Group 4: Creativity Question 16 (E-Book):How might creativity be both discouraged and encouraged? • Revolving around the theme of Google vs. Apple
Group Roles• Scott Mathieson – Project Manager• Ryan Cowan – Image/Design Manager• Ramsi Bensaad – Encouraging Creativity Manager• Adam McConkey – Discouraging Creativity Manager• Ben Johnston – Researcher/Presentation Co- ordinator
Presentation Overview• This presentation will analyse the methods and practices of encouraging and discouraging creativity, with a central theme looking at examples from Google and Apple.• Firstly, the concept of creativity will be introduced then the skills and environment needed for creativity to flourish will be examined.• The body of the presentation will discuss how creativity is encouraged and discouraged, with examples from Google & Apple.• Finally, we will make our own opinion on what works to encourage creativity and how these two companies have gone about doing it.
Creativity – Introducing the concept• Creativity is: – Part of spotting market opportunities – Essential in generating all innovation – Relies on tacit knowledge, individual creativity & learning – Key ingredient of entrepreneurial architecture• Therefore we can define creativity as: – The ability to develop new ideas, concepts & processes, often to create solutions to problems or opportunities that customers face.• Organisations such as Google and Apple implement different levels of creativity, which is difficult to measure, however from this presentation we will attempt to portray the differences between them and the successes/failures developing from these differences.
Creativity vs. Innovation• As noted in the previous slide, creativity involves generating innovation but the two concepts are often confused and invariably linked. – Innovation is about introducing new products, services or processes, opening up new markets, identifying new sources of supply of raw materials or creating new types of industrial organisations.• From the two definitions of innovation and creativity given, the main descriptive verbs were: Creativity Innovation Developing Introducing Creating solutions Identifying Generating innovation Creating new organisations• Creativity is the generation of novel & useful ideas, whereas innovation is about making money and success out of creativity.• Nicholas Valéry (1999) stated: ‘Innovation has more to do with the pragmatic search for opportunities than pursuing a vision or developing an idea.’
Discovery Skills & Sources of opportunity• To make people more innovative & creative, there are five ‘discovery skills’: 1. Associating 2. Questioning 3. Observing 4. Experimenting 5. Networking• To make organisations more innovative & creative, there are seven sources of opportunity:1. The unexpected2. The incongruity Order of3. Inadequacy in underlying processes difficulty,4. Changes in industry or market structure uncertainty &5. Demographic Changes unreliability6. Changes in perception, mood & meaning7. New knowledge
Generating new ideas• In order to come up with new & novel ideas (a crucial part of encouraging creativity), first, the discovery skills mentioned earlier must be developed by: 1. Exposure to diverse influences, ideas & people 2. Training & practice in techniques that encourage questioning & experimenting 3. Time to think and ponder• Therefore, the three concepts essential to generating new ideas are connectivity, training and time.• Connectivity – effectively a prerequisite to creativity in which new knowledge and information is generated. – A social process involving communication with different people of different views of the world. • Google Maps – acquisition of Australian mapping engineers & Google’s script writers.
Basis of Encouraging Creativity1. Leadership – External focus – Will & desire to innovate2. Structure – Team working – Key individuals3. Culture – Creative climate – High involvement innovation4. Strategy – A shared vision – Allowing time for & encouraging creativity
Promoting & Controlling Creativity• To promote innovation and creativity: – Value and reward it – Management must be trusting of the employees – No over-control of employees – Open internal & external chords of communication – More autonomy in the way employees work – Slack in the resources they control – Tolerating the unconventional• How to promote it between all types of workers: – Formulate a ‘whole-brain’ solution in which left and right-side thinking are both utilised • i.e. Google are deemed of using ‘whole-brain’ setups, whereas Apple focus on left-side thinking (rational, logical thinking)• To control innovation and creativity: – To stop creativity from making an organisation become anarchic: • Employ constraints to people and products – i.e. the Apple iPhone & iPad are constrained by the one button format while the Google homepage is limited to 28 words • Sometimes it is necessary to discourage creativity to control the creative process
Creative environments• Organisations and even individuals must attempt to create a workspace in which creativity can flourish – Implementing social spaces to encourage connectivity – coffee bars, canteen’s break rooms etc – Give employees set aside time to pursue their own ideas and projects • e.g. Google’s 20% time, in which one day of the work-week is set aside for self-work & creative ideas. – Managers must allow employees a small amount of slack in the resources they control and promote individual freedom • Apple: rank-and-file employees are given clear-cut directives as well as close supervision, whereas its proven talents get a freer hand to be creative.• National creativity: creative environment developed at a national level so that value can be added through the creation & application of knowledge – Global success can depend significantly on ability to attract, retain & develop creative people – e.g. Silicon Valley, US – Tolerance attracts talent who develop technologies and innovations.
