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Creativity in the Workplace

Portfolio #1

Katie Risdon

on 2 February 2013

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Transcript of Creativity in the Workplace

Katie Risdon's Portfolio Creativity in the Workplace
MGMT 2275 - 002 Principle #1: Creativity Will Improve Your Workplace Principle #2: Communities Best Nurture Creativity The people you are surrounded by can either enhance or stifle creativity. it is important to take time to get to know your work team. Creating a trusting and supportive environment is crucial to a creative environment. Without the fundamental step of building a community, the creativity among members in a workplace is bound to be unsuccessful. Plus who wants to work with a bunch of strangers anyways?!?! Principle #3: Capture and Manage All Ideas Ideas come and go. Some are useful at that moment and some are not. At some point in our lives all of our ideas become useful either to ourselves directly or someone in our lives. Principle #8: Assumptions Block Creativity Welcome Katie Hello Friends!
I hope you enjoy this portfolio of adventures I created while exploring the guiding principles outlined in the e-book http://booki.cc/principles-of-creativity-in-the-workplace/ You may click the link above to access the e-book for the course Come on now, join me as I revisit my learning adventures!! First, let me introduce myself My name is Katie Risdon and I am a fourth year business student with a major in Human Resources. After I graduate I hope to continue working in Calgary as I build my career and pursue my professional designation: the Canadian Human Resources Professional designation. In my free time I enjoy being outdoors whether that be camping, golfing, swimming, snowboarding or tobogganing. The picture to the left is in a tree house I found during a camping trip !

My preferred method of contact is via my school email: krisd609@mtroyal.ca. Alternatively, I can be contacted at my cell phone number via text or call: 403-200-2397.

A few of my favorite movies include: Taken, Art of Flight and Anchor Man. I like to watch any reality shows TV including Jwow and Snooki's new show. My favorite YouTube video at the moment is a clip from a south park show aired in 2006 where Caesar Malan is featured trying to tame Cartman using his dog whispering tactics.

From this course, I hope to take away some creative techniques that I can apply in a work setting, especially regarding team dynamics and team building. As an HR Professional I have great influence on other people’s careers and want to ensure that I have a positive influence that allows the workplace to be more fun than ever before!

Experimenting with new concepts and technologies in this safe environment will provide benefits to me later in the workplace when I can put them into action!! I am looking forward to this creative journey and using parts of my brain that business can often suppress. Principle #6: Innovations Make Valuable Differences When creative ideas are implemented providing value to our lives we call it an innovation. Principle #5: Challenges Require Risk Taking Everyone has fears and perhaps they even become more detrimental to our ability to take risks as we age, but we must take risks to achieve future benefits. Principle #4: Challenges are Valuable Opportunities Principle #7: Constraints Enhance Creativity When people are put under constraints (lack of time, money, etc) they are forced to approach the situation in a more creative way than if they had unlimited resources. Since I began working at the age of 14 I have experienced many different work environments. Some of the workplaces totally dismissed creative approaches and innovative ideas that were employee initiated, while other workplaces let employees run with any and every idea. From my experience, those workplaces that have harnessed employee creativity have had more engaged and satisfied employees who are therefore able to drive the company to ultimate successes. Companies with a more flexible, or high involvement, management style would agree with this principle and insist on incorporating employee feedback and ideas into every business process and initiative to achieve the best results. Companies with a rigid, or classical, management style hold an opposing view and would disagree with this principle, insisting that there is only one right way and that way will never change Similarly, these management styles can even be seen in the classroom. Rod has taken a very participative approach to this class - this is noticeable through the team sculptures we created based on common interests. Being creative early in the semester improved our workplace by building strong relationships from the beginning, making our all future interactions more enjoyable and pleasurable! Environments that are rigid or have leaders that are stuck in there ways make it difficult to realize our creative potential that drives success. These leaders believe that one way is best and creativity does not improve the workplace. This may be valid as one way of doing things has been tested and tried - the old saying: if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Sometimes it can be uncomfortable to try a new way of doing things which prevents me from realizing the benefits of creativity in the workplace. Or some managers do not appreciate employees stepping out of the box to be creative because it can end in a complete failure. By thoroughly answering the question: "What are the tangible benefits or improvements realized by a more creative workplace?" I would better be able to understand the principle and push myself outside my comfort zone to be creative. As an HR professional, using hard data and facts would allow me to create more buy-in from management and realize that there are tangible benefits to a creative workplace. Sculpture:
Mountains with trees, skiers and snowboarders
Jan 8th, 2012 An opposing view is those who believe that a community of trust and support are not necessary to be creative.
This could be valid when....
the persons ideas are never shared or implemented
the creator is very individualistic and doesn't want to share the ideas. Building our Community: Team Stratosphere
January 8th, 2012 On the first day of classes we got to know our work group - this was a much different, and more enjoyable, experience than the initial meetings I have had with other groups where we jump right to the task at hand.

