Group creativity

For project management purposes, group creativity techniques are creativity techniques used by a team in the course of executing a project. Some relevant techniques are brainstorming, the nominal group technique, the Delphi technique, idea/mind mapping, the affinity diagram, and multicriteria decision analysis. These techniques are referenced in the Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge.

Group creativity techniques can be used in a sequence; for example:

Gather requirements using idea/mind mapping
Continue generating ideas by brainstorming
Construct an affinity diagram based on the generated ideas
Identify the most important ideas by applying the nominal group technique
Obtain several rounds of independent feedback using the Delphi technique

In organizations
It has been the topic of various research studies to establish that organizational effectiveness depends on the creativity of the workforce to a large extent. For any given organization, measures of effectiveness vary, depending upon its mission, environmental context, nature of work, the product or service it produces, and customer demands. Thus, the first step in evaluating organizational effectiveness is to understand the organization itself — how it functions, how it is structured, and what it emphasizes.

Amabile argued that to enhance creativity in business, three components were needed:

Expertise (technical, procedural and intellectual knowledge),
Creative thinking skills (how flexibly and imaginatively people approach problems),
and Motivation (especially intrinsic motivation).
There are two types of motivation:

extrinsic motivation – external factors, for example threats of being fired or money as a reward,
intrinsic motivation – comes from inside an individual, satisfaction, enjoyment of work, etc.
Six managerial practices to encourage motivation are:

Challenge – matching people with the right assignments;
Freedom – giving people autonomy choosing means to achieve goals;
Resources – such as time, money, space, etc. There must be balance fit among resources and people;
Work group features – diverse, supportive teams, where members share the excitement, willingness to help, and recognize each other’s talents;
Supervisory encouragement – recognitions, cheering, praising;
Organizational support – value emphasis, information sharing, collaboration.
Nonaka, who examined several successful Japanese companies, similarly saw creativity and knowledge creation as being important to the success of organizations. In particular, he emphasized the role that tacit knowledge has to play in the creative process.

In business, originality is not enough. The idea must also be appropriate—useful and actionable. Creative competitive intelligence is a new solution to solve this problem. According to Reijo Siltala it links creativity to innovation process and competitive intelligence to creative workers.

Creativity can be encouraged in people and professionals and in the workplace. It is essential for innovation, and is a factor affecting economic growth and businesses. In 2013, the sociologist Silvia Leal Martín, using the Innova 3DX method, suggested measuring the various parameters that encourage creativity and innovation: corporate culture, work environment, leadership and management, creativity, self-esteem and optimism, locus of control and learning orientation, motivation, and fear.

Similarly, social psychologists, organizational scientists, and management scientists who conduct extensive research on the factors that influence creativity and innovation in teams and organizations have developed integrative theoretical models that emphasize the roles of team composition, team processes, and organizational culture, as well as the mutually reinforcing relationships between them in promoting innovation.

The investigation by Loo (2017) on creative working in the knowledge economy brings together studies of creativity as delineated in this web page. It offers connections with the sections on the ‘”Four C” model’, ‘Theories of creative processes’, ‘Creativity as a subset of intelligence’, ‘Creativity and personality’, and ‘In organisations’ It is the last section that the investigation addresses.

Research studies of the knowledge economy may be classified into three levels: macro, meso and micro. Macro studies refer to investigations at a societal or transnational dimension. Meso studies focus on organisations. Micro investigations centre on the minutiae workings of workers. There is also an interdisciplinary dimension such as research from businesses (e.g. Burton-Jones, 1999; Drucker, 1999), economics (e.g. Cortada, 1998; Reich, 2001; Florida, 2003), education (e.g. Farrell and Fenwick, 2007; Brown, Lauder and Ashton, 2011), human resource management (e.g. Davenport, 2005), knowledge and organizational management (Alvesson, 2004; Defillippi, Arthur and Lindsay, 2006; Orr, Nutley, Russell, Bain, Hacking and Moran, 2016), sociology, psychology, and knowledge economy-related sectors – especially information technology (IT) software (e.g. O’Riain, 2004; Nerland, 2008) and advertising (e.g. Grabher, 2004; Lury, 2004) (Loo, 2017).

Loo (2017) studies how individual workers in the knowledge economy use their creativity and know-how in the advertising and IT software sectors. It examines this phenomenon across three developed countries of England, Japan and Singapore to observe global perspectives. Specifically, the study uses qualitative data from semi-structured interviews of the related professionals in the roles of creative directing and copywriting (in advertising), and systems software developing and software programme managing.

