial Buildings Patents Products Machinery Funds Concepts II I FIG. 1, Organizational climate as an intervening variable. ORGANIZATIONAL CLIMATE 107 covering 10 dimensions of five items each. The dimensions are the results of several large-factor analytic studies. The item pool on which the questionnaire construction is based came from an interplay between theory, field research, and experiences of consultancy in organizational psychology. The 10 factors are as follows: Downloaded by [University of Liverpool] at 11:49 26 August 2013 Challenge. The emotional involvement of the members of the organization in its operations and goals. A high-challenge climate is seen when the people are experiencing joy and meaningfulness in their job, and, therefore, they invest much energy. Low challenge means feelings of alienation and indifference; the common sentiment and attitude is apathy and lack of interest for the job and the organization. Freedom. The independence in behaviour exerted by the people in the organization. In a climate with much of this kind of freedom people make contacts and give and receive information; discuss problems and alternatives; plan and take initiatives of different kinds; and make decisions. The opposite climate would include people who are passive, rule-bound and anxious to stay inside established boundaries. Idea Support. The ways new ideas are treated. In a supportive climate, ideas and suggestions are received in an attentive and supportive way by bosses and workmates. People listen to each other and encourage initiatives. Possibilities for trying out new ideas are created. The atmosphere is constructive and positive. When idea support is low, the reflexive “no” prevails. Every suggestion is immediately refuted by a counter-argument. Fault finding and obstacle raising are the usual styles of responding to ideas. TrustlOpenness. The emotional safety in relationships. When there is a strong level of trust, everyone in the organization dares to put forward ideas and opinions. Initiatives can be taken without fear of reprisal and ridicule in case of failure. Communication is open and straightfoward. Where trust is missing, people are suspicious of each other and are wary of making expensive mistakes. They also are afraid of being exploited and robbed of their good ideas. DynamisrnlLiveZiness. The eventfulness of life in the organization. In the highly dynamic situation, new things are happening all the time and alterations between ways of thinking about and handling issues often occur. There is a kind of psychological turbulence which is described by people in those organizations as “full speed”, “go”, “breakneck”, “maelstrom”, and the like. The opposite situation could be compared to a slow jog-trot with no surprises. There are no new projects; no different plans. Everything goes its usual way. 108 EKVALL PlayfulnesslHumour. The spontaneity and ease that is displayed. A relaxed atmosphere with jokes and laughter characterizes the organization which is high in this dimension. The opposite climate is characterized by gravity and seriousness. The atmosphere is stiff, gloomy, and cumbrous. Jokes and laughter are regarded as improper. Downloaded by [University of Liverpool] at 11:49 26 August 2013 Debates. The occurrence of encounters and clashes between viewpoints, ideas, and differing experiences and knowledge. In the debating organization many voices are heard and people are keen on putting forward their ideas. Where debates are missing, people follow authoritarian patterns without questioning. Conflicts. The presence of personal and emotional tensions (in contrast to conflicts between ideas) in the organization. When the level of conflict is high, groups and single individuals dislike each other and the climate can be characterized by “warfare”. Plots and traps are usual elements in the life of the organization. There is gossip and slander. In the opposite case, people behave in a more mature manner; they have psychological insight and control of impulses. Risk Taking. The tolerance of uncertainty in the organization. In the high risk-taking case, decisions and actions are prompt and rapid, arising opportunities are taken and concrete experimentation is preferred to detailed investigation and analysis. In a risk-avoiding climate there is a cautious, hesitant mentality. People try to be on the “safe side”. They decide “to sleep on the matter”. They set up committees and they cover themselves in many ways before making a decision. Idea Time. The amount of time people can use (and do use) for elaborating new ideas. In the high idea-time situation, possibilities exist to discuss and test impulses and fresh suggestions that are not planned or included in the task assignment; and people tend to use these possibilities. In the reverse case, every minute is booked and specified. The time pressure makes thinking outside the instructions and planned routines impossible. Laurer (1994) has demonstrated that the 10 dimensions of the CCQ are theoretically supported in the creativity literature. Furthermore, the CCQ is grounded in some basic construction principles. First of all it is an organizational measure not an individual one. The respondent is addressed as an observer of life in the organization, asked to tell how people in the workplace usually behave. He/she is not to report about hidher own behaviour , nor communicate personal feelings. The questionnaire is thus not of the attitude or job-satisfaction type. There is no mention of “I” or Downloaded by [University of Liverpool] at 11:49 26 August 2013 ORGANIZATIONAL CLIMATE 109 “me” in the items. A consequence of the “objectivistic” conception of climate is that the observer, the respondent, is requested to report on common behaviour not on common opinions. A typical item is phrased: “It is common here for people to use their own initiative.” According to a “subjectivistic” view of climate this item would read: “Most people here think (or agree) that it is possible to use initiative here.” The aggregation of the dimension scores of the respondents to an organization score is achieved by the mean score. This mean score is assumed to reflect the real climate, which in turn the individual member has to evaluate with hidher preferences and react to. The observers, however, tend to perceive and rate the same behavioural regularities differently due to individual inclinations to overestimate or underestimate and to react positively or negatively. The aggregated climate score, the mean score of all the organizational members’ ratings, contains these biases, but as they differ among the observers in direction and strength they counterbalance each other. The mean score can therefore be assumed to constitute a valid measure of the situational variation in climate terms, as defined previously, between organizations. Reliability has been studied, as internal consistency of the dimension scales (coefficient alpha), on several differing samples. Table 1 shows the coefficients. These are reliability coefficients calculated on the individual level. They reveal the internal consistency and precision of the respondents’ ratings of the dimensions. Satisfactory reliability in the single TABLE 1 Cronbach‘s Alpha for Six Samples Challenge Freedom Idea support Trustt’openness D ynamismlliveliness Playfulness/humour Debates Conflicts Risk taking Idea time A B C D E F Mean 0.83 0.79 0.90 0.88 0.84 0.82 0.71 0.89 0.76 0.76 0.81 0.67 0.88 0.76 0.76 0.70 0.67 0.84 0.66 0.78 0.81 0.76 0.90 0.70 0.82 0.89 0.78 0.90 0.74 0.77 0.85 0.77 0.91 0.84 0.89 0.88 0.78 0.84 0.77 0.84 0.80 0.72 0.85 0.79 0.67 0.82 0.80 0.83 0.68 0.76 0.80 0.72 0.87 0.79 0.77 0.77 0.73 0.81 0.78 0.78 0.82 0.74 0.89 0.79 0.79 0.81 0.75 0.85 0.73 0.78 A = 78 psychologists from 78 organizations (Sweden, Ekvall, 1988); B = 104 engineers from the same company (Sweden, Ekvall, 1988); C = 157 employees (different professions) from a senior high school (Sweden, Holmqvist, 1993); D = 230 engineers from 10 companies (Sweden, Schou, 1991); E = 202 employees in the service division of a multinationalcompany (UK, Talbot, Cooper, & Barrow, 1992); F = 433 employees from six organizations (USA, Laurer, 1994). Downloaded by [University of Liverpool] at 11:49 26 August 2013 observer’s ratings warrants satisfactory reliability in the aggregated ratings, i.e. on the organizational level. Table 1 shows that all the 10 dimensions have an internal consistency that is generally seen to be acceptable for these types of measurements. Some of the scales have reliabilities on levels that are considered as high. The stability aspect of the reliability of the CCQ has been illustrated in a longitudinal study of a product development project in a high-tech company (Ekvall, 1993). Thirty engineers worked in the project which lasted for three years. The climate was measured each third month with the CCQ, answered by all the engineers. As can be seen from Table 2 the climate scores (the mean scores for the participants) were very stable during a period running over four measurements, from the fourth to the seventh measure, during the second year of the project’s life. This was the period when the innovation work was done. The targets were set, the resources were there, the roles and the organization of the work clear, and the engineers had to come to know each other quite well. And it was the period during which the basic design work was carried out. It was described by the project manager as the creative part of the product development process. After that period the work consisted of smaller adaptations, fewer refinements, and less documentation, and the climate curves went down somewhat during that period, except for Conflicts which rose. The practical relevance and usefulness of the climate factors of the CCQ as tools for organizational diagnosis and treatment is confirmed by