Introduction to Creativity and Innovation


Introduction to Creativity and Innovation

MGT411 Innovative and Creative Business Thinking

MGT411 Week One

Introduction to Creativity and innovation


Management in almost every industry today is faced with the challenges of adapting to rapidly changing forces in both supply-side and market-side economics. Organizations that creatively answer these challenges will survive and thrive, while others can, at best, hope to get by.Some organizations face drastic measures such as shutdown or acquisition from failure to be innovative in the face of competition and other changes.

It is a time when innovation and discovery of new products, methods of manufacture, energy sources, and other improvements,are in greater demand than ever before.There is also, particularly in the U.S., an evident and growing resistance to creativity and innovation within corporate management. Finding ways to be creative and to effectively communicate new ideas in a manner that will get attention and lead to successful consideration and implementation is a major challenge today, perhaps more than ever. Understanding the basics about what creativity is and how to foster it within an organization is a foundation for being able to develop any strategy or plan.

Week in Relation to the Course

Thiscourse leads from understanding the basics, the tools for innovation in the workplace, to understanding how to implement and solve problems effectively. During Week One, there is a dual focus on innovation within different types of organizations and management roles, and the characteristics of managing innovation – the people, the concepts, the resources – within the organization. This is comparable to studying the basic taxonomy of plants and animals in biology before going into details about any particular order, family, or species.

One of the key steps is to understand the rules and practices in different organizations – how innovation and change are fostered, handled, measured, and implemented. It is important to examine styles of people, organizations, and barriers to innovation, taking into account how they vary from one type of organization to another. One can think of this week as a way to better understand the constraints and opportunities that usually arise when new ideas and new methods are introduced into different levels of management.

Discussion of a Key Point, Thread, or Objective

One topic that is, and will remain,timelyfor many organizations is the rising demand for energy and fuel sources, especially oil, its derivatives, and its alternatives. As the price of oil rises, so do most product prices, and the costs of almost all forms of supply and transportation of goods. Our present economy is based intensively upon petroleum products and upon global transportation of goods at all points within the manufacturing and sales processes, especially in areas of agriculture and food products, clothing, automobiles, and non-food consumable goods. Virtually every company is concerned with the effect of rising energy costs upon their ability to produce and deliver goods that are marketable in a world where consumers are faced with rising costs in other areas as well.

Consider how creative intelligence differs from general intelligence in the situation where management must come up with not one but several changes in order forthe company to continue to compete effectively against not only its product competitors, but against an economic factor that affects everyone—the costs and demands for energy. Consider the differences and the values of intuitive, innovative, imaginative, and inspirational approaches (Rowe, 2004, p. 3). How can each have bearing on this type of issue? How can they support each other? Lastly, where does basic or general intelligence come into the picture?

Practical Application

Consider where and how you fit into the different types and styles of creative intelligence. What are some of the environmental, social, and cultural influences for and against creativity in your life? How has your creativity been uplifted and sustained at school, at home, and on the job? How have you been inhibited? Consider the ways in which you have been part of a situation involving management or decision making in an organization where problems needed creative solutions. How did these problems get solved, if at all? In what ways were some innovative measures proposed, considered, used, or refused, and what were the consequences?

While you complete your reading for Week One, picture yourself in one of the case studies discussed in Chapters 1 and 2 in Making Innovation Work. What if you were a manager at Coca-Cola, Dell, Gillette, Xerox PARC, or Magna Int’l? What would you have considered or offered? What types of creative intelligence do the persons described in the case studies within the texts exhibit? In what manner did they successfully turn their Aha! ideas into practical implementation strategies?

Consider recent U.S. economics and a combination of recession with rising fuel costs. What are some of the consequences for the producers of beverages, personal computers, and shaving and cosmetic goods? How would you see yourself answering the need to respond, organizationally, in ways that sustain your organization and even improve your market position in the face of adversity? Are there such possibilities, and if so, what are the thought processes and type of creative intelligence, that you would needin order to derive those ideas?

How Tools, Readings, and Simulations Solidify Concepts

The assigned and recommended readings for this week offer an introduction to the big picture of the creative process in business. They contain detailed examples, pointing out how a variety of people and organizations have gone about the process of change and growth. The readings provide an analysis of types and characteristics, which are important for distinguishing the ways that human creativity can be engaged, sustained, and defended, once the raw ideas reach the point of being transformed into real plans. The combined chapters offer insights into the tools and resources used when brainstorming and strategizing solutions that, by virtue of being novel,mightbe resisted by conventional forces and attitudes.

Summary to Encourage Learning

As a manager at one level or another, you need to analyze conditions inside and outside the organization that affect your organization’s ability to deliver goods and to be profitable. You need to assess your decision-making and your change-making procedures from an outside the box perspective. You need to assess what types of changes can most positively influence production, marketing, supply cost, and final prices. Being able to recognize who, individually and collectively, and what, organizationally, can bring in the most valuable creativity can be a make or break outcome for your organization. As you will learn in future weeks, understanding the core concepts of creativity and innovation assists you with determining how to develop strategies and effective plans for change.


Davila, T., Epstein, M.J, and Shelton, R. (2006). Making innovation work. Upper Saddle River, NJ: WhartonSchool Publishing.

Rowe, A. J. (2004). Creative intelligence. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

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