The study offers a conceptual framework (Loo, 2017, p. 49) of a two-dimensional matrix of individual and collaborative working styles, and single and multi-contexts. The investigation draws on literature sources from the four disciplines of economics (e.g. Reich, 2001; Quah, 2002), management (e.g. ,Drucker, 1994; Nonaka and Takeuchi, 1995; von Hippel, 2006), sociology (e.g. Zuboff, 1988; Bell, 1973; Lash and Urry, 1994; Castells, 2000; Knorr Cetina, 2005), and psychology (e.g. Gardner, 1984; Csikszentmihalyi, 1988; Sternberg, Kaufman and Pretz, 2004). The themes arising from the analysis of knowledge work and creativity literature serve to create a distinct theoretical framework of creative knowledge work. These workers apply their cognitive abilities, creative personalities and skill sets in the areas of science, technology, or culture industries to invent or discover new possibilities – e.g. a medium, product or service. These work activities may be done individually or collectively. Education, training and ‘encultured environments’ are necessary for the performance of these creative activities. Acts of creativity are viewed as asking new questions over and above those questions asked by an intelligent person, seeking novelty when reviewing a situation (Gardner, 1993), and creating something that is different and novel, i.e. a ‘variation’ on the idea of existing ideas in a domain (Csikszentmihalyi, 1988). This framework is evidenced by the empirical chapters on the micro-workings of creative workers in the two knowledge economy sectors from global perspectives.

This investigation identifies a definition of creative work, three types of work and the necessary conditions for it to occur. These workers use a combination of creative applications including anticipatory imagination, problem-solving, problem seeking, and generating ideas and aesthetic sensibilities. Taking aesthetic sensibilities as an example, for a creative director in the advertising industry, it is a visual imagery whether still or moving via a camera lens, and for a software programmer, it is the innovative technical expertise in which the software is written. There are specific creative applications for each of the sectors such as emotional connection in the advertising sector, and the power of expression and sensitivity in the IT software sector. In addition to the creative applications, creative workers require abilities and aptitudes to carry out their roles. Passion for one’s job is generic. For copywriters, this passion is identified with fun, enjoyment and happiness alongside attributes such as honesty (regarding the product), confidence, and patience in finding the appropriate copy. Knowledge is also required in the disciplines of the humanities (e.g. literature), the creative arts (e.g. painting and music) and technical-related know-how (e.g. mathematics, computer sciences and physical sciences). In the IT software, technical knowledge of computer languages (e.g. C+++) is especially significant for programmers whereas the degree of technical expertise may be less for a programme manager, as only knowledge of the relevant language is necessary to understand the issues for communicating with the team of developers and testers.

There are three types of work. One is intra-sectoral (e.g. ‘general sponge’ and ’in tune with the zeitgeist’ [advertising], and ‘power of expression’ and ‘sensitivity’ [IT software]). The second is inter-sectoral (e.g. ‘integration of advertising activities’ [advertising], and ‘autonomous decentralized systems’ [IT software]). The third relates to changes in culture/practices in the sectors (e.g. ‘three-dimensional trust’ and ‘green credentials’ [advertising], and ‘collaboration with HEIs and industry’ and ‘ADS system in the Tokyo train operator’ [IT software]).

The necessary conditions for creative work to exist are a supportive environment such as supportive information, communications and electronic technologies (ICET) infrastructure, training, work environment and education.

This investigation has implications for lifelong learning of these workers informally and formally. Teaching institutions need to offer multi-disciplinary knowledge of humanities, arts and sciences and it has impacts on the programme structure, delivery approaches and assessments. At a macro level, governments need to offer a rich diet of cultural activities, outdoor activities and sports fixtures that inform potential creative workers in the areas of video gaming and advertising. This study has implications for work organisations that support and encourage collaborative working alongside individual working, offer opportunities to engage in continuous professional development (formally and informally), and foster an environment, which promotes experiential functioning and supports experimentation.

Team Composition
Diversity between team members’ backgrounds and knowledge can increase team creativity by expanding the total collection of unique information that is available to the team and introducing different perspectives that can integrate in novel ways. However, under some conditions, diversity can also decrease team creativity by making it more difficult for team members to communicate about ideas and causing interpersonal conflicts between those with different perspectives. Thus, the potential advantages of diversity must be supported by appropriate team processes and organizational cultures in order to enhance creativity.

Team Processes
Team communication norms, such as respecting others’ expertise, paying attention to others’ ideas, expecting information sharing, tolerating disagreements, negotiating, remaining open to others’ ideas, learning from others, and building on each other’s ideas, increase team creativity by facilitating the social processes involved with brainstorming and problem solving. Through these processes, team members are able to access their collective pool of knowledge, reach shared understandings, identify new ways of understanding problems or tasks, and make new connections between ideas. Engaging in these social processes also promotes positive team affect, which facilitates collective creativity.

Organizational Culture
Supportive and motivational environments that create psychological safety by encouraging risk taking and tolerating mistakes increase team creativity as well. Organizations in which help-seeking, help giving, and collaboration are rewarded promote innovation by providing opportunities and contexts in which team processes that lead to collective creativity can occur. Additionally, leadership styles that downplay status hierarchies or power differences within an organization and empower people to speak up about their ideas or opinions also help to create cultures that are conducive to creativity.

Creativity and Leadership
In contemporary American psychologist Robert Sternberg , creativity and leadership are inextricably linked. On the one hand, creativity is a form of leadership and, secondly, one of the three components of leadership is creativity.

