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Creativity in the Workplace

Management 2275 Portfolio
by

Paige Paquette

on 7 March 2013

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Transcript of Creativity in the Workplace

Creativity in the
Workplace By: Paige Paquette Part 1 Communities best
nurture creativity. Capture and manage
all ideas. Creativity will improve your workplace. Part 2 Creativity being nurtured by communities is basically a way of creating a team within the company. This allows for the members to feel like their voice is worth something. Working as a team is definitely an asset to any company because it allows for new ideas to arise; due to the environment surrounding their employees. Opposed to that of which the supervisor isn’t as keen on listening to the ideas of their coworkers. From the point of view of the leader I can relate to it being difficult to fulfill their duties as a supervisor when allowing themselves to level with the laborers. It just depends which way you look at it though. Some would see it as demoting their position whereas others would see it as an opportunity to become a better, more relatable leader. Approach each idea, opinion or suggestion with an open mind. If we do not allow for these ideas to be implemented, how will we ever know if it would have made things better or worse? ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’ and/or ‘don’t knock it ‘till you try it’ are commonly used phrases that relate entirely to this principal. Alongside giving opinions a chance, we must make note of ideas when they happen or it will disappear and usually you will never retrieve it. As a writer, I have had this happen on too many occasions. Often times the most creativity arises in my mind in the early hours between morning and evening (2am-3am). I have pushed myself beyond many limits I thought I had in order to create something beautiful and I can assure you it is completely worth it. In a way you could relate this principal to that of spontaneity. This is my method in capturing these ideas. I also usually have a pen and paper near me, need be, or I will pull out my iPhone and write a note.
Directly related to my ramble I am going to quote the text that Robert Epstein promotes to do the following, "...find places and times where new ideas can be observed easily, use dreams and daydreams as sources of ideas and always keep a recording device by your bed at night." I can never fully describe the satisfaction I feel after creating a wonderful paragraph or poem, even finding that one photograph that allows your mind to continue with a smidge more ease. To me, this is the upmost value and ultimately could create a great work environment resulting in less stress. Allow yourself to breathe and relax, release some ideas scraping the surface of your mind and who knows what kind of empire will be built upon that. The principal that ‘creativity will improve your workplace’ is quite self explanatory in its name. If we implement the ideology to our staff that their opinions are valued, it allows the creative flower to bloom in our workplace. If we did not allow creativity people would start to feel unheard, or as though their voice does not have meaning. The value is to both the employer as well as employee for it creates less turnover in staff and allows the worker to enjoy their job.
From looking back on personal experience I tend to enjoy getting up and going to work when I was in an environment where my opinions and ideas were valued. I worked at Calgary Co-op for almost five years, and only made it that far because of my most recent manager, Sharon. She allowed every idea I had to be tested before she would say it wasn’t going to work, and most of them did in fact make the store function better. I ended up leaving that job because Sharon had moved positions and our replacement manager was very controlling and did not allow for much growth; to her it seemed as though we were just her little workers, ultimately this is very degrading. Creativity WILL Improve your Workplace. The principal that ‘creativity will improve your workplace’ is quite self explanatory in its name. If we implement the ideology to our staff that their opinions are valued, it allows the creative flower to bloom in our workplace. If we did not allow creativity people would start to feel unheard, or as though their voice does not have meaning. The value is to both the employer as well as employee for it creates less turnover in staff and allows the worker to enjoy their job.
From looking back on personal experience I tend to enjoy getting up and going to work when I was in an environment where my opinions and ideas were valued. I worked at Calgary Co-op for almost five years, and only made it that far because of my most recent manager, Sharon. She allowed every idea I had to be tested before she would say it wasn’t going to work, and most of them did in fact make the store function better. I ended up leaving that job because Sharon had moved positions and our replacement manager was very controlling and did not allow for much growth; to her it seemed as though we were just her little workers, ultimately this is very degrading. Now I understand there are different positions, and each has a different view. For example, a manager or supervisor is a position of higher power in which the job is to control more, so I can understand how some would get caught up in that. As a worker it is a pleasure to work with a manager who values compromise and has a balance between their power but aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty and helping with the jobs of their employees when needed. Sometimes it is hard to fully apply and understand what creativity truly is, it is more than a picture of sorts, it is a freedom of speech which most people do not understand. To make a workplace fun all we need to do is communicate a little better! Communities best nurture creativity. To describe who I am, I have yet to accomplish. Each day each individual will change and who we thought we were, will no longer exist. Many have been through a lot, in which they can say, have more or less shaped who they are, as can I so we will go in that direction. I live for inspiration, whether it be through words, paintings, lyrics, music, images or even a soul, I would be nothing without it. The past six months, approximately have been the largest growing point in which I feel I have found some satisfaction for the undying need to feel whole. I have learned a lot about myself, things I would have never expected and everything I believed in took a three hundred and sixty degree turn.