Techniques to assist the creative process1. Brainstorming – Generates a volume of ideas, rather than specified, thought-out ideas – Practiced in a group with free-flow of ideas without judgement2. Why? Why? Exercise – Systematically questioning all aspects of an idea, situation or problem3. Analogy – Technique to connect seeming unrelated features of a product or service4. Attribute analysis – Analysing the features of a product which could deliver more benefits to customers5. Gap analysis – Market based approach which attempts to ‘map’ a product’s attributes based on the customers’ desires.6. Delphi Method – Relevant experts complete surveys on possible product issues, and the convergence of their answers is taken.
Discouraging Creativity• Discouraging creativity can be necessary to control excess creativity, but organisations can also unintentionally discourage it.• Organisations must therefore create a process of purposely avoiding any blocks to creativity, minimising creative abrasion and harnessing the negative sides of creativity. – Apple’s ‘Technology push approach’ - Far less external focus & has a sole reliance on its own employees’ brilliance avoids external distracting influences• Examples of discouraging creativity: – Surveillance - Hovering over employees, making them feel that theyre constantly being watched while they are working makes them feel like they are under constant observation and as a result the risk-taking, creative urge goes underground and hides , too shy to be released. – Evaluation - By constantly making employees worry about how they are doing, they ignore satisfaction with their accomplishments. – Rewards/Bonuses - The excessive use of this deprives the intrinsic pleasure of creative activity. – Over-control - Constantly telling employees how to do things often leaves workers feeling their originality is a mistake and that any exploration is a waste of time. – Pressure -Unreasonably high expectations often pressure people to perform and conform within strictly prescribed guidelines. This deters experimentation, exploration, and innovation which often ends up instilling aversion for a project or activity.
Negative sides of creativity• With creativity it is essential to generate higher quality ideas rather than greater volume.• It is estimated that for every 11 ideas that enter new product development process, only one new product will be successfully launched (Page, 1993).• The ultimate issue is the degree of creativity given to an individual ( Sinetar, 1985).• Too much freedom can lead to unfettered creativity : – This means an exciting place to work can easily turn out to be anarchic. – An anarchic environment leads to a decrease in profits/unprofitable leading to an eventual failure of the business if not anchored. – Apple controls creativity by implementing Regional Training Centres to encourage creativity, while keeping the office free of distractions.• Too little creativity leads to a stagnant workplace: – From this opportunities can be missed. • E.g GooglePlex – Google implement lots of wacky social spaces, as well as cafés, canteens and games areas to counteract a stagnant workplace.• Therefore you must balance entrepreneurial opportunity and commercial reality.• Must have a disciplined approach to exploiting opportunities creativity generates.
Blocks to Creativity• Being creative often takes people out of their ‘comfort zone’. In order to become a creative individual, blocks and barriers need to be attacked that could have been stopping the individuals creativity.• ‘Roger von Oech (1998) focuses on the individual blocks and argues that there are ten which are critical to creativity: 1. The fallacy that there is only one correct solution to a problem. 2. The fallacy that logic is important in creativity. 3. The tendency to be practical. 4. The tendency to follow established rules unquestioningly. 5. The tendency to avoid ambiguity in viewing a situation. 6. The tendency to assign blame for failure. 7. The unwillingness to recognize the creative power of play. 8. The tendency to think too narrowly and with too much focus. 9. The unwillingness to think unconventionally because of the fear of appearing foolish. 1 0. The lack of belief that you can be creative.’