the widespread use of the CCQ in organizational and management development projects and programmes. TABLE 2 Mean Scores in the CCQ Dimensions, Measurement 4 to 7 (Scale 0-3) Mean Scores 4 5 6 7 2.38 1.96 1.83 2.20 2.28 2.34 1.90 0.32 1.56 1.35 2.36 1.97 1.86 2.25 2.25 2.43 1.97 0.34 1.60 1.43 2.36 1.99 1.80 2.21 2.25 2.36 1.79 0.28 1.61 1.51 ~ Challenge Freedom Idea support Trustlopenness D ynamism/liveliness Playfulness/humour Debates Conflicts Risk taking Idea time 2.37 2.06 1.80 2.25 2.14 2.20 1.80 0.19 1.58 1.42 111 ORGANIZATIONAL CLIMATE Downloaded by [University of Liverpool] at 11:49 26 August 2013 CREATIVE CLIMATE AND INNOVATIVENESS The model shown in Fig. 1 presumes that the climate exerts influences on processes that can bring innovative outcomes. Organizations identified as innovative in terms of products, services, methods, policies, etc. should accordingly differ in climate from deliberately conservative or unintentionally out-distanced organizations. Studies with the CCQ support this presumption. Figure 2 presents a comparison between a group of 10 innovative organizations and a group of five stagnated organizations. “Organization” means here a small company or an independent division of a larger corporation with 100-200 employees. “Innovative” refers to product innovations. The 10 innovative organizations have been successful in developing new, profitable products and thereby secure their survival in the market. The five stagnated organizations needed renewal of their product programmes but had not tried or tried in a lame and futile manner. All employees or a representative sample answered the CCQ. The dots in the figure represent mean factor scores for the organizations in the two groups (Ekvall, 1989). The mean differences are significant on the 0.05 level or better on all 10 climate dimensions, counted on all the individual ratings given by the participants of the innovative and the stagnated organizations. Figure 3 shows results from the application of the CCQ in three subsidiaries of a large multinational corporation in the mechanical industry; one Swedish, one German, and one Spanish. The study was part of a corporate-wide programme for promoting innovativeness. The application of the questionnaire was carried out by consultants from the headquarters. 0 1 2 3 Challenge Freedom Idea support Trusttopenness Dynamism/liveliness Playfulness/humour Debates Conflicts Risk Taking Idea time FIG. 2. Climate profiles in creativehnnovative (m-m) and stagnated ( 0 – 0 ) organizations. 2 7 Challenge Freedom \ Idea-supporl Trusr I Downloaded by [University of Liverpool] at 11:49 26 August 2013 Dynamism Playfulness Debares 4 -. Conflicts Risk raking I.,- Idea rime FIG. 3. Climate profiles for German (*-@), sidiaries of a multinational corporation. Swedish (m-m), and Spanish (X-X) sub- A11 kinds of employees were represented in the samples-managers, whitecollar, and blue-collar workers. The response rates were very high among managers and white-collar workers but quite low among the blue-collar employees. The top management group of the corporation’s R&D function ranked the three companies regarding their innovative achievements. There was agreement in ranking the German company as number one, the Swedish as number two, and the Spanish as number three. Objective indications of innovativeness, such as number of patents and the activity level in the suggestion schemes, produced the same ranking. The third study, the results of which are presented in Tables 3, 4, and 5 on p. 114, is different from the two described earlier. It does not, as the previous studies do, compare mean values of organizations based on present employees’ perceptions and ratings. Instead it compares a group of persons’ perceptions and memories of two kinds of organization: “innovative” and “stagnated” (Ekvall, 1983). Forty-nine senior executives and training specialists from industry and public administration, who attended a management conference, were Downloaded by [University of Liverpool] at 11:49 26 August 2013 ORGANIZATIONAL CLIMATE 1 13 asked to fill in a questionnaire during one of the conference sessions. This questionnaire had four parts: (a) a short version of the CCQ, scored as a “global” measure of creative climate; (b) a Likert-type scale concerning bureaucratic aspects of the organization, designated as “formalization”; (c) a Likert-scale with questions about the goal-clarity of the organizations; (d) a one-item scale about the educational and professional level of the staff, named professionalism. The respondents answered the questionnaire twice. First the experiment leader read out a definition of the concept of “innovative organization”. The participants were told that innovativeness in this context referred to the ability of an organization to adapt itself and its operations to new demands from its environment, perhaps by adopting new products or services, by altering old products or