One of my favorite songs has a line in it that goes "we'd be much better if I knew nothing about you." I cannot express the meaning and change in my life that line triggered. It was then that I realized it does not matter who we were, even though the past does shape us, I will agree but I will not say it is relevant in knowing who I am to know my pain. Today I chose to live, wake up in the morning and go to class without fail being stuck in a parking lot on Crowchild Trail. If I were to describe something about me I could summarize it as my ability to look past what we see, into the magic the world shows us every single day. For example, driving to class and being stuck in traffic would be the not only the focal point of a persons day, but they would choose to not look any further. I would choose to see how beautiful it is that each snowflake is so individually different, landing on my windshield, melting and dripping down to the force of gravity. A little bit about me. We have two types of people in this world, logical and creative. Both capable to complete the same tasks, we all just go about it a little differently. I will leave you now with the question, is anyone truly wrong, or is it a basis of opinion? Now I understand there are different positions, and each has a different view. For example, a manager or supervisor is a position of higher power in which the job is to control more, so I can understand how some would get caught up in that. As a worker it is a pleasure to work with a manager who values compromise and has a balance between their power but aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty and helping with the jobs of their employees when needed. Sometimes it is hard to fully apply and understand what creativity truly is, it is more than a picture of sorts, it is a freedom of speech which most people do not understand. To make a workplace fun all we need to do is communicate a little better! As previously mentioned, I worked at coop for a number of years. What ultimately kept me there were by far the people I worked with. Over the years they truly become a sort of family, a ‘home away from home’. By establishing this community in the workplace it motivated us to continue to excel at our jobs because the environment was enjoyable. Calgary Co-op is by no stretch an amazing career choice but it makes the dauntless work substantially more tolerable having that friendship among the staff. Negatively, communities within the workplace have a tendency to create a ‘high school’ environment. Full of rumours, expectations and jealousy which I will never fully understand the need for that drama. As a result it tends to cause distancing between friendships created because the I feel the community is not being managed efficiently by the leaders. Like everything in life, this principal can be implemented in a wrong fashion, causing someone to not believe in releasing emotion and creativity, but rather forced to do so. Each individual is so unique that I believe the key point in being a successful leader is to encourage the capture of ideas rather than implying a feeling of forcefulness towards your laborers. Challenges are valuable
opportunities. Challenges will appear in our lives every single day. Most would choose to view it as a negative point in said day, as challenges are never easy and continually test our limits. The thing about a challenge is that it more than not, starts with a failure. About two years ago I started snowboarding and went with my boyfriend at the time. I spent most of that day flat on my bottom, which would never seem to cease from the sting of constant bashing against ice; but I didn’t give up. Later I found that he was surprised by my determination to continue through the whole day for he thought I would give up early on. This created a sense of accomplishment for my hard work, resulting in a value behind the challenge. We come across challenges because ultimately we want to overcome them which is the motivation behind it. What makes a challenge worth it? It varies for each individual, and some are too lazy to care and will go about the entirety of their existence like that. For most, a challenge provides a reward once you overcome it, whether it be physical or an emotional pat on the back, it adds value to the principal. The hardest part of a challenge is to not lose faith, because one day, you WILL achieve your goal as long as you keep pushing for it. I recently passed an exam I had to take in order to start a new job I got offered. I believe I failed that exam somewhere around eight times over the course of three months. At times it was difficult to keep a strong mind, but ultimately I did overcome the challenge. This also was an opportunity that I chose to recognize, which was my motivation behind it, money ha-ha. 7-Day Green
