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Change, Creativity, and Innovation Report


Reflective Observation

There is no need to elaborate the fact that our community and our county is in dire need of creative people. Creative individuals are sources of innovation and creative solutions that can enhance our way of life. Without them culture and society will stagnate and the world will be overwhelmed with problems and unable to solve new challenges that crops up everyday.

There is a need to be creative but it starts with the individual. I must aspire to be creative and to see things differently. I need to train myself to think outside-the-box. The readings, especially the book by Dawson and Andriopoulos was a tremendous help in this regard.

Creativity is closely related to change and innovation. Creative people are not bound by the status quo. This is not an easy thing to do. There is the risk of being alienated if an action or word spoken will offend another person, especially if that person has power and influence.

In a corporate setting there is a tendency to follow policies set by those who are unwilling to adapt and to experiment. Creative people are wary of the limitations set by others and at the same time they too feel the pressure. It is a balancing act. It is not practical to always go against those who are in power, especially if that person is your boss. However, men and women and children of the 21st century would probably be still living in caves today if not for change agents.

Abstract Generalization

One of the most intriguing and interesting component of organization change has something to do with speed and scale of change. I believe that this is an important topic that I need to familiarise myself with. An example of is the concept called first-order incremental change which is another way of saying that change must be a slow and adaptive – the objective is to refine a business process rather than to radically alter something that has been proven effective (Dawson & Andriopoulos, p.15). As the wise saying goes there is no need to fix something that is not broken. On the other hand there is a continuous need to innovate.

While it is a helpful strategy to incorporate first-order incremental change in the creation of business strategies that will increase the overall efficiency of the organization, there will also come a time when it is no longer enough to fine-tune current business processes. When your competitors are doing something unexpected and utilize newer technology it is also time to adapt or perish.

It is time to think about the next level of change called second-order discontinuous change (Dawson & Andriopoulos, p.15). This time around change is not expected to occur piecemeal but it is so significant that it can even transform the way the company is doing business.

The second-order discontinuous change rarely happens because in my opinion human beings are creatures of habit. This is especially true when it comes to old organizations and successful businesses that have made a mark in the community or society. Their products are well-known and the corporate leaders have tasted what it was like to be on top.

For these people and for these organisations it is almost impossible to abandon what has been a proven money-maker. However, the leaders, especially those who will inherit the company will have to think long and hard and consider underlying issues such as sustainability and long-term profitability. More importantly an old organisation that could not adapt to a changing environment will soon fade away.

Application

There is a need to find out how open I am to change. I need to know if I am conscious of the fact that change is inevitable and I had to deal with it in a constructive way. It does not matter if I am not willing to adapt because others around me are willing to improve their game, enhance their skills, and transform their mindsets in order to compete at the highest level. This new understanding of change will help in not only assessing my career path but also in terms of challenging myself to reach higher goals.

One way to find out is to look for like-minded people. This person can be a mentor, a teacher or someone who is an expert in the field of management. This person can also be a colleague who is also interested in studying change in both the corporate or individual level. This person will help me look for areas in my life that I can improve. I will have to interact with this person to find out if I am willing to change for the better.

Another way to go about it is to study the lives of innovators, inventors, mavericks and people who had a vision of the future and persisted no matter the ridicule and the discouragement that they received from people all around them.

Their lives will be an inspiration to never stop growing, never stop learning, and never stop reaching for goals no matter how high and no matter how implausible they may seem at present. Innovators and inventors are not merely stubborn individuals – they tend to work hard.

Their goal is mastery of their craft. And more importantly their activities were geared toward one thing and it is to discover a solution for a particular problem that is making life difficult for many. The breakthrough or the solution will radically alter the way people live.

Creative Economy

Reflective Observation

There is nothing that is as inevitable as change. Nevertheless, many were caught off-guard by the sudden and radical change that occurred in the business world because of the introduction of the personal computer and the Internet.

The personal computer made it possible for an employee and an entrepreneur to accomplish a lot of things at less the time. Before that clerical work was done manually. Accountants for instance had to laboriously write down a great deal of information using nothing but paper and pen. It there was a need for a copy then they had to do it over again.

The combined effect of the computer and the Internet is just an example that change is good and the same time change must be managed, meaning leaders must react to it correctly. Those who did not adapt fall by the wayside. I wonder what happened to the company that manufactured typewriters.

The question lingers in my mind, I want to know how a group of individuals, a community and even a nation can be transformed from an ordinary consumer society into a creative economy.

How can it be done in such a purposive manner? What are the conditions that must exist before a creative economy can be developed? I am interested to know the answer to these questions because I believe that in the future the impact of creative economies will be felt all over the world. At this point, only the rich countries in the Western world are fully aware of the importance of creative economies but in the near future its importance will be greatly magnified.

Abstract Generalization

There are two ideas in this section that really grabbed my attention. The first one is the research findings highlighted by the authors that there are several highly-industrialised and affluent countries that pride themselves on being “creative economies” (Dawson & Andriopoulos, p. 76). It is one thing to train an individual to be creative it is quite another to develop a whole nation to think creatively and to use the by-product of that creative process to strengthen the economy of that said country.

This is an entirely new thing for me. I used to believe that the economy of a particular country is based on resources – both natural and human. I was not able to figure out that there is a vast reservoir of creativity within the human resources department that is yet untapped. Most companies train their people to do a particular task. It is actually a very routine task such as those working in the factory floor.

Even those doing sales and administrative functions are seldom encouraged to be creative. In the first few weeks of employment everyone has to undergo a training program and the end result of that training program is to produce employees that are programmed to think by the book. In other words they must not deviate from corporate policy and they should memorise their manuals.

