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Creativity and NGOs: AIESEC

Livia Ditu
Mirela Stefan

2013 - 2014

Content 1. Conclusion 9. Creativity and NGOs 5. Case Study: AIESEC 7. Non-governmental Organizations 4. Appendices 10. Creativity 3. Generating Creative Ideas in NGOs 6. References . Creativity in AIESEC 8. Introduction 2.

This was only the beginning. in order to ‘survive’ and to succeed it is required to be different. The next subsection of our paper introduces the non-governmental organizations. In the last part of our project. the conclusion being that it depends from person to person: for some people. Sternberg with his Creativity Research Journal Collection. the project managers being the ones that should discover the best way of work for their members. why creativity plays a vital role in their development and how the process of creativity in an NGO can be improved. This is why the leaders have a vital role in the process of creativity. what motivates them and what difficulties are they facing in the process of generating creative ideas. a non-governmental. as well as the role of environment in the creativity process. student organization. everything being exemplified on AIESEC. the scientist Ellis Paul Torrance developed a series of tests to measure people’s creativity. whether the leaders encourage creativity or not and what are the methods used for generating ideas. not-for-profit. Our quantitative research is based on a questionnaire applied in two local committees (AIESEC Bucharest and AIESEC Athens). His research resulted in defining the eight types of creativity. In order to see what is required for the process improvement. what differentiate them of other international organizations and their importance in our society. explaining the connection between intelligence and creativity.J. as well as the increasing competition on the market. We tried to see what are their opinion about creativity (from an ‘inside’ point of view. we will create the theoretical framework by presenting several generating ideas methods. This topic was also approached by Amabile in one of her papers (“Creativity under the gun”). what drives them . the answers coming from members. We chose to talk about five theories that explain what is creativity. The topic is considered to be of relevance for research due to the growing importance of NGOs in the everyday life. a relaxed environment is the best. being members of an NGO and having to deal with creative solutions everyday). why creativity is so important for their development and how new ideas can be generated in NGOs. we will present the connection between creativity and NGOs. we will present some suggestions for improving this process of finding new ideas. Because of the high number of NGOs activating nowadays. which is why creativity is crucial for NGOs. Furthermore. Another important character in this field was R. the importance of motivation in the process of being creative. while others need pressure in order to be efficient. In the beginning of creativity research. The paper begins with an explanation of creativity and what streams of literature defines it. In the end of our analysis. we will introduce the results of our quantitative research through which we want to see how is the working environment in AIESEC. many other scientists creating their theories based on his work. middle management and top management. how it works and exemplify the process of being creative.Introduction The paper has the aim of presenting the connection between creativity and NGOs. together with advantages and disadvantages for each technique.

Another model that defines creativity and creativity process is the “four C” model by Jamea C. elaborate it and the apply it) Also. you can also call it flexible thinking. Michael Mumford is the one that defined creativity as “the process of producing something that is both original and worthwhile” or “characterized by originality and expressiveness and imaginative”. More than that. the . what methods of generating ideas are using and whether the leaders succeeded in creating a favourable environment for creativity development or not. hear. big-C. but they are not necessarily eminent. Creativity Creativity is the phenomenon where something new and valuable is created. little-C.towards their goals. Kaufman and Beghetto: mini-C. by J. In different theories there are more models that can help us define creativity and the creativity process. correct solution to a problem and the other one involves creating more answers to a set of problems. topic that is going to be discussed in this paper as well. For example. Gauliford. The second one is about everyday problem solving.P. The first one is the transformative learning or hoe humans interpret experiences. Finke came out with the “Geneplore” model which says that creativity has two phases: a generative phase (when humans construct mental representations called ‘preinventive structure’) and exploratory phase (structures are used to come up with creative ideas). it is very discussed also the topic of creativity being something that you are born with or something that you can develop. actions or insights. the simultaneous involvement of implicit and explicit process. pro-C and big-C. Other theories about the creativity processes include also the convergent and divergent thinking. in respect to the creativity. It is also the process of transforming ideas into something that you can see. is when someone is great in a given field. Explicit-Implicit Interaction (EII) theory by Helie and Sun relies on: the relationship between explicit and implicit knowledge. Grahame Wallas presented the model with 5 stages: -preparation (when the individual prepares his mind the explores the problem’s dimensions) -incubation (when you leave outside your mind the externalities and you focus on the problem) -intimation (when the person know that is on the right way) -illumination or insight (when you become aware of the creative idea) -verification (when you verify the idea. And the last one. Pro-C is expressed through people that are creative because of their profession. smell or taste. The first one is when you refer to a single. when you bring new and imaginative idea into reality. touch. Wallas suggested that creativity is an evolutionary process which helps humans to adapt to the changes. But this is just one of the many explanations that were given for creativity.