Tea Challenge Challenges require risk taking. “I'm not a dreamer, and I'm not saying this will initiate any kind of definitive answer or cure to cancer, but I believe in miracles. I have to.” – Terry Fox. I chose to start this analysis with a quote. It could not better explain what risk is truly about, which is that of belief. Risk is avoided because we choose to believe we cannot implement our ideas, that it is too difficult, or a silly idea. I am more than guilty of this. I have on many occasions, even to this day, chose to push an idea to the side rather than take action on it. Now I have also grown substantially over the past six months or so, and decided to implement an idea that I had been thinking about for years. It is still a working progress, but the point is that I chose to look at the fear in a different light. Instead of telling myself the idea wasn’t good enough, I actually looked into it in more depth and found that it was actually a very realistic idea with great potential; in fact I gained a business partner in the process! He chose to believe in the idea, take the risk with me, even though it is a low one. It is difficult to choose which fear in our lives is worth being afraid of, and as a result we will usually choose the most painful or gruesome fear as the dominant one, rather than that being more plausible. For example, the video the explains the story about the men in the 1800’s stuck at sea, faced three fears, they chose the one that was merely a myth, rather than the one that had more potential to come true. Moral of the story is learning which fear is being over dramatized by our imaginations, although it may be difficult we all must start to think and believe in our creativity as we did as children; when the world was a beautiful, harmless place. As I go on this journey learning and understanding a more in depth approach to exactly what and why these principals are important, I have learned they are all interconnected in some way. How I have explain this process is based on the function, and appearance of a cargo train. These trains are made up of many different shapes and sizes of rectangular boxes. What is unique, is each one ultimately compliments the whole and creates a train. They come in many sizes and vary in the following qualities; tall, narrow, long or short. Either way each piece if cargo in its own way fits to create the general image of the train itself. The principals are exactly like this. They could each stand alone and we would have a very short and simple cargo train. Combine two or three and suddenly you are more efficient and knowledgeable than you were a second ago. You can remove and interchange the principals you choose to use, as you would change the load of a steam train. All in all they can each relate in some way, to work together and create a more efficient workplace. Principals Complementing Each other. Now it would be impossible to explain each principal and how it relates to each of the twenty-eight. To simplify this, I have chose a few principals from part one that highly relate to one another and explained them on this journey we are about to take! Innovations make valuable differences. Essentially adding innovation to your workplace would be defined as doing something a little different than expected in order to create a valued change. Innovation is structured around change. Change can end up positive or negative for the company, but that is all part of adding a creative aspect to your job. Most would think of an innovation as conclusive to technology, but it really goes much further. Creating a new system, approach to the way your colleges and yourself report to a task could be seen as innovation. It is hand in hand with the creative aspect and all in all, it is allowing for a more broad image, and idea, to be born. The value behind this specific principal is the versatility. The ability for it to be implemented in any workplace; whether it be sales, or a simple warehouse job, there is ALWAYS room to develop new ideas and create a more efficient workplace. The sad thing about innovation, from my experience, is that even if you have an idea, most are afraid of the rejection, so it goes unheard. In my many years of experience, in jobs that cross the board, I have always been the one to be extremely innovative. I see innovation as a voiced idea. It could be, and usually is, anything from a new way of organizing something, to a new approach in handling customers or coworkers. For example, I worked at coop for five years (as I believe I previously mentioned), during which time I had many opportunities to create new procedures, which I did many of. Ultimately all of these procedures resulted in a positive, more efficient environment. The downside to the innovation in a workplace is usually putting the ideas to the test. They are often time consuming and everyone needs to learn the new set up, or procedure. I believe that, as a manager, that is the majority of your job. Most managers I have met worry mostly about paperwork and numbers, but that is not implementing creativity at all. That is stripping your employees of the ability to feel their voice matters and showing them that it is simply their numbers that do. Constraints enhance creativity. Procrastination. That basically sums up the idea of implementing constraints. The basis of this principal is to understand that by giving ourselves a deadline, we are actually limiting our ability to complete the task. This bad habit has grown astronomically worse due to the introduction of social media. Again it is simply an excuse for anyone to put something off longer. Worst part about this all, is we are conscious during this procrastination! We know we’re doing it, so why do we keep doing so? We need to learn how to limit ourselves in a productive fashion, which under this principal could be not setting limits in general. It has been taught to believe that by setting a deadline we will complete a task. But ask yourself, how many times have you actually completed the task prior to the set time? Probably not many. Although, this can be looked at in a different aspect. In class, we did an exercise (not sure what it’s called exactly) but we wrote a twenty-five word story, and then a six word one. It truly surprised me as to how the six word stories created a better summary of the plot, over even the twenty-five word ones. All in all if we limit