Team Stratosphere members trust and respect each other in this learning experience; forgiveness and praise are endless which foster a creative environment. This has created value because we can share off the wall ideas with each other without fear because we have created a relationship of trust and respect. Are these people really being successfully creative? In my opinion, no. Either they aren't implementing them or they are not seeking feedback to further improve or enhance the idea. Lack of interest in getting to know each other How do you know when you have built a sufficient community to foster creativity? Since every situation is unique, how can you be sure each member feels enough trust and respect to function at a higher level of creativity? It is logical that communities create a better working environment, and even further help to foster creativity. so what is preventing me and my work teams from applying this principle more consistently?

Lack of time Lack of knowledge as
to why it is important The Power of Ideas by Anthony Shurland Phillander http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/the-power-of-ideas/ The link below will take you to this amazing poem illustrating the importance of a tiny idea Right now I collect my ideas in a number of places:
=the most random ideas are in the notes section on my Android smart phone.
=Academic ideas are on my laptop or in my binders.
=Ideas for my personal life are on sticky notes in my room or on my Pinterst account.

I try to organize my ideas by category (school, personal, work, etc) and by when they will be relevant (now, sooner, later, etc.). I believe it is better if I record all ideas in one spot, preferably electronically, so that I can use the search function. I have been testing the voice recording function on my phone in the notes section to capture on-the-go ideas that come to me at the most inconvenient times. Once I begin to capture all my ideas in one spot (notes section on phone) I will be able to more consistently apply this principle, especially managing and recalling the ideas.

voice recorder + notes application + folders + smart phone = better to capture and manage ideas.

Recording all my ideas will add value because I don't always have to think of the idea on the spot as I have a starting point. The unique ideas I have already jotted down will also help me to broaden my creative horizons since anything can be recorded without ever being implemented (but there is a greater chance it will be implemented if it is written down). Opposing View Some people may argue that capturing and managing all ideas does not help us to be creative but rather prevents us from being creative.

This could be a valid point of view because having an idea or thought already in our head can limit how we move forward. Starting with a clean slate may allow us to move forward with out those limits. I would like to find the answer to this question to have a better understanding of this principle:
Does group blogging to collect ideas (like we do with google drive in class) prevent some people from putting in ideas because of the fear of being judged? I love a challenge because I have seen how they make me a better person after being successful and even after failing. Challenges I am currently up against... How do challenges create valuable opportunities? Does everyone agree?
-completion of my degree (by Dec 2013).
-training for the Calgary Marathon (10km or 21km) They allow us to grow, learn and feel ACHIEVEMENT!!!!!! My degree will allow me to live the life I want and allow me to have knowledge that I would not have had before. Training for and racing in the Calgary Marathon will help me to live the healthy and active life I desire. Maybe one day I will be able to complete a full marathon (42 KM!!!). This summer I came across a meaningful horoscope that I had to write down and keep!
It was published in the Metro News for Calgary on June 26th, 2012.

I now have the sticky note in my study area as a constant reminder and motivator to get my degree! Click next to zoom into blue sticky.. Some people may believe that challenges are not valuable opportunities because there is a chance of time wasted or the chance of a major failure. For example, when we played monopoly in class some people were not that engaged because they had forgotten the rules and/or got bored of the game half way through. They saw the challenge as something not worth investing their time in. But why not approach the challenge with the mindset that it is a valuable opportunity. Perhaps overcoming this challenge of re-learning the rules will be a valuable opportunity because now when your little cousin asks you to play monopoly with him you can do so with ease!