the integration of the results and the iterative processing. 2010)talks about the “investment” theory of creativity and about the “propulsion” theory of creative contribution. Torrance also grouped his tests in three main categories. Verbal tasks using verbal stimuli (impossibilities task. Torrance developed Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking in 1966. Building on these testes. common problems task. just suppose task. advance forward movement (advancing the field). imaginative stories task. Sternbers (Creativity Research Journal. This Tests scored creativity on four scales:  fluency. unusual uses task) 3. Gauliford’s group reviled in 1967 the following: Plot Titles(when the participants had to find and original title for a story). There are also other studies that sustains that there is no correlation between intelligence and creativity. The last one suggests that there are eight types of creative contribution in order to end up with a result: replication (confirmation that the given field is in the correct place). but it is not sufficient. A know theory here is “the threshold hypothesis” proposed by Ellis Paul Torrance. consequences task. J. cow jumping problems) 2. Arthur Koestler) With all these theories about the creativity process. Arthur Koestler introduced in “The Act of Creation” the concept of bisociation (when the creativity comes as a result of the interaction of two different frames of reference).P. circles and squares task. Quick Responses (a word-association test). starting over/re-initiation (moving to a different starting point) and integration (combining two to more fields intro a dingle way of thinking).J. (“The Act of Creation”. There were developed several tests in order to measure creativity. creative design task) “Critique on the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking” Cramonf Bonnie. Unusual Uses (finding unusual uses for common objects). redefinition (where the field is and how you see it). Robert J.redundant representation of these processes. we also need to measure different levels of creativity. situations task. Figure Concepts (participants had to find the similarities between two drawings). This leads to conceptual blending.  originality. product improvement task. He sustains that a high degree of intelligence is necessary for a high creativity. Remote Associations (participations had to find a word between two given words) and Remote Consequences (when participants had to say a list of consequences to unexpected events). 2002 Further we will discuss about the association of creativity with the intelligence.  elaboration. The paper of R. Non-verbal tasks (incomplete figures task. The Nature of Creativity. redirection (when you move it in a new direction). . it is like a consequence of it. Sternberg. picture construction task or shape task. forward incrementation (contribution that moves the field in the direction it is supposed to be moved). Some believe that creativity is the outcome of intelligence.  flexibility. 1964. each one with different tasks: 1. redirection from a point in the past (when you move the field back in order to see another direction). Verbal tasks using nonverbal stimuli (ask and guess task. improvement task.