Every possibility has been analyzed with regards to the company’s product or services that the employee simply had to refer to their manuals if there are problems and more often than not they can find the answer to their query in there.

But as the authors were quick to point out the advent of the Information and Digital Age has created a host of new products and services that are oftentimes interrelated. For example the mobile phone can now access the Internet and it can be used for m-commerce or mobile commerce – shopping using the phone whenever and wherever the customer feels like purchasing a product or service.

Application

I would like to become part of a discussion or a group that will promote the development of my community into a mini-version of a “creative economy.” I can start this initiative by talking to the local entrepreneurs and try to interest them in thinking about creative solutions for the community. In order for them to buy into this idea, I have to make them understand that they can make money by helping the community and they can start by solving some of the basic problems that our community is facing.

We can jumpstart this process by creating awareness that there are entrepreneurs willing to finance small business ventures that will hit two birds with one stone. This means that the business model that they will create will be a money-making venture but at the same time solving the community’s problems.

A good way to start is to create business models that will help in promoting a sustainable environment that is conducive for doing business. For instance a local entrepreneur can finance the establishment of a sidewalk vendo-machine type of equipment that will collect empty bottles, beer cans etc. A local business can also partner with the local high school and provide cash incentives to high school seniors who can develop a solution to environmental problems faced by the community.

This initiative is not merely a copycat of projects that has been proven to be effective in other cities. This initiative is based on the idea given by the authors when they said that: “Creativity is based on combining disparate sources of information and transforming the raw data into valuable insights” (Dawson & Andriopoulos, p. 78). A steady stream of disparate information will come from the initiatives mentioned and it is up to the community and the businesspeople in the community to use these data to solve problems.

Deliberate Creativity

Reflective Observation

Creativity must be and can only be deliberate. It does not happen to the lazy and to the unprepared. Creative minds are honed by years of practice and experimentation. I can just imagine the Wright brothers who dreamt of flying and the way they pursued their dream by doing countless experiments.

Numerous times they failed but they also succeeded and the world was never the same. Although no one can really predict if his work or struggle will amount to something significant, it can also be said that no inventor, innovator or revolutionary succeeded without first taking one deliberate step towards a particular goal.

I believe that change agents are not simply interested in studying change. They want to be innovators. They want to be part of the solution. They want to make a contribution and they want to have the opportunity to solve a nagging problem that is causing a great deal of discomfort and grief to many people. Creativity must be deliberate.

There is no need to emphasise the need for learning and preparation. There is no need to elaborate on planning and doing the necessary steps to acquire information and to learn new skills. It is also important to learn team work. Creativity is sometimes only possible through synergy the convergence of talents and experiences. A team can accomplish more. Creativity is deliberate process and this simply means that I must do whatever it takes to solve a problem and help others improve their way of life.

Abstract Generalization

There are two things in this chapter that inspires me and challenges me. It is an inspiration to know that every technological breakthrough and every novel solution to a problem was made possible by a creative individual. It is indeed an example worth emulating.

On the other hand it is a challenge for me – sometime it is even a reproach – knowing that I am simply a consumer of these bright ideas and I had never contributed anything. The authors were able to send their message that each person is a creative individual. The ability to create solutions and to find ways to improve human existence is not a capability reserved only for those with high-level I.Q. it can also be done by ordinary folks like me.

But the most important thing to remember is that creativity is a deliberate process. It means that the person must be always conscious of increasing his capacity to make sense of information that he or she has gathered. We always hear the suggestion that creative solutions were by-products of inspiration just like when a scientist took a stroll suddenly without warning able to see in his mind the solution to an ancient problem.

What I realized from reading this chapter is that these people were creative because they made sure that they will use their minds to generate insights. They are not merely consumers of information and passive participants they were active in the pursuit not only of knowledge but the creative way of using this knowledge.

The most important thing to remember is this: “A creative mind must be able to deal with complexity, discriminate options and to be open to new ideas and not constrained by habit” (Dawson & Andriopoulos, p. 110). This statement reveals two things, first, creativity does not happen out of the blue, the person aspiring to be creative must train himself to think and behave in such manner that he or she can develop creative solutions. Secondly, the number one obstacle to creativity is complacency, conformity, and habit.

Application

I need to study more with regards to the creative process, creative minds, and creative individuals. What intrigues me the most is the assertion that creative minds are able to see through the complexity, meaning they are not overwhelmed by the sudden influx of information coming from different media streams.

This is a helpful trait in the 21st century where people can easily access information from various sources. I need to determine what kind of mental exercise or preparation is needed to train the mind to think beyond the ordinary. I need to find out how to break free from habits that easily tempts the mind not to seek out innovative solutions. There is truth to the saying that if it is not broken, then do not fix it; but sometimes you just have to go beyond the obvious.

Another element that has to be added to the discussion regarding the deliberate nature of innovation and change is the word focus. It is important to understand that men and women who changed the world did not do so by doing different things at the same time. They were focused on doing what they believe is essential and the things that they needed to accomplish to bring them closer to their goals.

In order to maintain focus it help if I am aware of my strengths and weaknesses. It would greatly improve my chances of success if I know of the areas in my life that I can improve and strengthen in order to produce a skill or a quality that will allow me to solve problems or bring me to places and meet people that in turn can help me increase my knowledge and my propensity to develop creative solutions.

Works Cited

Dawson, Patrick & Constantine Andriopoulos. Managing Change, Creativity and Innovation. London: Sage Publications, 2009.

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IvyPanda. "Change, Creativity, and Innovation." February 15, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/change-creativity-and-innovation/.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "Change, Creativity, and Innovation." February 15, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/change-creativity-and-innovation/.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'Change, Creativity, and Innovation'. 15 February.

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