ourselves we tend to become more creative. Don’t set a limit, when the task arises just do it. A personal example could be this assignment. I know some in the class did not start this right away, and now are crammed because they allowed for the procrastination. I however started right away and by doing this I have the ability to be more creative in my responses, which hopefully will lead to a better grade as a result. This is one exception as to what I normally do, which is procrastinate. Understanding constraints is a difficult task, but nothing that can’t be done. Assumptions block creativity. This picture is a great example. We assume that ‘god’ is a male, this image shows a godly type creature as a woman. It also shows how one would assume we must bow down to god, but when has he ever truly asked this of us? Assumptions are made based on two things. One being what we have come accustom to under the influence of media and society, the other, fear. A fear of being wrong causes assumptions, or judgements to be made in a negative context. On the opposing side we have assumptions we make that are very optimistic. For example, assuming you know the material for an exam would implement the law of attraction, probably ending in passing the exam. Now because this principal can teach us how to pull our minds outside the square we trap them in, it provides a great deal of value. Learning how much, on a daily, even hourly, basis we assume things can open the door to understanding the principal better. What do you do when you first receive a quiz or test from your professor? You would probably look for the word and line that were printed on the sheet, probably in the top right hand corner, and print your name. We assume this because it was what we are trained to do. But ask yourself, did the professor state that the location that asks for your name truly where they wanted it? Or how do you know they wanted it printed rather than signed, after all, it does just say ‘name’, which can be written in many forms. No, they didn’t.

We assume that red means stop, or bad, and green is good, why? Society has shaped us over the years. Think back to when you were a child and anything was possible. A couch cushion could become a barrier to the deadliest river. A blanket could allow you to fly. There have been studies in which children outsmart the average person. We tend to over think everything, second guess ourselves due to assuming what we have come to know and develop a comfort around. By implementing this principal, or firstly understanding it, can greatly further your true potential in life. Leverage, Strengths and Opportunities This principal is about identifying your strengths and overcoming your weaknesses. We all have strengths, but consequently we develop weaknesses. Again this relates to our fears, just more specified as to how to overcome these; which in turn will hopefully limit our assumptions made.
This semester has been full of discoveries about myself and I love it! In the process though, I have learned about fears I have, but didn’t realize existed. I never acknowledged my fear of public speaking. I always thought I was fine with it because I can chat to random people, in large groups no problem. It was actually in my marketing class that I discovered this hidden fear. My proposition for selling a brick won, and I was to then present it to the class, not just the group. It was extremely embarrassing because I started to stutter and got more nervous then I have been in years. I have now identified this weakness and I am going to use the strength I have, of being able to have casual conversation with just about anyone, to overcome this fear. It is not going to be easy, but I have decided to look at the crowd as a very attentive, large, group of my friends.
In class, we had to build a structure, able to support a marshmallow, out of basically spaghetti. This is taking an unstable, frail object, spaghetti (weakness) and supporting a dense, heavier marshmallow (strength). Our weakness creates determination. Our weakness can be overcome, as well as the building block of our strengths! For part 1, I have chosen four principals, grouped in twos, to represent similarities that create strong mind maps. As it would be impossible to explain them all, I have found the best relations between the principals. I will use the numbers as reference. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Principals & Being able to capture ideas will happen only when we look past our assumptions and allow our creative mind to step forward. Take risks, your fears should not be the focal point of your life; but for some reason we allow our creativity to slack, ideas to fade away and our fear of negative judgement to take over.
These principals both outline the benefit of keeping an open mind and allowing the creativity to flow. Principals The perfect example to explain the relationship between these two principals would be the marshmallow structure as mentioned in principal 9. We were given a restraint (materials and guidelines) and had to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the materials in order to build the structure. For example, the spaghetti is very frail and delicate, but it is the longest most stable material to create the height needed.
By being given these restraints it allowed us to address the strength and weakness of each individual material. The final lesson is to learn to expand your ideas, even when you are given certain, unchangeable circumstances, it is still possible to create something great!
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