(Creativity Research Journal. others would say that they work better if they are under pressure. It happens sometime that a person is creative and he comes with a lot of new idea. But this is what a good leader should do in an organization. published in 2002. a little bit of pressure. since it is an “unpaid job”. But to sum up the idea of the text. The article also presents the Time-Pressure/Creativity Matrix which shows how time pressure can affect creativity in accordance with the environment and other stimulus for people. The Nature of Creativity. 2010) We can find the same topic in Amabile’s paper: “Creativity under the gun”. you need something that suits your personality and your way of thinking and working. For example. in an NGO. They are the ones that command and help the members to develop. but these ideas are not taking into consideration because they are against the beliefs of the organization/NGO. They should also bring rewards and present that advantages and what can a member get or loose as a consequence of his work. Talking about encouraging motivation. So. the next three reject current paradigms and attempt to replace them and the last one synthesizes current paradigms. the text of Sternberg sustains that environment is important as well.The first four types of creativity accept current paradigms and attempt to extend them. there are six managerial practices that can do this:   challenge (matching people with the right assignments). we can affirm that you can protect your creativity and use it only if you give it the right environment. This is why in an organization it is really important the roles of leaders. you don’t have material recognition. Both Sternberg and Amabile claim that the importance of the motivation is crucial. freedom (giving autonomy in order to achieve goals). a reward should always exist. better and more creative. . Sternberg. You cannot be creative in any kind of environment. Also the Journal of Sternberg about the nature of the creativity talks about the intelligence and how it is important in order to be creative and also about knowledge: it is important to have the knowledge about the subject and about the field in order to have a creative thinking about it. Some believe that the intrinsic motivation is stronger and this makes you love your job. Motivation is another fact that should we should talk about when we refer to creativity. and not under the gun. either an intrinsic or extrinsic one. It should be a mix of all of these and this mix is different from person to person. She sustains that you are more creative when you are free. Of course. Some would say that they work better in are relaxed environment. your work and you care work more. People don’t really do creative work unless they really love what they are doing and focus on the work rather than the reward. leaders should analyse their members and see which work style fits to which member. but knowing that you can help the others and you can develop yourself help you to continue working. space and time. they are the ones motivates and make the others work for the mission and vision of the organization. The personality is another aspect that should be taken into consideration. Furthermore. Robert J. in order to work effectively and bring results. It is even harder when they have to find the intrinsic motivation in members and make them follow it.

Germany. published in A Hopeful Sign: First you should prepare the ground. question. If you want to develop your craft. money. The third one is to live in the question: only by questioning and finding answers you can develop. creativity is a skill that can be developed and a process that can be managed. organizational support (information sharing. Japan. 2014). remember how you acted as a child and give passion in what you do. you can practice your creativity. it is easier to develop creativity to young people that to the old ones. when. you have to focus on what you want to create. we can say that only 1 in 4 persons believe that they are living up to their creative potential. And the last one is to liberate your creativity. but not by sitting in a lecture. And as George Land discovered in 1968. This data is from an Adobe Study made in more countries like United States. but by learning and applying creative thinking processes in practice. creative-thinking and motivation. You have to combine all of these and also to experiment. be curious. space – and people). Tests show us that yes. use imagination and synthesize information and your brain will start to generate new ideas. collaboration). work group features (supportive teams with members that share their experience). Can Creativity be Taught?) In the end of the paragraph. (Creative at Work Blog. Another aspect that can help persons to become more creative is to think about creativity and to believe that you are creative and you can use your craft to achieve goals and new ideas. This study also reveals that 75% from people that were interviewed said that they are under pressure to be productive rather than creative at their work place and only 39% of global respondents described themselves as being creative. Craft is how to do stuff and you can acquire it by learning a skill. in fact. Forbes.    resources (there should be a balance between resources – time. Bruce Kasanoff. This is what Bruce Kasanoff sustains in a paragraph in Forbes (“Why People (Incorrectly) Think They Are Not Creative. Then you plant seeds for creativity. (Creativity at Work Blog) Another aspect that we should take into consideration is if creativity can be taught. The next one is to feed your brain. we will present the seven habits of highly creative people presented by Linda Naiman in an article in 2011. to find your place and to arrange your environment. combine ideas and make connections. you need time and creativity is the way you use your craft. projects and development of an organization. which will lead to new discovers. . After that you have to experiment and explore and then replenish your creative stock. There are three components that you should take into consideration: expertise. You also have to give time and space. France. So. they don’t have the craft. explore. supervisory encouragement (recognitions). Regarding the issue of people thinking they are creative or not. He says that normally people sustains that they are not creative.