In my opinion a challenge is an opportunity if you approach it with that mindset. It is not a great system... So what is preventing me from applying this principle more consistently? Challenges can be scary and uncomfortable!!
Challenges take more energy and time (and humans like to default on lazy and take the easy route)
Being a perfectionist, the main reason for me is trying to constantly achieve perfectionism which I am trying to work on but it is still a major psychological constraint. My mentor helps me to apply this principle more consistently: he said I need to learn to be comfortable in the uncomfortable. Strive to work outside my personal boundaries because that is where the most learning will occur. So my question to better understand this principle is: how do you keep the confidence up to pursue more challenges after a failure? The challenge I found in playing monopoly was that the players didn't play monopoly for a while and forgot the rules - I was the lawyer and had to explain the rules quickly before we began and continue with reminders and enforcement throughout.

This was an opportunity for me to apply some of my knowledge around training and development that I have acquired from studying human resources. I enjoyed the challenge and the game!
And I came in first place!!! What are some good resources for perfectionists that want to overcome the fear of failure, especially in the context of risk taking to become more creative and innovative in the workplace? So what preventing me from taking on more challenges and therefore more risks? Jeopardy: January 17th, 2012 "You'll always miss 100% of the shots you don't take."
-- Wayne Gretzky Taken from: http://www.ideachampions.com/weblogs/archives/2010/06/security_is_mos.shtml I have realized that in snowboarding I will only progress to be better if I take risks (sometimes failing is painful). I love this famous quote! It's a great reminder that our biggest failure is not trying. When taking risks the biggest fear is failure. We fear the negative consequences of the failure and the hit our reputation will take. In jeopardy this is explained by the decrease in points and for saying the wrong answer in front of others. The benefits to a success outweigh the negatives. In jeopardy the success was an increase of points and the feeling of achievement. Value is created by taking a risk and being successful! Even in a failed attempt the team will support you and you will learn and grow. The almost immobilizing fear of failure brought on by perfectionism. I am terrified of ruining my reputation and self-esteem with a failure and therefore avoid risk taking. But I am also trying to recognize that being perfect and having a perfect life is boring. As I try new thought techniques to break away from the perfectionist mind set I hope to take more risks in all areas of my life. During jeopardy I did take a risk and guessed on a point-heavy question. I put my hand up without fully reading the question - I went on a hunch AND GOT IT RIGHT!!!!!!!! Great Feeling! Opposing view to the principle? I believe I may hold the opposing view to some extent.. Challenges do not always require risk taking in my opinion. I try to compete challenges by taking little to no risk. I play it safe to avoid failure. This also means that I spend more effort during the challenge to avoid failure - this is usually always a waste of time. What I learned most from this principle is that I will only ever be as good as the person in front of me if I do not implement my own creative ideas.

How will I be a true leader in the business world if I only follow in the foot steps of others??

Typically I like to do what I know is tested and tried - I am striving to try out new ideas in my life to prove that innovations do create value. I loved the Ted Talk by Terry Moore on How to Tie your Shoes. Access it here: http://www.ted.com/talks/terry_moore_how_to_tie_your_shoes.html I implemented the straight tie on my snowboard boots last weekend to have a more secure tie that would not slip. WOW!! What a difference I noticed by one small change to how the tie is constructed. This created value for me because I was able to ride harder with tighter boots and I didn't have to re-tie my laces half way through the day. Workplace Innovations If I was able to notice benefits from implementing such a small idea into my snowboarding routine, I can only imagine the effects an innovation may have in the workplace (saved time & money, increased job satisfaction, etc). First hand, I am convinced that innovations create value. Opposing
Views: Some people hold the point of view that innovations do not create value. They take away value because we must learn a new way of doing things and therefore lose time. Sometimes innovations are failures and therefore create no value, they sit on the shelf as failed ideas. Sure these are valid views, but they are very pessimist views. What's preventing me from realizing the value of more innovations??
-Being stuck in my ways and not wanting to change
-Assuming that the innovation doesn't actually add value without ever trying it
-Failure to promote and implement creative ideas
-Failure to see outside the box (business school not helping...) To better understand this principle it would be interesting to explore what in this world was NOT considered innovative at one time or another?