Blocks to CreativityOrganisations can also discourage creativity through blocks and barriers. ‘Sloane (2003), Majaro(op. cit.) and Klein (1990) identified a number of organisational blocks to creativity’. A fewexamples are;• Too much bureaucracy. Where systems and procedures are designed to ensure a high degree of control, particularly for the purpose of efficiency or productivity, creativity is unlikely to flourish• Too much criticism and punishment of mistakes. Blame cultures inhibit creativity and discourage anybody from even attempting to do something differently. The only people who will never make mistakes are those who do not take the initiative or try out creative ideas. The important thing is to learn from mistakes and never repeat them.• Promoting too many like-minded people from within. To be creative an organisation needs to take on board ideas from outside and one way to do this is to recruit outsiders.These examples show that there are issues in certain organisations that discourage creativityeither through a fear of failing or becoming too comfortable in an environment to becomecreative.
‘Creative abrasion’• Creative abrasion – ‘Conflict that will need to be resolved. There will be periods of divergence and convergence as different ideas and approaches are analyzed, adopted and discarded. This whole process needs to be managed carefully so that the team stays together.’• Creativity can be discouraged if there are too many egos in a group. Individuals with quieter personalities may feel uncomfortable expressing themselves in an environment with large egos. Conflict of interest between a group/team can discourage creativity as personal feelings may become involved and egos may become more important than being creative.• ‘Hischberg (1998) talks about developing ‘creative abrasion’ that facilitates divergence of thinking, supplemented by a leadership style and organizational structures that then seek closure and convergence. This calls for the development of leadership styles ‘that focus on first identifying and then incorporating polarized viewpoints’• Therefore a lack of strong leadership and guidance in a team/group will discourage creativity.
References• Dyer, J. H., Gregersen, H. D. and Christensen, C. M. ( 2009) ‘ The Innovator’s DNA’, Harvard Business Review, December.• Valery, N. ( 1999) ‘ Innovation in Industry’, Economist, 5( 28).• Burns, Paul. (2012) Corporate Entrepreneurship: Innovation & Strategy in Large Organisations. 3rd Edition.• Muller, Christoph. (2010) ‘Apples approach towards innovation and creativity.’ GRIN Publishing GmbH.• Mayer, Marissa. (2006) ‘Nine Lessons Learned about Creativity at Google.’ ecorner.stanford.edu.
Marissa Mayer’s Ideas about Creativity• Ideas come from everywhere – Google Maps – acquisition of Australian mapping engineers & Google’s script writers• Share everything you can – VP of sales tells the company the revenue they have produced every day• License to pursue dreams – Google 20% time – 50% of innovations traced back to this time• Learning from mistakes – Google News – first set as ‘sort by location’, hundreds of complaints in 1st day, all said ‘sort by date’ – didn’t want just local news – Apple – Newton Messagepads were major failures but from its failings they created the iPhone & iPad.
Apple• Integrator approach – Apple products are only Apple’s, i.e. less licensing its products to network partners• Technology push approach - Far less external focus & sole reliance on its own employees brilliance• Communication & Collaboration – no actual Innovation Process• Shared vision• Creative environment – less of the ‘fun-side of work’ but implement Regional Training Centres to encourage creativity• e.g. Steve Jobs loved calligraphy – led to the use of multiple fonts on Apple devices• Reference: http://www.grin.com/en/e-book/167838/apple-s- approach-towards-innovation-and-creativity
The FiguresHowever, Microsoft spent 12-13% of Revenue on R&D last year and has produced the least innovationsand has the currently lowest level of growth.• Google: Nexus 7 tablet, Driverless cars, Google Glass, Home accessories with wifi (such as coffee pots or lightbulbs operated remotely), Googles fiber optic service, Google Drive (cloud storage product), Google wallet (payment system on cell phones), and others.• Apple: Smaller iPad, Apple television, Apple maps, Additional educational products, and others.• However, Apple revenues have quadrupled Google’s in the fourth quarter of 2011. ($46.3billion vs. $10.6billion) • Reference - http://seekingalpha.com/article/784171-growth-sustainability-google-vs-apple