These NGOs are often the most effective voice for the concerns of ordinary people in the international arena. NGOs are very dependent of volunteers. Secondly. With a history dating back to at least 1839. and multinational corporations . Sometimes in this group are also included INGOs . (Nikolaj Hoojgard. On other words. but most of the projects are implemented with the help of volunteers. the staff is not rewarded through monetary recognition.such as international non-profit organizations.wikipedia.Non-governmental organizations Today’s society is saturated with concepts such as corporations. there are other characteristics that differentiate these organizations of other associations. with several branches around the world). being set up by ordinary citizens and funded by governments. businesses or foundations. encouragement of trade or “to end extreme poverty” (i.wikipedia. both the small ones and the largest organizations. women's rights and more. foundations and companies. being the most outspoken advocates of human rights. from their volunteers or from outsiders and they are also very adaptable in terms of project Besides the fact that most NGOs are not-for-profit. Another difference is that NGOs are constraint by funding. NGOs are inclined to favour organizational ideologies and tend to be more driven by their mission than FPOs. the environment. intergovernmental organizations. Furthermore. the NGOs that work with volunteers offer other types of rewards.known as “profit driven”. They might have some paid employees (we are talking here about the international organizations. NGOs accept ideas from everybody. both on the professional and personal level. NGOs are unique organizations through their structure and practices. more on a personal and emotional level. NGOs are characterized by a lack of bureaucracy which offers a higher degree of flexibility and freedom to be more creative to the Intergovernmental organizations on the other hand are organizations composed by primarily sovereign states. social programs. Even if in other organizations financial rewards are an important motivator for the people. Thirdly. 2012) . (http://en. First of all. Their main purposes are peace. companies. but in the same time acting in similar or common fields. the volunteers enter in the not-for-profit field due to the development opportunities that it offers to them. economic development worldwide or in a certain region. The mission and the vision are used as a driver and a motivation for the volunteers and also for finding new projects to implement.: World Bank). Because of this. Driven by their desire to do something useful.e. (http://en. “NGOs may conceive their projects from ideas that vary with their particular support group or even with the society at large”. being an important aspect of the public international law. NGOs and so on. each one of them being different. being criticized for taking advantage of developing countries instead of helping them.

Public relations: needed by NGOs for achieving their goals and raising funds. National NGOs: include national organizations. land. family planning or education services in which the programme is designed by the NGO and people are expected to participate in its implementation and in receiving the service. their nations may deteriorate to the point of disintegration. (http://en. Campaigning: these NGOs seek to "achieve large-scale change promoted indirectly through influence of the political system". City-wide organizations: include organizations such as chambers of commerce and industry. not-for profit NGOs with a service. In this paper. Participatory orientation: characterized by self-help projects where local people are involved particularly in the implementation of a project by contributing cash. NGOs of any kind have the sacrosanct duty to make substantial contributions toward the creation of a better and more stable global community. the most important being by”orientation” and “level of operation”. By level of operation. we are going to focus more on students. institutions and projects and implementing projects. but at the same time. Called by U. we have:     Community based organizations: arise out of people's own initiatives. International NGOs: range from secular agencies to religiously motivated groups. In order to achieve this goal. there are many different classifications in use.wikipedia. being responsible for funding local NGOs. ethnic or educational groups. Another way of classification is by activities:    Operational: these NGOs seek to "achieve small-scale change directly through projects". NGOs and their importance in our society grew rapidly in the last 15 years to the point when various governments agreed that without people and NGOs involvement in the solution of problems. some of them having state and city branches and assisting local NGOs. materials. Empowering orientation: aims to help poor people develop a clearer understanding of the social. tools. coalitions of business. development and community orientation. social or environmental oriented organizations and not-for-profit or non-profit Besides these criteria. energy and expertise to help make the world better and everything they receive back is a pleasant and flexible . Service orientation: NGOs with activities such as the provision of health. as a result. volunteers are giving their time. political and economic factors affecting their lives.N. there are other classification of NGOs. By level of orientation. Governmental Organizations have a unique role to play in the constructive management of a nation.NGOs are difficult to define and. such as students. and to strengthen their awareness of their own potential power to control their lives. Secretary-General Kofi Annan “the world’s new superpower”. we have:     Charitable orientation: involves a top-down paternalistic effort with little participation by the "beneficiaries".

