This CQ Dossier will review the existing psychological research on how innovation and innovative thinking is defined, its relation to creativity, and how it impacts success in an organizational context.
Innovation potential is the ability of a person to think in a unique and boundary breaking way. More than just creativity, innovation potential speaks to an individual’s capacity to generate novel and useful ideas that can inspire others and produce growth.
In most professional settings, doing innovative, meaningful work requires effective collaboration with a team. This CQ Dossier provides an overview of evidence-based practices to form innovative groups.
In order for a work team to thrive and develop innovative, paradigm-challenging ideas, creativity must be properly fostered. Working towards that requires that you, as a manager, recognize that creative output is inherently risky and vulnerable – especially when the pressure is high and the need for a useful solution is paramount (Paulus, 2000).
Creativity and innovative problem-solving must be cultivated within an organization. While productive, useful idea-generation does require a degree of structure, and even deadlines, a truly innovative organization provides its employees with room to explore, pursue novel approaches, and even fail (Ciit, 2016).
A well-developed, well-run organization helps its employees to thrive. Under supportive, skilled management, individuals feel secure, trust that their organization values them, and feel liberated to raise concerns and propose new solutions to existing problems. A warm, relaxed, but stimulating professional climate tends to encourage innovative thinking as a result.
Is it time to reorient your organization’s outlook? Are you company’s goals too short-term and reactive, rather than far-reaching and proactive? Does it feel as though people are always scrambling to deal with emergencies and “put out fires”, when ideally your organization would be taking carefully planned steps?