I think the answer would be difficult to find, proving that our world is a formation of innovations - proving how innovations truly do create MAJOR value to life. Innovative Learning Technology Innovative Window Innovative Map We saw how innovations are all around us creating value at MRU during our scavenger hunt on January 22nd, 2012. Here are some of the innovations Team Stratosphere came across on campus: After the scavenger hunt we presented our case for being the winners.
Stipulation: do this in less than five minutes. Opposing Views So what's preventing me from consistently applying this principle? The other unmentioned constraint was that we had about 10 seconds to prepare our presentation, again testing our creative abilities. It was great - we took the approach of just winging it and the end product was ok. This added value because of the time that was saved (in preparation and presenting) and the unique ideas utilized during the presentation (because we didn't prepare) Having these questions answered would further my understanding of this principle Is my assumption below valid?
When you have constraints one other factor must give. What type of constraints enhance creativity the most? Or do all constraints affect creativity equally? Sure, it's creative but it's very poor quality. In another class activity on January 24th we had to write the plot synopsis of Toy Story in 25 words and then 6 words. Some people would argue that having constraints actually inhibits creativity. These views could be valid because under constraints people often get stressed which decreases productivity and definitely out-of-the-box thinking. Stress can stifle not only creativity but also productivity. Additionally, some people (me included) would argue that having constraints would affect other factors negatively - such as quality. 6 Word Stories Here is our six word synopsis:
Buzz + Woody + Andy = community of love! We did have to get creative to complete the task. Here you can see we used mathematical signs to convey meaning as we had a constraint on the number of words used. Society has taught us that time=effort=success. I also have the assumption that quality takes time. so, for example, I do not put myself under time constraints when I have a project due. I will start it early to ensure I do not encounter this situation. This assumption may be inhibiting my creativity... Part 2 ..... 10 common assumptions that block our creativity as per Roger Von Oech's book titled "A Whack on the Side of the Head"

Click here to view these common assumptions:
http://www.commandthestage.com/stuff/01-24-09%20D18%20TLC%20Spring%20Training/WhackonHead.pdf Similarly, Bill Breen has also compiled a list of 6 common myths about creativity.

Click here to view his list of myths:
http://www.fastcompany.com/51559/6-myths-creativity What are other common assumptions and myths about creativity?? We all have assumptions that limit us. The best way to realize our creative potential is to overcome the assumptions by recognizing and challenging them. Our assumptions limit our thoughts and therefore limit our creativity - by challenging and overcoming our assumptions we can think more openly about everything.
Here are two of my assumptions about creativity:
I cannot promote a creativity idea from a junior level or the managers will think I am stepping on their toes.
I don’t have the time to exercise the creative muscles in my brain because most of my classes don’t reward creativity but rather they reward sameness. Opposing Views I really cannot think of an opposing view for this principle. But, maybe it is silly of me to assume that everyone knows approaching a situation with assumptions blocking our thought process will limit the outcomes. I am making the assumption everyone agrees with this principle. So what is preventing me from more consistently applying this principle if I believe it and so does everyone else:
We are usually not aware of our assumptions, they become a part of us
It required us to 'look inside' ourselves to identify them which is not always easy
Time is of the essence and challenging our assumptions takes time If I answered these questions I would better understand this principle, and, therefore, be better able to apply is:
How do you uncover assumptions you don't know are there? How do you best challenge assumptions that you have believed are true for so long? How do you motivate others to do that same and see the 'truth'? The Imagination Quiz in class on January 28th was tough! Our assumptions that the questions are really complex and we must work individually prevented many of us from being much more successful. http://prezi.com/k0imz_nth-cv/creativity-in-the-workplace-part-2/?utm_source=prezi-view&utm_medium=ending-bar&utm_content=Title-link&utm_campaign=ending-bar-tryout
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