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M Pesaran Ghader, Ph D Public Sector Management, Research Consultant to the M&PO, editor-in-chief of Administrative Reform periodical, Secretory to the Technical Committee of the International Conference on QM
M Pesaran Ghader, Ph D Public Sector Management, Research Consultant to the M&PO, editor-in-chief of Administrative Reform periodical, Secretory to the Technical Committee of the International Conference on QM

Creativity and Initiation:

necessities for organizational renovation

There is a fact about all creative and innovative undertakings that from the moment one seriously decides to begin a project supernatural powers come to assist him. Goethe
Ours is the age of speed in technological development, extensive communication and severe competition which interact simultaneously and are all directly related to effective management, initiation and creativity.

The new approach to initiation and creativity is not an aim but a process in which the role of human beings is not merely as the processor of information but the creator of new information, a process whose starting point begins with the question itself and, therefore, this is where all initiation of new information lie.

Creativity and Initiation Experience reveals that most models used to better understand the process of initiation seek for initiation outside the formal structure. Initiation in information is the process of creating new information and this is not possible but through social interaction. Therefore, it is necessary that all organizations attempt to form semi-formal structures alongside their formal structures to allow creativity and initiation to develop. This informal structure may have different forms such as research and development groups, or problem-solving teams, and may use such techniques as brain-storming, Delphi and Synectics. In any event no matter where the place of activity of the group is - within or outside the organization - what matters is that the internal interaction of the members should be free of any kind of official restriction.

Furthermore, surveys of outstanding cases of creativity in organizations reveal the great significance of the role of the team leader in the management of initiation and creativity. In an ideal case the team leader simply confines him/herself to creating commitment among the team members. To create thinking, knowledge and technology each person must have a certain responsibility. No one in the team must be independent in thinking and decision-making no matter how qualified or capable he/she is.

Such teams normally encounter the following impediments:

  1. Lack of self-confidence among members
  2. Fear of criticism and defeat
  3. A sense of belonging to the group and being influenced by the other members
  4. Lack of mental concentration
  5. Habits and traditions that become inseparable parts of the group, consciously or unconsciously
  6. Personal and team reactions to new thoughts, prejudices, indifference, negativism and selfishness.

Creativity and Initiation One of the most effective methods of raising the levels of effectiveness and efficiency of groups is the Delphi technic, in which the team members hold meetings with other specialists of the organization or outside it, with whom they discuss their problems and difficulties. In this way the group uses the abilities and talents of other people in addition to those of the group members and finds access to new perceptions for more rapid solutions to problems.

Yet another method is to ask people who specialize in predictions and forecasts to identify their projects, plans and thoughts on which the team members then base their proposals and modify them accordingly. This process may have to be repeated until disagreements are resolved.

Naturally, creativity and initiation are not achieved through induction and deduction but through other methods such as linear thinking and ordinary ways of resolving problems of inefficiency.

The major stages in resolving problems in creative ways are as follows:

  1. Identifying and defining the problem
  2. Finding the right direction
    1. Reviewing the records and the resources (e.g. human resources, budget, existing facilities etc)
    2. Determining the limitations caused by lack of access to the results, or not knowing when the results will be accessible
    3. Deliberation on the various existing methods and all aspects of the problem
    4. Completing the chosen solution
    5. Convincing others through discussion and reasoning
  3. Dimensions Determining the dimensions and physical quantities necessary for testing possible solutions
  4. Methodology Determining and developing the best possible solutions to meet new and especial needs
  5. Structure Choosing the structure, shape and framework with the desired characteristics
  6. Perfectionism Materialization of structure, shape and framework
  7. Convincing othersProving the efficiency of the results of the activities.

Finally a few points are suggested below that will bring about in the organization, an environment that is suitable for creating and transferring information and new ideas.

  1. Everyone in the organization must be ready to listen to new ideas, pay attention to suggestions, welcome recommendations based on changes in prevailing conditions, inform others in time, and provide ideas about current affairs and acceptance or refusal of the proposals.
  2. They must allocate time to creativity, eradicate waste of time, spend time on thinking and deliberation, and avoid troubling people who are thinking and deliberating.
  3. Suggestions must be made towards improving the system directly by a special committee, avoiding the hierarchical difficulties.
  4. Using special standardized forms that informs the providers of ideas what exactly is required to avoid ambiguities about how the idea should be put forward.
  5. Senior authorities must encourage initiation among the employees whom they must reward appropriately.
  6. Those who offer ideas that are rejected must not be penalized in any way and everyone must feel they are needed by the organization.
  7. Groups must be formed solely for the development of initiation and creativity, such as R&D teams, and an atmosphere of creativity must prevail in the organization, free of competition and envy.

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