Organisations fool themselves into believing that they want to be transformative, innovative and adaptive. They also fool themselves into believing that by changing the top-down message, the mandate from the executive, that innovation will flow like the ancient Saharan rivers of gold. Unfortunately, corporate culture is focused on operational excellence and efficiency. This is the very antithesis of the collective hearts, minds and habits of the organisation's people and their mutual perception of 'this is how we do things'. Top-down mandates can only ever command compliance, they can never influence confidence, belief, enthusiasm or creativity.
When Alexander Dumas wrote his swashbuckling classic The Three Musketeers, he coined the phrase synonymous with this band adroit nobleman 'All for One and One for All'. It is thought by some to be the truest and most symbolic example of teamwork. We (the team are all in this together). Fast forward several centuries and our work lives are still all about 'the team' in many respects, only this time it's about getting things done and getting them done within our allotted hours of work. But what exactly are we all in for? What are we striving to achieve in the modern workday. The modern work week. Are we all in for the work or just to work?
Lets be honest. Creativity can be a cranky, moody, tempestuous individual at times. Never satisfied. Always looking for the different angle, always searching for something new, quick to judge and often speaks before applying a social filter. Conversely, Emotional Intelligence (EQ) can be stable, happy, and diplomatic person who does their work, doesn't rock the boat and follows the company line. They are a jolly bunch even when things aren't going so well. EQs are admired by workmates because of their serenity and ability to remain cool under pressure. They are perfect employee... Or so we thought.
Any change that is forced, that is foisted is fraught with danger, both for the employer and more so for the employee. If an organisation cannot clearly outline the benefits for the change for the individual the organisation could find itself hoist upon its own petard in venturing down the change path purely for financial and economical gain.
For all the definitions of creativity and innovation that abound, from an organic perspective, creativity is the art of conception. Innovation is the art of successful gestation. Scott Berkun goes on to suggest that the best definition of innovation is significant positive change. When we create we are looking for the original, the new. When we innovate we want to put these new and original ideas into place.
There is no true story that doesn't make you laugh and cry. No matter how awful and tragic a story there is always an element of comedy. It releases tension - we need that release - even Shakespeare does this in the beginning of Macbeth before the murder of King Duncan where there is some serious comedy schtick going on (pardon the pun...).