(Mercieca.from people to the government. Northridge). 2007) Since reaching to other people is the best way to become a high-impact organization and working “outside themselves” leads to more success and improvement in their field. for expanding their reach and implicitly for delivering their mission. it needs innovation and creativity for fund raising. and horizontally . they can do this by offering their trust to the volunteer and by empowering others to lead. the members of the NGO have to be “creative in the process of innovation” of new products and programmes. Even if the basis of NPD projects consists in the innovation of the members. this is not enough. In order to achieve this ‘uniqueness’. (Grant. Even if the basis of a creatively-friendly environment is difficult to illustrate. of pushing the boundaries of what is possible or not. In order to reach a high level of creativity inside an organization. where they can develop their ideas for helping the people.networking between other organizations doing similar work. one of the main attractions of the NGO sector is that “it really can be at the cutting edge of innovation because however much decent societies need good government and a dynamic private sector. Within a market saturated with organizations. the most innovation”. open to innovation and creativity. 2007) As I said before. 2006) As David Miliband said in an interview in 2013. Another important role of NGOs is that they can facilitate communication upward . Creativity and NGOs Creativity is based on the ability to view things in a different perspective and to generate new alternatives for problems (California State University. an NGO needs to be original so that it can differentiate itself of others competitors. an NGO has a vital role in our society due to its ability of using people’s creativity for finding different ways of doing space. To conclude. Because an NGO does not have a large cash flow and resources like commercial firms or intergovernmental organizations have. not-for-profit organization is the best environment for bringing up the creativity hidden in people. encouraging creativity inside the organizations became one of the main goals of the top management of the NGOs. it's often in the NGO sector that you find the most dynamism. This is why a non-governmental. Research has shown that people’s perception of the work environment created by their team leaders relate to their creativity. creativity plays an essential role in the creation of new development projects (NPD). (Grant. Crutchfield. Consequently. the leaders have an important role in creating a flourishing environment for creative ideas. Crutchfield. it is well known that the leader(s) should have a positive behaviour towards the . the management has to offer open and flexible conditions and to find the right things that motivate the staff. downward . Creativity represents an important part of the processes that take place in an NGO being the one that determines creation of new projects (NPD projects) which will attract further funding for the NGO.from government to the people. of solving problems.

wikipedia. managers and team leaders began to use various methods of generating providing constructive feedback. we are going to analyse various methods of generating creative ideas. whether it is happening in an NGO or in MNC. ever-changing challenges.(Amabile. combining them and trying to use them ongoing.smashingmagazine. 2011). brainstorming is a group or individual creativity technique used for finding a solution for a problem by gathering a list of spontaneously ideas from each member.htm http://www. By contrary. because . using certain techniques for this. by respecting four basic rules:    Focus on quantity: the assumption is that the greater the number of ideas generated. both companies and NGOs are using scheduled sessions of idea generation. ongoing innovation is critical to stay ahead of the competition. Our brain cannot access innovation at a specific click or according to the schedule created by the managers. 2004) But this environment should not take the form of scheduled meeting. Brainstorming When a group wants to generate ideas for a new product or to solve a http://www. This section will introduce four idea generations techniques. organizations realize that However. Generating Creative ideas in an NGO Subsection references:       http://www. being open to new ideas. During a brainstorming session. presenting the advantages and disadvantages of using them. the first method considered is brainstorming. 1.members of the organization: valuing individual contributions. No criticism. Faced with complex. Developed by the Madison Avenue advertising executive Alex Osborn back in 1963. which is why brainstorming sessions are not as productive as we wish them to be.html supporting the work group. Lately. In the next section.mindtools. this is happening on the spur of the moment.mindtools.according to a team of researchers from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York – most of the great ideas that launched companies came by accident (Tucker.php http://sloanreview. not only sporadically. Wild ideas are welcome. the greater the chance of producing a radical and effective http://en. But sparking creativity within a team is not that easy as it sounds. a group of people sit together and generate and orally share ideas. This is why they are searching for people who can generate new ideas.