Creative leadership
Creativity is an important challenge in enterprises in leadership. Leadership creative is necessary for the innovation and the rapid adaptation of business to various changes that may occur in a competitive environment and changing. The leadership creative is helpful for leaders, teams, and organizations. Sylvie Labelle, aware of this, conducted a study on the subject. This study is based on the following questions:

What is creativity?
Have the companies need creativity to survive and thrive, especially in times of intense change?
They play Executives a significant role in determining the performance and success of the company, including the level of creativity?
How creativity is she develops in person?
What are the key factors of creativity in a leader organizational ?
A model empirically , from nineteen leaders of interviews, was developed. The empirical model was done in two parts:
a general model of the process of learning creativity: according to this model 18 , “in every human being exists, in a minimal way, a latent creativity or that there are resources that will allow the development of creativity. traits of character and personality, education received and physical sources, such as books, magazines and advertising. ”

a model of learning creativity in the organizational leader : this model is built around two axes. The main focus is a leader – creative leader. The other axis is an input of the latter. It can be seen that “specific activities for the development of creativity” are common to both axes.

Web 2.0
It has been stated that no creative work is an entirely individual effort that is free of influence as people are products of their environments including friends, families, peer groups, and their collaborations and competitions with them. Web 2.0 applications may help with creative activities (such as content creation) by its tools and ways of collaboration, competition, sharing, crowdsourcing, collective phenomena, motivation and feedback.

Economic views of creativity
Economic approaches to creativity have focussed on three aspects — the impact of creativity on economic growth, methods of modelling markets for creativity, and the maximisation of economic creativity (innovation).

In the early 20th century, Joseph Schumpeter introduced the economic theory of creative destruction, to describe the way in which old ways of doing things are endogenously destroyed and replaced by the new. Some economists (such as Paul Romer) view creativity as an important element in the recombination of elements to produce new technologies and products and, consequently, economic growth. Creativity leads to capital, and creative products are protected by intellectual property laws.

Mark A. Runco and Daniel Rubenson have tried to describe a “psychoeconomic” model of creativity. In such a model, creativity is the product of endowments and active investments in creativity; the costs and benefits of bringing creative activity to market determine the supply of creativity. Such an approach has been criticised for its view of creativity consumption as always having positive utility, and for the way it analyses the value of future innovations.

The creative class is seen by some to be an important driver of modern economies. In his 2002 book, The Rise of the Creative Class, economist Richard Florida popularized the notion that regions with “3 T’s of economic development: Technology, Talent and Tolerance” also have high concentrations of creative professionals and tend to have a higher level of economic development.

Fostering creativity
Daniel Pink, in his 2005 book A Whole New Mind, repeating arguments posed throughout the 20th century, argues that we are entering a new age where creativity is becoming increasingly important. In this conceptual age, we will need to foster and encourage right-directed thinking (representing creativity and emotion) over left-directed thinking (representing logical, analytical thought). However, this simplification of ‘right’ versus ‘left’ brain thinking is not supported by the research data.

Nickerson provides a summary of the various creativity techniques that have been proposed. These include approaches that have been developed by both academia and industry:

Establishing purpose and intention
Building basic skills
Encouraging acquisitions of domain-specific knowledge
Stimulating and rewarding curiosity and exploration
Building motivation, especially internal motivation
Encouraging confidence and a willingness to take risks
Focusing on mastery and self-competition
Promoting supportable beliefs about creativity
Providing opportunities for choice and discovery
Developing self-management (metacognitive skills)
Teaching techniques and strategies for facilitating creative performance

Providing balance
Some see the conventional system of schooling as “stifling” of creativity and attempt (particularly in the preschool/kindergarten and early school years) to provide a creativity-friendly, rich, imagination-fostering environment for young children. Researchers have seen this as important because technology is advancing our society at an unprecedented rate and creative problem solving will be needed to cope with these challenges as they arise. In addition to helping with problem solving, creativity also helps students identify problems where others have failed to do so. See the Waldorf School as an example of an education program that promotes creative thought.

Promoting intrinsic motivation and problem solving are two areas where educators can foster creativity in students. Students are more creative when they see a task as intrinsically motivating, valued for its own sake. To promote creative thinking, educators need to identify what motivates their students and structure teaching around it. Providing students with a choice of activities to complete allows them to become more intrinsically motivated and therefore creative in completing the tasks.

Teaching students to solve problems that do not have well defined answers is another way to foster their creativity. This is accomplished by allowing students to explore problems and redefine them, possibly drawing on knowledge that at first may seem unrelated to the problem in order to solve it. In adults, mentoring individuals is another way to foster their creativiy. However, the benefits of mentoring creativity apply only to creative contributions considered great in a given field, not to everyday creative expression.

Several different researchers have proposed methods of increasing the creativity of an individual. Such ideas range from the psychological-cognitive, such as Osborn-Parnes Creative Problem Solving Process, Synectics, science-based creative thinking, Purdue Creative Thinking Program, and Edward de Bono’s lateral thinking; to the highly structured, such as TRIZ (the Theory of Inventive Problem-Solving) and its variant Algorithm of Inventive Problem Solving (developed by the Russian scientist Genrich Altshuller), and Computer-Aided morphological analysis.

Creativity has also been identified as one of the key 21st century skills and as one of the Four Cs of 21st century learning by educational leaders and theorists in the United States.

Source from Wikipedia