Creativity For Managers by Alan Barker| Positive Skills

Quality without Creativity is meaningless: Creativity-For-Managers-by-Alan-Barker-and-Positive-SkillsAs a change grows ever more unpredictable, Creativity For Managers and Positive Skills are rapidly becoming recognized management skill. Being able, not only to solve problems, but to transform them and design ways through them, is what will mark you as a successful manager.

As per writer we all are naturally creative, Creativity for Managers will show you how to develop your own creativity and make it an essential part of your management toolkit.

  • Looking at problems in new ways
  • Using your intuition
  • Innovating solutions
  • Promoting new ideas
  • Making conversations more creative
  • Coaching for creativity

Creativity For Managers and Positive Skills is a new series of titles which concentrate on practical personal skills. they are full of information and tips which can be put action strategy away.

Alan Barker is an associate consultant to the industrial society. He specializes in creativity and communication skills, and previous books include Making meetings Work, Letters at work and the right report.

Introduction: For many people, creativity and management are polar opposites. Management is about beings. Its task is to make people capable of joint performance. [Peter Drucker]

Further, management is about ‘making it happen’. Hence continued emphasis on the practical, action-centred aspects of the job:

  • Integrating people in a common venture;
  • Gaining commitment to shared goals and values;
  • Helping people to learn;
  • Communicating;
  • Fostering responsibility;
  • Measuring performance;
  • Minimizing costs;

All of these are essentially mental activities. Without effective thinking we would be unable to perform a single one.

“you think when you want a result which is better than what would happen without it”. [Jerry Rhodes]

People tend to bring two broad styles of thinking to management, depending on whether they have promoted on the basis of expertise or experience. Expertise involves thinking about specific areas of knowledge: technical or academic thinking, trained or educated to a high level. Experience allows a manager to apply knowledge about particular areas of work: pragmatic thinking systems, procedures or technology.

Both styles of thinking are relatively narrow. As managers, we have to think much more broadly,  and often less rigorously. This shift from technical expertise or functional experience to less focused thinking can be profoundly disorientating. Specialists must become generalists. Management, we learn, is about solving problems with inadequate information.

Creative thinking has, in the past, been linked directly to problem-solving. Unfortunately, it has also gained a reputation among managers as a fringe activity; quite fun, but of little practical use outside the brainstorming session or training room.

Part One shows simple model of thinking and suggest how you can develop the whole range of your mental activity.

Part two resent a set of techniques that will help you to find  opportunities for creative thinking and make the most them.

Part Three explores the skills we need to take creative thinking out into the organization; in promoting new ideas, in our conversations with colleagues and clients, and as part of coaching and team building. Corporate culture is not a side issue when we are developing managerial creativity: it sets the bounds of possibility. We need to recognize where- and how- we can exert influence to make creativity welcome: not only as the means of stimulating innovation, but as a managerial style.

Preparing for Creativity:

Part one is concerned about preparing for creativity. We shall not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time. [T S Eliot]

Creativity is indeed magical: but it is a magic we can all use. We need to escape fro the idea that creativity is “something” you either have or lack.

Creativity consists in going out to find the thing that society hasn’t found yet. [Joseph Campbell]

Thinking about Thinking:

Thinking is more dangerous than an idea when it’s the only idea you have. [Emile Chartier]

Our well-being depends on good thinking. As life becomes more complicated,  and the demands of work develop in ever more unexpected ways, thinking is the only skill that we can be sure will never become obsolete.

  • Thinking is not intelligence
  • Thinking is not function of accumulation of information
  • Thinking is not a function of education
  • Thinking is not only operation of logic
  • Thinking is not an alternative to doing

Developing Your Intuition:

Be one of those on whom nothing is wasted. [Henry James]

Intuition is perception of possibilities inherent in a situation. Intuition uses the unconsciousness to tell us, not that something exists, but “where it comes and where it is going”. In any situation intuition will suggest:

  • How it may have come about;
  • How it may develop;
  • What implications it may have for other situations;
  • How we might respond to it;
  • What new ideas it might provoke in our minds.