Despite these advantages though. This method is good for both small and big groups. Michael Diehl and Wolfgang Stroebe found several factors that contribute to a loss of effectiveness in a group brainstorming. personality characteristics or influence of power relations) are excluded. it solves problems by exploring multiple factors in reverse. Similar with the brainstorming method. A variation of this method is reverse-brainstorming. 4. Combine and improve ideas: there is no room for criticism. Participants type their ideas directly into a software problem where all team members can instantly see them. solution generation and decision making. all ideas should be kept and combined to find the best solution. Electronic Brainstorming EBS is basically idea generation happening electronically. this technique focus rather on quantity than quality. personality characteristics. 3. evaluation apprehension. Osborn claimed that group brainstorming is more effective than individuals working alone due to the team members’ diverse background. a technique which combines brainstorming and reversal techniques. Nominal Group Technique (NGT) NGT. In other words. the participants are writing down ideas and then passing their papers to others who will develop the ideas from their point of view. for a variety of topics. 2. method developed by Bern Rohrbach in 1968 and used in marketing and advertising. such as: blocking. without criticism and the fact that it allows participants to build on existing ideas. the process of idea generation is as follows: participants individually write down their ideas without being shared until everybody is done. collaborative fixation. a variation of the Brainwriting technique. ideas are discussed and combined in solutions. Brainwriting Brainwriting is an alternative to brainstorming and it often produces more results than a traditional session of brainstorming due to the fact that some disadvantages (blocking. the main difference being the way of expressing ideas: instead of yelling them out. Cost savings. then they are presented with . The solutions found for the second question are then reversed into solution for the initial problem. Once everybody is done writing. social matching or influence of power relations. Developed by Delbecq and VandeVen and applied to adult education. Documentation: ideas are recorded electronically and they can be accessed at any time. free-riding. the ‘open-minded’ environment. being considered a better way to generate ideas than traditional brainstorming and NGT due to several benefits:     Space and time constraints: it is not require to all participants to be present at the same time and place. A variation of this method is 6-3-5 brainwriting. The rule is that instead of asking “How do I solve the problem?”. you ask “How do I cause this to be a problem?”. The rule is basically the same. Comfort: participants can reflect on the problem in the comfort and privacy of their desks and even their homes. is a group method which consists in problem identification. its purpose being to generate 108 new ideas in 30 minutes.

