By : Dr Ipseeta Satpathy

Step 1 - opportunity or problem recognition: a person discovers that a new opportunity exists or a problem needs resolution. Thirty-five years ago an entrepreneurial leader, Robert Cowan, recognized a new opportunity and asked , “why do business meetings have to be conducted in person? Why can’t they connect through television images ?”

Step 2- Immersion: The individual concentrates on the problem and becomes immersed in it. He or she will recall and collect information that seems relevant, dreaming up alternatives without refining or evaluating them. Cowan grabbed every fact he could about teleconferencing. At one point he helped NASA and the university of Alaska produce the first videoconference by satellite. Cowan synthesized all his information into a book about teleconferencing.

Step 3- Incubation : the person keeps the assembled information in mind for a while . He or she does not appear to be working on the problem actively; however the subconscious mind is still engaged. While the information is simmering it is being arranged into meaningful new patterns . Cowan did not actively pursue his business videoconferencing idea for several years.

Step 4 – Insight : The problem-conquering solution flashes into the person’s mind at an unexpected time, such as on the verge of sleep, during a shower , or while running . Insight is also called Aha! Experience: All of a sudden something clicks. At one point Cowan suddenly thought of forming a teleconferencing business to exploit the potential of his idea.

Step 5- Verification and application: The individual sets out to prove that the creative solution has merit. Verification procedures include gathering supporting evidence, using logical persuasion , and experimenting with new ideas. Application requires tenacity because most novel ideas are first rejected as being impractical.

Knowledge Knowledgeable about Wide range of information

Personality Nonconformist Self-confident Thrill-seeking Energetic Persistent

Intellectual Ability Highly Intelligent Intellectually curious Able to think divergently

Passion for the task and flow

Creative leaders, like creative workers of all type , are different in many ways from their less creative counterparts. They are devoted to their fields and enjoy intellectual stimulation, and they challenge the status quo, which leads them to seek improvements . The confounders of iWon.com challenged the status quo with respect to web portals, and so started a new service that become a rapid success.

The componential theory of individual creativity developed by Amabile integrates some of the information presented so far about the contribution of personal characteristics to creativity. According to this theory, creativity takes place when three components join together.(Expertise, Creative thinking skill, and Task motivation

Expertise: The necessary knowledge to put facts together(the knowledge required for creativity)  Creative thinking skill: The ability to imaginatively approach problems .  Task motivation: preserving ,or sticking with a problem to a conclusion, which is essential for finding creatively solution . The combine forces of three factors leads to individual creativity as follows:

Overcoming Traditional Thinking as a Creativity Strategy

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A creative person thinks outside the box: A box in this sense is a category that confines and restricts thinking . Because you are confined to a box , you do not see opportunities outside the box. People who are not creative suffer from “hardening of the categories”: A low creativity individual thinks categorically : “Only men can drive bullodozers” , Only women can work in child care centers as caregiver.

3.To be creative ,one must develop new paradigms :  A paradigm is a model or framework. An example of a quality-inhibiting paradigm is that suppliers should be treated shabbily because they need the company more than the company needs them. In reality, creative companies form partnerships of mutual respect with suppliers.  Developing a new paradigm can also benefit an organization by giving a business a new twist, thus leading to a new source or revenues.

4. Creativity requires overcoming traditional mental sets:  A traditional mental set is a conventional way of looking at things and placing them in familiar categories. Overcoming traditional wisdom refers to the same idea.  One traditional mental set is that the only way for people to obtain the death benefit on their life insurance police is to die.

Creative people engage in lateral thinking in addition to vertical thinking : Vertical thinking is an analytical , logical process that results in few answers. The vertical , or critical , thinker is looking for the one best solution to a problem, much like solving an equation. Lateral thinking spreads out to find many different solutions to a problem. The vertical thinking leader attempts to find the best possible return to investment strictly in financial terms.

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Collecting fresh ideas systematically Brainstorming Using the pet-peeve technique Using the forced-association technique Equipping a kitchen for the mind Engaging in playful physical activities

To enhance creative problem solving , the majority of organizations regularly in brainstorming . Many others also maintain suggestion programs to solicit creative ideas from employees. In recent years the size of the awards has decreased , yet some workers still receive cash awards for creative ideas approved by the suggestion committee.

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Collecting fresh ideas systematically: Creativity is often referred to as a numbers game, because the more ideas you try, the greater the probability of finding one that works. A notable way of collecting fresh ideas is for employees to furnish them in to a company database so that when somebody needs a fresh idea it can be accessed through a company search engine. To facilitate having fresh ideas, the leader or manager can establish idea quotas, such as by asking staff members to bring one new idea to each meeting.

2. Brainstorming :  All ideas can be steppingstones and triggers for new and more useful ideas.  Any idea might lead to other associations and connections. Thus ,during the idea generation part of brainstorming, potential solution are not criticized or evaluated in any way. So that spontaneity is encouraged.  Brainstorming can be conducted through email as well as through group discussion. In brainstorming by email , group members simultaneously enter their suggestion into a computer .  The ideas are distributed to the monitors of other members  When participants do not face each other directly, they can concentrate on the creativity task at hand and less on the interpersonal aspects of interactions.

