The creative melting pot: how organisations influence or hold back employee creativity

Productive creativity is a precious commodity. But how many organisations understand which factors contribute to (or prevent) good ideas? A new study shows that the way individuals, teams and employers think and act can seriously impact on the successful outcome of the creative process.

It doesn’t follow that factors which drive creativity at one stage of an idea’s ‘journey’ will play a role at other stages. In fact, some might even inhibit individual or collective inventiveness, preventing otherwise worthy initiatives from seeing the light of day.

For organizations seeking to foster an environment of innovation, this means having to be far more strategic than simply letting creative types loose with an R&D budget. Careful consideration must also be given to how individual, team and organizational factors impact on each other at every stage, especially where the effect of those factors countervail.

That’s the finding of research by the Flanders DC Knowledge Centre at Vlerick Business School. The research team brought together established process and variance models of creativity, and conducted in-depth, case study research of 22 carefully selected creative workers, as well as ‘key advocates’ of creativity (typically senior managers). The researchers consider this study as an important step towards developing an integrative framework of creativity.

About Flanders DC

Flanders District of Creativity is the Flemish organisation for business creativity. It was founded by the Flemish Government as a non-profit organization and enjoys broad support. Flemish businesses, academics, and public institutions use Flanders DC as a platform for cooperation and for building a more creative region. Creativity is the key ingredient in making companies more successful and in helping regional governments fuel a healthy economy with more jobs.

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