Week 10 : Creativity and Industry

18 Oct

What is becoming evident to me during this unit is actually how many different factors are involved in the process of thinking creatively. Call me naïve but I always assumed that ‘creativity’ is something you either had or you didn’t and that creative ideas or thoughts just manifested quite randomly. When I was studying previously I became so frustrated when I had a creative assignment due and I would draw blanks or couldn’t think how to start or even finish a project. I couldn’t seem attain those ideas when I needed them most. I lost confidence in my abilities and the constant stress and frustration became overwhelming and I withdrew from the course.

Upon reflection I wish that I had the knowledge that I have learnt from the many readings and discussions of this unit; thinking creatively is a process and that there are many different factors that can aid or hinder this process.  Some people are blessed with a highly creative mind but that is not to say that others can’t adapt certain ways to nurture and develop their own creativity. Recognising the factors and methods that help you think creatively is the first step to achieving you goals.

This week we focused on creativity and Industry, what I derived from my research is the type of industry and environment that a person works in can either excel or hinder their creativity, in and out of the workplace. I also explored the relationship between creative freedom in a workplace and how that effects one’s overall job satisfaction, There are Industries that are deemed to be ‘creative’ such as, design, art fashion etc, but there are also industries and work places that considered in a ‘non creative’ field but require a high degree of creative thinking. Examples of this would include engineering, sales and cooking. Many professionals now acknowledge that by giving employees creative freedom to unearth new and fresh ideas and encouraging creativity in problem solving, they to will benefit in many ways.  Sloane puts forth that when creativity in encouraged, employees tend to have a higher job satisfaction as they are achieving, getting praise for their notions and therefore attain a better sense of ‘worth’(2013). Higher job satisfaction leads to higher productivity as employees working harder and have desire to achieve. With the increased productivity a companies outputs will increase and therefor so does their earnings. It is a win-win situation.

Factors that inspire a creative working environment

  • A safe environment where new ideas can be discussed without negative judgment
  • Encouraging employees to pitch new ideas and allow freedom of speech
  • Praise and recognition for good work
  • Allowing employees to personalise their work space (ie with pictures, posters plants)
  • Rewards and incentives for usable input
  • Reasonable working hours and conditions
  • Providing resources for research

Factors that discourage creativity in a working environment

  • Employers giving little or no incentive or recognition for good work
  • Having strict rules and guidelines
  • Employers not allowing or encouraging employees to discuss ideas or concepts with each other
  • Maintaining structure and routine
  • Following tired and tried methods (J. Hoyt, 1996)

My classmate Vynka and I conducted a survey to try and measure if ones creativity freedom really does effect how enjoyable they find their job. The results were conclusive and yet not at all surprising. We asked a series of questions to determine how much creative thinking was allowed in their field and also how satisfied they were within their Industry and work position. We then divided the surveys into 3 piles, High creative freedom, medium creative freedom and little creative freedom. Out of the 20 surveys we did this is what we discovered.

All of individuals that have high creative freedom got a high job satisfaction score.  Compared to the low creative freedom group where only one candidate indicated a high satisfaction with their work.

The only participants that showed a low job satisfaction all had little creative freedom in their position. 4/5 of these candidates marked that they considered themselves to be fairly or very creative thinkers.

Lastly we discovered that salary really had no measurable relevance to job satisfaction as the candidates that scored well all had different levels of income.

These survey results stimulated a deep discussion within the class and I hope that we achieved to inspire our fellow classmates to keep perusing their creative field.

References

Hoyt, j. (1996, 07 31). The influence of organizational factors on innovation and creativity in US and Japanese high technology firms. Retrieved from IEEE Xlore digital library.

Sloane, P. (2013). Does Encouraging Creativity in the Workplace Improve Innovation? Retrieved from Innovation Management online concepts: http://www.innovationmanagement.se/2012/11/09/does-encouraging-creativity-in-the-workplace-improve-innovation/

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One Response to “Week 10 : Creativity and Industry”

  1. nitroscity October 22, 2013 at 3:41 am #

    good work Jess. It is great to see how the unit has expanded your ideas on creativity.

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