3. Using the pet-peeve technique:  Pet-peeve technique is a method of brainstorming in which a group identifies all the possible complaints others might have about the group’s organizational unit.  Through brainstorming , group members develop a list of complaints from any people who interact with their group . Source of complaints include inside customers, outside customers, competitors, and suppliers.

4.Using the forced-association technique:  Forced association technique , in which individuals or group solve a problem by making associations between the properties of two objects. An individual (working alone or in a group ) selects a word at random from a dictionary . Next , the person (or group ) lists all the properties and attributes of this word.  Ex: Assume you randomly chose the word pickle. Among its attributes are “tasty” ,”green” , “oblong,” and “moderately priced.

5.Equipping a kitchen for the mind:  Every business needs a kitchen for the mind ,a space designed to nurture creativity.  The supplies can be ordinary items such as a chalkboard, flip charts, a coffeepot, a refrigerator, a pencil sharpener , and personal computer with graphics software.  More important than the equipment within the kitchen for the mind is the existence of a communal meeting place where people can get together to think creatively.

6.Engaging in playful physical activities:  Another creativity training technique is to engage participants in playful physical activities that are intended to rejuvenate the sprit and encourage uninhibited thinking.  Among these activities are tossing nerf balls, riding children's tricycle and climbing a jungle gym.

1.Intellectual challenge:  Matching people with the right assignments enhances creativity because it supports expertise and intrinsic motivation. The amount of stretch is consistent with goal theory; too little challenge leads to boredom, but too much challenge leads to feelings or being overwhelmed and loss of control.  The leader or manager must understand his or her group members well to offer them the right amount of challenge.  Time pressure can contribute to intellectual challenge because you have to think faster to meet a creativity deadline.

2.Freedom to choose the method  Workers tend to be more creative when they are granted freedom to choose which method is best for attaining a work goal.  Stable goals are important because it is difficult to work creatively toward a moving target.

3.Ample supply of the right resources  Time and money are the most important resources for enhancing creativity.  Deciding how much time and money to give to a team or project is a tough judgment call that can either support or stifle creativity.  Using a time deadline will trigger creative thinking because it represents a favorable challenge.

4.Effective design of work groups  Work groups are the most likely to be creative when they are mutually supportive and when they have a diversity of backgrounds and perspectives.  Blends of gender, race and ethnicity are recognized today as contributing to creative thought , similar to cross-functional teams with their mix of perspectives from different disciplines.

5.Supervisory encouragement:  To develop a permissive atmosphere that encourage people to think freely .  Praising creative work is important because, for most people to sustain their passion, they must feel that their work matter to the organization.

6.Organizational support:  The companywide reward system should support creativity, including recognition and financial incentives.  Organizational leaders should encourage information sharing and collaboration, which lead to the development of the expertise so necessary for creativity and to more opportunities for intrinsic motivation.

1.Give creative people tools and resources that allow their work to stand out.  Creative workers have a high degree of selfmotivation, and therefore want to achieve high-quality output.  To achieve high quality, they usually need adequate resources, such as state-of-the-art equipment and an ample travel budget for such purposes as conducting research.

2.Give creative people flexibility and minimum amount of structure:  Many creative workers regard heavy structure as the death knell of creativity. “structure” for these workers means rules and regulations, many layers of approval , strict dress codes, fixed office hours, fixed office hours, rigid assignments, and fill-in-the blank paper.

3.Employ creative people to manage and evaluate creative workers  Managers of creative workers should have some creative ability of their own so that they can understand creativity and be credible as leaders.  Understanding the creative process is important for evaluating the creative contribution of others. What constitutes creative output is somewhat subjective but the output can be tied to objective criteria.

1.Continually pursue innovation  A major characteristic of the most admired companies, as complied by the Hay group consultancy for fortune , is constant innovation.  Translated into practice, this means that company leaders stay alert to innovative possibilities.  Innovation is important because a new technology can make an industry obsolete or place it in grave danger.

2.Take risk and encourage risk taking  “No risk , no reward” is a rule of life that applies equally well to the leadership of innovation.  It is necessary to gamble intelligently, shrewdly, and selectively even during a period of insecurity and instability.

3.Acquire innovative companies :  The innovation process takes a long time as it proceeds from a creative idea , through initial experimentation, to feasibility determination, and then to final application.  To shorten the process and reduce the risk of a failed innovation, many companies acquire smaller companies that have the innovation they seek.  During an eight-year period Cisco gobbled up more than seventy companies, mostly because each one offered a technology Cisco needed for its product mix.

4.Avoid innovation for its own sake:  Leaders also have to exercise good judgment : innovation just because it is innovation is not always valuable. Many gadgets are scientific marvels, yet they have limited market appeal.

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