more tolerant and they have the chance to use their creativity to help others. innovation and corporate social responsibility. etc. Through this project. how to communicate with you member and your top board. how to motivate others and how to work with them effectively and in a creative way. working in human rights. AIESEC AIESEC is an international organization. Participants become more open-minded.the purpose of eliminating similar ideas and clarifying the rest. Sales. Living Diversity. working with children. eliminates the effect of dominant personalities. Member programme – you can be a member of the organization in one of the departments. environmental sustainability. 2. it learns you how to manage a team and a project. a major disadvantage of NGT is that it lacks flexibility and spontaneity and it requires a certain amount of time for preparation. teaching. Demonstrating Integrity. management education. Enjoying Participation. AIESEC is a non-political. Other advantages are: avoids problems caused by group interaction. Global volunteering programme – every local committee develops volunteering project like fundraising. volunteers all over the world are making exchanges. The organization is supported by over 8 000 partner organizations. The vision of the organization is peace and fulfilment of humankind’s potential and as a scope. In the end. leadership development. Every Local Committee has a slightly different structure. Leadership programme – it develops you at a different level. Middle management of an organization is an important part for the development of the NGO. tools that can help them to develop new idea. The values of the organization are the following: Activating Leadership. the next step is the individual ranking of ideas: people rank or vote for the ideas they like the best and ideas are prioritized in accordance to this. non-profit organization with members that are students or recent graduates. getting to know new cultures. sustainable development. Striving for Excellence and Acting Sustainably. Despite these. There are four main programmes that AIESEC develops in people: 1. new people. Communication/Marketing and the Exchange Areas that manage the exchange of the participants. 3. but the basic department remains the same: Finance. entrepreneurship. The name is a French acronym for Association international des étudiantes en sciences économiques et commerciales (International association of students in economic and commercial sciences) AIESEC offers annually 24 000 leadership positions and delivers over 500 conferences to its members of over 90 000 students from 2 400 universities across the globe. This method outperforms brainstorming because it provides more unique ideas and more balanced participation between group members. Human Resources. promoting HIV/SIDA awareness. new places. new businesses. they have experience and knowledge. an youth network the impacts the world through leadership development experiences. It facilitates these international internships and volunteer experiences for over 65 years and in 124 countries and territories. . The conferences organized by the organization focuses on: international trade. independent.

they start to think outside the box and implicit they become more creative.). a joke. Being part of an NGO is a good start for your future. creativity has an importance of 4 for the development of the NGO. It is longer than the volunteering programme and divided in three types: Marketing/Management. being supported by all the members because all of them are young and at the beginning of their career. share ideas. but also enjoying participation – we can appreciate that the most suitable idea generation method for this NGO is a combination between social-oriented and task- . unpredictable. You can do mistakes and you can learn from them. most of them being organized ad hoc. it is well known that creativity influence in a high degree the development of an NGO and that it is crucial for the survival of the organization on a market full of competitors. They use their intelligence to create new things in an environment which allowed them to be who they want. an artistic or literary work. AIESEC. The organization is a platform where you can develop your skills by developing others. new things. a solution. you are supported and helped to develop it. Global internship programme – it is a paid internship in a company. desire. when new ideas for solving a problem are needed. and prove whether the case reinforce or contradict some of the theoretical perspectives presented helps a lot). the results of our questionnaire filled in by AIESEC members from two different committees (Bucharest and Athens) reinforced this idea. They can communicate with them. but also something that you can learn and develop in time. 75% of the respondents agreeing that on a scale from 1 to 5 (where 1 – it doesn’t help.4. 5. According to AIESEC members. They can also travel for different conferences or through AIESEC exchange projects. run by volunteers with diverse backgrounds. who encourage thinking outside the box. have fun. Creativity in AIESEC None of the above idea generation methods can be said to be perfect and they all have room for improvement. Whenever you have an innovative idea. Besides all the research carried on this topic. so no one expect you to be perfect. Technical and Educational. its members have an international environment with people all over the world. an NGO being a good place where students can learn by doing and can apply in practice what faculties try to teach them in theory. about differences and cultures. idea generation sessions do not take place on a regularly basis and they do not have a certain structure. which is why an open-to-creativity environment created by the top management is very important for the success of the organization. In this section we are going to introduce an analysis based on the NGO chosen by us. This way. colours. achievement of their goals. They also agreed that creativity is not only a skill that you are born with. act. Most of our respondents linked the concept of creativity with terms such as passion. aspects about life. Since AIESEC is an international organization. beautiful or unique which is in concordance with our definition of creativity (Creativity is a phenomenon whereby something new and valuable is created: such as an idea. As we have said before. a painting or musical composition. an invention etc. If we take into consideration the contextual factors about AIESEC medium NGO. in the business sector usually.

