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Fostering Employee Creativity and Innovation

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I would like a description of how a company can foster these traits in it's employees. Also any references that would help me understand would be greatly appreciated.

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Let's take a closer look through discussion and example.

1. How can companies foster employee creativity and innovation? I would like a description of how a company can foster these traits in its employees.

With routine tasks being increasingly automated and the competitive environment becoming more dynamic, creative problem solving and innovation will play a greater role in determining future managers' success or failure. Creativity is the process of generating new and useful ideas. Innovation, on the other hand, is taking a new idea and putting it to use. Managers can increase their subordinates' creativity through the climate they create and the way they treat their subordinates. The implementation of creative ideas (i.e., innovating) must overcome people's resistance to change. Charismatic, transformational leaders are able to overcome that resistance (http://www.wright.edu/~scott.williams/LeaderLetter/innovation.htm).

From another source:

"By creativity, we mean the ability to produce something that's new and that will add value to the company," Zhou explains. " That can include fresh approaches to production, managing people or delivering services - anything with an tangible result (http://www.explore.rice.edu/explore/NewsBot.asp?MODE=VIEW&ID=5543&SnID=2).

Creativity is thus about the leader welcoming and encouraging new ideas from employees and then implementing these new ideas, while having the skills to overcome resistance. Leaders need to answer the following question: if you know you must change in order to foster creativity and innovation, how do you shift the way you've lead all these years? Rather than squashing dreams, we want you to learn how to forward ideas instead by doing the following:

1. Identify what you want. Most leaders we work with do a terrible job of identifying what they must have to take an idea to the next level. Give your employees the parameters in which they need to work. Make sure you're clear on what you want to see.
2. Get clear on the blocks you see for the idea. When your staff develops new ideas that don't meet your approval, don't just squash the idea. Instead, communicate what isn't right and give them the assignment to develop new ways to blast through these barriers. Your job is not to kill the idea, but to move it forward in a way that will allow it to become real. As a leader, you don't have to choose between yes or no. ...

Solution Summary

This solution explains how companies can foster employee creativity and innovation through discussion and identification of specific strategies. Links for further research are also provided, as well as a supplementary and highly informative article describing specific ways to lead creativity and innovation.