services, by discovering new markets and target groups, by changing methods of working, or by introducing new technologies and/or organizational structures. The opposite to an innovative organization was a “stagnating organization”, i.e. one which despite an obvious need to change had not managed to make the necessary adjustments. Participants were then asked to think of the most innovative organization in which they had ever worked. They were encouraged to use their memories and to “move back” into the organization, which they then described with the help of the questionnaires now being handed out. When all this had been done, the questionnaires were coilected and the whole procedure was repeated, this time with reference to the least innovative, i.e. the most stagnant, organization in which the participants had ever worked. Correlations between all the variables included in the study were calculated according to the formula for product-moment coefficients. The variable “organizational innovativeness” is dichotomous, since we had two groups of organizations: those regarded as innovative and those regarded as stagnant-both relatively speaking and within the respondent’s experiential framework. Significance tests were performed on the correlation coefficients. In some cases it seemed appropriate to assume the influence of a third variable behind a correlation. A partial correlation calculation was then performed (Ferguson, 1959), to see what correlation, if any, remained after this effect had been eliminated, and thus to check whether the established relation was internally valid. Tables 3, 4, and 5 show the results. The results indicate that climate is the most crucial of these four organizational variables in regard to innovativeness. Formalization seems to have a suppressing effect. Goal clarity and professionalism might not have any significant effects of their own but still seem to have positive contributions as parts of or reinforcement of the creative climate. In a study of this kind there are obvious threats to the validity of the results. The inescapable questions to ask are firstly: To what extent do the 114 EKVALL Downloaded by [University of Liverpool] at 11:49 26 August 2013 results reflect real conditions in real organizations, “innovative” and “stagnated”? And secondly, Are they channelled through clear recollections or only vague memories supplemented with common notions of the nature of innovative organizations and their opposites, supplied by management books and journals (i.e. mental constructions with only weak links to the real organizations behind)? There are no reliable answers to these questions. But some characteristics of the primary data are in favour of validity. There is marked variation around the mean score in all variables, for both TABLE 3 Correlations between the Organization Measures and the Innovation Capacity of the Organization; Point-biserial Coefficients ~ ~ Organizational Variables Innovativeness ~~~ Climate Formalization Goal clarity Professionalism ~~ 0.81** -0.73** 0.54** 0.41*’ TABLE 4 Correlation between Organization Measures; Product-moment Coefficients Climate Formalization Goal clarity Formalization Goal Clarity Professionalism -0.68* 0.60** -0.38** 0.36** -0.39** 0.26* TABLE 5 Partial Correlations between the Organization Variables and Innovative Capacity; the ”Third“ Variable in Parenthesis lnnovafiveness Climate (goal clarity) Climate (formalization) Climate (professionalism) Goal clarity (climate) Formalization (climate) Professionalism (climate) 0.71** 0.62** 0.78** 0.11 -0.42** 0.22* In tables 3-5, the 5% significance level has been indicated by *; and a level of 1% or better by **. Downloaded by [University of Liverpool] at 11:49 26 August 2013 ORGANIZATIONAL CLIMATE 115 “innovative” and “stagnated” organizations. For several respondents the differences between their ratings of the two types of organizations are quite small. Some “innovative” organizations have not got especially high scores on creative climate and some “stagnated” have not got especially low scores, which might indicate that the “most innovative” organization a respondent had worked with was not highly innovative and the “most stagnated” organization a respondent had experienced was not evidently stagnated. These features in the data would not have appeared if stereotypes of innovative and stagnated organizations had dominated the responses. The fourth study makes a comprehensive organizational analysis of four divisions of a company producing chemicals for the paper and pulp and detergent industries (Ekvall, Arvonen, & Nystrom, 1987). Each division had responsibility for its own product development, production, and sales. There were big differences between the divisions in respect to history and culture, strategies, structure, and leadership. The divisions are named B, VP, TS, and PK, reflecting their special product areas. They can be characterized as