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Creativity and Innovation Management in conservative, staid organisations

Conservative and staid organisations generally have a harder time implementing creativity and innovation into their day-to-day work processes and people. Leaders may want to capture the benefits of creativity and innovation, yet there may be relevant and almost contradictory issues that they have to deal with, including:

a) It may be that a conservative culture is desirable (may result in a greater fit with the client base, for example).

b) Culture change is time consuming and needs constant monitoring and measurement.

c) Large-scale changes may not be desired.

However, it is possible for leaders to have the best of both worlds. That is, it is possible to combine a conservative culture with a creative one and without large-scale change. Some methods include:

a) Creating teams outside the core organisation whose job it is to manage creativity and innovation, identify problems, generate ideas, select the best ones, and see them through the development and innovation cycle.

b) Allowing the culture of creative teams outside the core organisation to gradually diffuse its way into the core culture. 

c) Creating direct links to decision makers. Whenever employees have good ideas, having them addressed by powerful people encourages further good idea generation.

d) Removing layers from idea generators to decision makers. Good ideas often get filtered and diluted when they are passed between management layers. This slows feedback times and reduces the encouragement levels that push idea generation.

e) Visible progression of ideas through to tangible results. Motivation quickly declines if ideas do not progress. People will not see the value of today’s idea generating activity when yesterday’s was fruitless.

In conclusion, creativity and innovation management does not necessarily involve large-scale change. Incremental changes can lead to radical effects. Further creativity and conservatism are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

These topics are covered in depth in the MBA dissertation on Managing Creativity & Innovation, which can be purchased (along with a Creativity and Innovation DIY Audit, Good Idea Generator Software and Power Point Presentation) from You can also receive a regular, free newsletter by entering your email address at this site.

Kal BishopFind Article, MBA

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Kal Bishop is a management consultant based in London, UK. He has consulted in the visual media and software industries and for clients such as Toshiba and Transport for London. He has led Improv, creativity and innovation workshops, exhibited artwork in San Francisco, Los Angeles and London and written a number of screenplays. He is a passionate traveller. He can be reached on

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