Creativity as we should know it
Vishal quit his job as a developer, two years after he joined it as a graduate trainee. He,initially, had no plans for a post graduation.But, by the end of the first year on job, he decided to start preparing for entrance examinations and to move out at the earliest.He is now pursuing a course in management.
One of the major factors that drove Vishal out was the dissatisfaction at work.He was amongst the brightest students of his college-creative,energetic and logical.He was hired by the company when he was still in college.On contrary to his expectations,the environment at his workplace was not very conducive to let his creative energies flow free.Some might suggest, setting the expectations right initially, as a probable solution.But what is notable is that there are many with similar stories these days.
What is it that these hugely-invested-facilities lack in terms of the ability to retain its creative work force?
Many of the major management styles have their roots in the period of the Industrial Revolution (1750-1850),when machines started replacing man and the economy started moving from agrarian to industrial.These principles were devised and styles were formed considering the interactions on the works of a manufacturing plant or a factory.World has since seen a gradual shift in the nature of jobs - from manufacturing to services.Increase in demand for jobs in services led to the evolution of the human workforce from a 'Manual worker' to the 'Knowledge worker'.The chart below is the employment trend in the United States since the 40's'.The contribution of service industry to the employment market has far surpassed that of the manufacturing industry.
So the point put forth is that it has now become very important to understand the nature of the services industry and distinguish it from manufacturing.Re-thinking of some of the methods and styles to suit the current scenario is the need.
What works for a factory might not work for a studio.
The job in a service industry is more of a creative and logical nature than dexterous.The reason is that the service industry, by nature, is more subjective than objective.That makes real humans with ability to think,interact and create, the major and the most important resource.But then,real humans come with real emotions.
Hierarchy,rigidness and undue pressures were something that could have had worked well in the past, with the batch-production-like scenarios.Now it is more of 'creation' than 'production' that the workers do and hence the things work differently.
'Create' by definition is "to cause ,to come to being as something unique that would not naturally evolve or that is not made by ordinary processes".'Produce' is "to make or manufacture,more of in a mechanical way".
'Produce' is considered a synonym of 'Create', but these have a very fine difference when it comes to context in which they are used.You call the world 'a God's creation' and not 'a God's production'.We speak of the 'Production Capabilities' of a soap making company and not the 'Creation Capabilities'.
Whatever requires an individual to apply his or her thinking,to whatever level ,should only be considered a creative job and all creative jobs need humans to do it.When you are dealing with humans,you are also dealing with their emotions,which are triggered and controlled by various factors that are often not directly related to the work at hand.
Stress affects creativity like nothing does.Mark Jung Beeman,a North West University Psychologist found that one's brain state before addressing a problem majorly influences the creativity of one's solution.If someone is too stressed, his chances of coming up with the best solution drops considerably.Creativity has its source in the thinking mind and the thinking mind needs an environment of trust,freedom and appreciation.
A human resource, with faculty to create, is to be clearly defined the requirement and also shown the purpose of the work into which he is putting his efforts.Without a greater purpose or a worth to his work, a person loses interest in pursuing it.But the worst would be to tell him exactly how to do it ; to a level where he is bound by the instructor's set ways of doing the task and where there will be no scope for him to challenge his own mind.
One of man's greatest fears is the 'fear of failure' and the 'fear of rejection'.Creativity is throttled to death by the fear of criticism and failure.If innovation is expected ,failure is to be accepted.The employee is to be conveyed that failure is essential and intrinsic part of the creative process.He is to be told that you as a superior is a human with equal venerability to failure and hence understand his position.But at no point the failure should be ignored or someone struggling be left to fend for himself.Nothing worse that making a creative person feel ignored and his task unimportant.He should be respected for his thoughts,time and efforts that he is puts to achieve the desired results.
When rightly triggered human mind can even lose account of time.But unnecessary time pressure blocks the mind and finally the person loses interest in the assignment and would look for ways to wind up and get out of it.This leads to unfinished,half-baked and bare deliveries which with time,breakdown.
Every leader and manager speaks of innovation these days.But for real innovation the leader should understand the source of innovation.We are dealing with humans and not boxes.The source of flow of information and ideas is still not know known to man,but it is surly not the head.Going by the new age thought , it is a universal consciousnesses pool to which the human mind taps in and lets the information flow in.The flow of information is never in proportion to the number of heads.It might exponentially increase with the addition of one person, who never comes up with any idea but his mere presence in the group eases the environment and things start working.The flow can even considerably come down with the presence of an aggressive person.For human mind to successfully tap into the consciousness pool it will have to align its emotional vibration to what is suited for the thought and no amount of stress and negativism helps it do so.
Today's leader should be more of a psychologist,understanding the mental and emotional state of his subordinate,than a military commander passing orders.His ability to understand the human mind will take him much further in maintaining a sustainable and successful work environmental that will retain quality work force much longer than if otherwise.