follows. The B division was the oldest; it produced standardized, “mature” (in some cases “overmature”) products, but was still making profit when the study was done. The strategy practised by the division management was conservative; efficient production of the established products, not risky, new projects. The management style was patriarchal and autocratic. The V P division was a single-product business, which made good profits. The strategy had some innovative elements in the sense that development projects were run in co-operation with customers to find new applications for the product. The management style was of a systematic, rational, correct, fair-play kind; bureaucracy with a human face. The TS division was a blend of a stable business with some established, profitable products and a project organization with quite a large programme for new product development. Some of these projects later became successful. The management style was participative, democratic, and supported innovation initiatives. The PK division could be described, at the time of the study, as a large product development project that just previously had turned into an operating unit. The new product concept was at the stage of introduction into the market. Problems of both technical and marketing kinds appeared. The future of the product was an open question. The management style was of the entrepreneurial, risk-taking, pushing kind. Later the product concept became a tremendous success and is now sold world-wide. Downloaded by [University of Liverpool] at 11:49 26 August 2013 116 EKVALL PK and TS were the true innovative divisions as they were running successful product development work. B and VP were “positional”, i.e. defending and strengthening their market positions for established, mature products but not being involved in development of new products. Figure 4 presents climate scores for the four divisions.’ These scores are the means on the CCQ-dimensions of ratings made by four staff members of the company’s central personnel department. These four people served the divisions in matters of recruitment , selection, training, social welfare questions, and psycho-social work environment issues such as relations problems, conflict resolutions, and so on. They had intimate knowledge about the divisions and were no doubt in favourable situations to make valid ratings of the climate. The two innovative divisions (TS and PK) differ considerably from the two positional (B and VP) in several climate dimensions; more Freedom, Dynamism, Playfulness, Debates, and Risk Taking. O n none of the nine climate dimensions does a positional division show the highest possible score. There are, however, also differences bewteen the innovative divisions. PK has more Debates, Conflicts, and Risk Taking than TS, which on the other hand has more Freedom, Idea Support, and Trust. This divergence in climate between the innovative divisions reflects differences in management style. The top manager of PK was a hard-driving, pushing intensive risk-taking entrepreneural character. It is well-known from the innovation literature that this kind of person gets things done, sometimes with outstanding results, but not always. It is also known that their go-ahead actions create tensions with co-workers, especially with those of a more analytical and investigative attitude and decision-making style. Because of the pushing and insensitive management style, differences in ideas (“debates” in CCQ terms) tend to be tinged with personal animosity; opposition turns into antagonism (“conflicts” in CCQ). The tensions tend to spread to become contradictions between groups of co-workers. This was exactly the situation at PK. Some co-workers raised doubts and objections to what they considered to be far too early and risky attempts to introduce the product concept onto the market. This resulted in difficult controversies. The researcher’s interviews that followed the presentation of the climate study to the personnel indicated unequivocally that the intense debates on technical problems with the product concept were promoting creativity and innovation; but the personal conflicts on the marketing strategies were not-instead, they brought about hasty, aggressive, and power-based decisions and actions. The TS division showed the most creative climate pattern of all, having ‘Idea Time was not yet included in the CCQ when the study was done. 30 ……………….. JO 27 27 24 2 4 24 21 21 21 1 .I I8 Ill IS I S 1s 12 I 2 12 09 0.9 ao 01 08 08 01 OJ 03 8 vv rx 1s B Challenge J ” 7s PK a Freedom ;…………………. 3.0 2.7 Downloaded by [University of Liverpool] at 11:49 26 August 2013 vv ………………… 30 27 is VP PK Idea Support I ……………….. ,a * ………………… 24 Trust/Openness Liveliness/Dynamism 3C J< 21 2) 24 2 4 21 21 Ill I8 IS I S 12 I2 a9 09 08 01 0) 03 D VP 75 Debates PK ………………… Playfulness/ Humour 30 21 B VP IS PI( Co…

 

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