Aaron Shields, creativity writer and researcher, specifies the team, project, environment, and culture as the vital areas to assess in his article, "In Search of Creativity" in the Human Insight Reader Vol 1. This article is simple and insightful in the ripple effect of how individuals impact a team, which impact the overall culture, which impacts the creative environment of a workplace. Definitely a must-read for any managers or supervisors (or anyone!) that is looking for some inspiration in workplace creativity.
From this article, I was inspired to expand and create this assessment that can be used in order to stay self-critical as an individual and a company.
- Does the individual actively work to develop and engage in creativity?
- Can the individual use their creativity to encourage and foster creativity in others?
- Is the individual aware and mindful of their own creativity, strengths and weaknesses?
- Can they use this self-awareness to best motivate themselves and complete tasks creatively?
- Do they revisit and reevaluate their own behavior, work, and creativity in a consistent manner?
- Is the project appropriate in timeline, workload, resources for the team?
- Is the project active in developing and engaging in creativity?
- Does the work encourage collaboration, risk-taking, experimenting in a way beneficial to the organization?
- Do they align with the overall company goals and vision?
- Is there the ability for the project to be reevaluated and constructively criticized by both staff and management?
- Does management actively work to develop and engage in creativity?
- Is management open to constructive criticism? Do they encourage this?
- Is management aware and mindful of their staff's creativity?
- Can they use this knowledge to effectively assign tasks, teams, and delegate responsibility?
- Do they ensure they, their staff, and their work is aligned with overall company goals and vision?
- Is there the ability to revisit and reevaluate creativity, projects, and vision in a consistent manner?
- Is organization cognizant of the current zeitgeist, social, and cultural context of their work?
- Does the organization adapt, can it be flexible with extrinsic influences?
- Can the organization evaluate the productivity, creativity, and morale of their staff? Do they?
- Are the organizations products or services valuable to their target audience?
5. Organizational Culture
- Does the organization provide and ensure a safe environment for creativity and innovation?
- Does the organization allow a constructive space for timely and quality feedback for and from staff and management?
- Does the organization value and promote creativity, risk-taking, and divergent thinking?
- Does the organization reevaluate and assess their company culture and seek self-improvement?
The theme in the assessment is the ability to actively and consistently re-assess company practices and goals. It's okay for an organization to not be in its ideal creative state, if they are open-minded, resist premature closure for their current model, and seek to always self evaluate and self improve.
How do you and your workplace measure on this assessment? Do you think that management would find this helpful?