Sunday, December 9, 2012

Creative Thinkers In Business

In general, companies are hostile to creative thinking and creative thinkers in business, preferring instead tried and true methods that have evolved over time.   This is probably true because companies inherently fear risk.  However, creative thinking is the basis for innovation, which is essential to beating out the competition.   Do creative thinkers sometimes wreak havoc within a company?   The answer is Yes because status quo personalities, naturally resistant to change, are often offended by new ideas, particularly if the new idea is perceived as the replacement of "the way we have always done it".  

In many ways, it is the role of senior management to act as an arbitrator to determine when the old ideas, or practices really do need to replaced by new ideas.   To get buy in, tenured employees within the company must participate in development and implementation of new ideas.  And, there can never be too much communication and training to fully incorporate a new idea into daily operations.   Still, there will always be old timers, longing for the good old days when we did things "right", instead of the way we are doing them today.   That's OK as long as status quo employees don't become negative obstructionists.   If and when that happens, it may be time to move an employee into another job, or if really bad, out of the company.   

It is possible to teach an old dog new tricks, sometimes kicking and screaming; but it is not always easy or fun.   New processes, or technology are presumably the basis for higher productivity and efficiency.   As always, companies must look for better, faster, cheaper ways of getting work done.   This is a never ending process of change that often is predicated on creative thinking.   Creative Thinkers, no matter how disruptive to an organization, should be recognized and rewarded.  

This CEO Blogger is just pleased to see New Thinking, when ever and where ever it happens in the company because innovation can and should happen from the bottom up; not always the top down.   However, many employees, particularly those that are not risk takers, are on automatic pilot, preferring instead to be told what to do and when to do it.   As such, it is really fun to see Creative Thinkers in action.   All companies need more of them. 

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