Boosting creativity and  innovation

In a fast changing environment, more than ever, organizations are faced with aggressive and challenging competitors. Creativity and innovation are two of the keys elements that help companies to increase their competitive advantage. Alternative views, as well as new perspectives in approaching problems are most likely to point towards more inventive solutions.

THREE INGREDIENTS TO ENCOURAGE CREATIVITY

According to the creativity expert Amabile, the main ingredients for creativity are:

1. Domain relevant skills

These skills entail the expertise required to understand the basic of a given problem, as well as the associated constraints and consequences. As issues are clearly defined and understood, more adequate solutions will be created. Also it is easier to estimate different options when the importance of the issues can be evaluated competently. Domain relevant skills might be more important i.e. for problems with a high technological complexity, as for problems related to a more commonly understood area. However history shows that inventions are not always dependent on domain relevant skills.

2. Creativity-relevant skills

Creativity involves a continuous and channeled effort in exploring new ways of thinking. Breaking down large problems into smaller components, juggling various techniques and approaches also sustain the creation of new ideas and discoveries. Great innovations can occur by envisioning the impossible and the unfeasible, as well as thinking “out of the box”. Finally persistence and productivity are factors, which most likely will lead to success.

3. Task motivation

Experience has proven that personal effort and own interest in the solution finding are major factors for a successful creativity process. Although a reward is always appreciated, creativity might not flourish as expected if compensation is the one and only motivator. An intense involvement followed by a successfully achieved mission will strengthen a long-term personal satisfaction, independently of a professional promotion or even financial reward.