it does not respect a schedule (which implies more ‘natural’ creativity) and preserves anonymity. . as well as their dreams and the passion and the appreciation of the others. The results showed that all four idea generation methods presented are used in the two committees. Consequently. but brainstorming and brainwriting have a higher frequency over the others. the ideas provided are not flexible. An improvement to this would be small breaks from the session during which the chair of the meeting can redefine the problem. Another suggestion came from one of the members was to put up a “What if.. There are many combinations of the methods introduced earlier. This transforms the process of generating ideas in an ongoing process. a good strategy would be the following: in the beginning of the meeting. since everybody considered NGT as the most efficient method. a good enhancement would also be adding an element of NGT to the session. The brainwriting technique is a good choice for AIESEC because it provides more solutions than a normal brainstorming session and it avoids the situation of a dominant personality. The questionnaire showed us that the members are motivated by the final purpose and the mission of the project. our suggestions representing only some possibilities of improving the process of generating new ideas in AIESEC. a method used in conjunction with convergent thinking to generate creative ideas by exploring many potential solutions. the project manager should remind to the participants the AIESEC mission. with different variations. followed by unexpected connections. Another possibility is to use divergent thinking.” board in the offices where the members can write outrageous “what if” questions. This way of thinking is applicable in AIESEC because it typically occurs in a spontaneous manner. despite the general opinion (80% of the respondents) according to which NGT is the most efficient method. encourages wild ideas. maintaining in the same time the spontaneity of people. characteristics similar to the way of being of an Aiesecer (Smith.oriented techniques. Moreover.. 2012). but as a throwback. the goals and purpose of the project and how the meeting can help to achieve all these.

. cannot be fulfilled. In other words. This is why the leaders have even a more important role. an NGO cannot succeed on a market where everyday a new organization is born. so the mission of the NGO cannot be achieved. Since in an NGO we cannot talk about paid employees. However. This is why we think AIESEC is a good example of an organization where creativity is appreciated and you can found it everywhere. To sum up. Motivation of the members and the leaders were shown to be of great importance in the process of being highly creative and implementing crazy ideas. the intrinsic motivation is crucial for making the volunteers giving up their time and energy for developing new projects. The process of generating new ideas should be modified and adapt according to each company/organization’s mission and culture. NPD projects cannot be developed. As we presented earlier. The international environment which characterizes this organization is one of the reasons for which members can develop more easily their creativity. creativity is indispensable for the NGOs’ survival. creativity is crucial for the development of an NGO because without creative volunteers. as well as volunteers/employees’ personality and work style. helping people and improving nowadays society. the core reason of the NGOs’ existence. where the mistakes are encouraged and outrageous ideas are appreciated. Without their capacity of creating an environment where members’ creativity can flourish. the process of generating creative ideas and how this process can be improved inside the organization. from the point of view of the members (as the questionnaire showed).Conclusion The purpose of this project was to present the connection between creativity and non-governmental organizations. a work environment suited for each members’ personality. there are still some gaps in the process of generating ideas inside the organization.

Electronic Brainstorming d. specify which is the degree that the creativity helps an NGO? (1-it doesn't help.APPENDICES: Questionnaire “Creativity in AIESEC” 1. 6. 5-it helps a lot) How creative do you think your LC is? (1-not creative at all. 10. Something you can learn in time Do you think that creativity helps the development of an NGO? If your answer is ‘Yes’ to the previous question. Something you are born with b. Relaxed environment Do you think that Top and Middle Management (Board + Team Leaders) encourage the creativity of the members? If you answered ‘Yes’ to the previous question. Brainstorming b. Under pressure b. 8. 5. 4. 16. 7. Brainwriting c. 5-very creative) What methods of idea generation are used in your LC? a. 15. 11. 3. 12. 9. 13. 2. 14. 17. give us an example: . Your age: Gender: Which is your Local Committee (LC): What is your position in your LC: What is your department in your LC: Write 3 words that define creativity for you: Do you think that creativity is something you are born with or you can learn it in time? a. Nominal Group Technique What is in your opinion the most efficient method (from the methods presented earlier)? Can you give some suggestions of generating ideas methods that can be more efficient? What motivates you? Are you more creative under pressure or in a relaxed environment? a.

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