Recognizing Intuitions:

  • When do intuition comes to you?
  • What is your general state of mind when they arrive?
  • At what time of the day do you seem to be most intuitive?
  • Are you more intuitive about same things than others?
  • Are there any activities that seem to be conducive to intuition?
  • Have you tried to be intuitive?
  • Are your intuition sudden or gradual?

Test Your Intuition:

Having made this last decision- whether to accept or reject your insight-submit it to ruthless internal cross examination. Remember: your intuition may have come to you in disguise!

  • Defend your insight logically.
  • Look at it from all sides.
  • Work though the implications and consequences of the intuition.
  • Find a way to test your intuition as safely as possible.
  • Talk about it to somebody else.

What Inhibits Intuition:

The most powerful factor inhibiting your use of intuition may be the corporate culture you operate in.

  • How does your organization respond to intuitive ideas?
  • How do your colleagues react to intuitive ideas?

Opening the Door:

We can not command intuition to work for us; it may initially appear by incident. There are certain points that need to be kept in mind.

  • Recognize inhibiting factors in yourself.
  • Recognize inhibitors.
  • Learn how to recognize stress.
  • seek quite times.
  • Balance mental stress with physical stress.
  • Practice flexibility in your thinking.
  • Express yourself to a wider range of experience.
  • Lighten up.
  • Focus on ends not means.

If we issue a open invitation and make intuition feel that visits are welcomed at any time, it can become a perfect guest, showing up on all the right occasions, dressed properly and bearing felicitous gifts. [Philip Goldberg]

Creativity and intuition:

Creativity is the ability to see relationship where none exist. [Thomas Disch]

This sort of learning is unlikely to take place in a conventional educational or training situation. It is non incremental: it does not happen in steps, by working through a book or a course of lessons.

Stages of Creativity:

There are four stages of creativity. Graham Wallas, in 1926, identified four stages in the creativity process.

  • Preparation
  • Incubation
  • Illumination
  • Verification

Part Two: Elements of Creativity

  1. Finding Problems: Problem can not be solved by thinking within the framework in which the problems were created. Creativity is less about solving problems than about finding them.
  2. What is Problem: Faces with such questions, most of the people would probably suggest these answers:
  • Something that must be solved.
  • Something that can not be solved.
  • Something we are set.
  • An obsticle
  • Things that cause pain or stress.
  • Something we’d rather not have.

Thinking further that might add:

  • Something that can be solved.
  • Something we set ourselves.
  • A challenge.
  • A catalyst.

Mental Gymnastics:

Keep your hat on. We may end up miles from here. [kurt Vonneegut]

We thing by organizing experience into patterns. The mind is self organizing. Throughout our lives, there is a continuous and subtle interplay between the patterns of our thinking and our experience.

Evaluation of New Ideas:

Every new idea is born drowning. [Andrew Bailey]

Further, innovators live in the real World. Creativity is not merely a matter of having new ideas; it also involves implementing them: turning the ideas into products, services or procedures that add value on an organization. You can also download “Marketing Management 15th Edition PDF “.

Part Three Creativity and Other People:

Promoting New Ideas:

Promoting new idea,  as any advertising executive will testify, is a creative process in itself. Many of the tough problems taht delegates bring to creativity thinking courses are of just this kind:

  • How to sell an idea
  • How to gain team commitment
  • How to convince the Board to allocate funds
  • How to win Regional offices
  • How to interest an awkward client in a new product.

It may be important not involve the client at the stage, to stop him or hire influencing a group’s thinking with critical or negative comments.

Solution Stage:

The goal at this stage is to develop a chosen solution into a feasible proposal.

  • the client paraphrases the chosen idea back to the group to demonstrate that they understand it. Be careful to describe it, not to make judgement about it.
  • Finally run the NAF check. Is the proposal attractive and feasible?
  • Decide the next steps. What are we going to do with this proposal?

You can download book from Internet.

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