To develop and improve creativity and pioneering innovation skills that labour markets demand at the organisational level, this crash course includes a creativity audit to measure current levels of creativity and five techniques that can be used to develop the creativity soft skills that businesses value at organisational level. The audit tool can be used periodically to measure progress and the techniques offer the flexibility to be used repeatedly by changing topics and increasing complexity and difficulty.
This chapter provides the following for presenting a crash course in creativity development at the organisational level:
II.1-2: The soft skills most important at the organisational level
II.3: Learning objectives for students and HEI staff developing creativity soft skills at the organisational level
II.4-6: Course structure, learning method and delivery
III. Lesson planIV.1: Learning content
IV.2A: How the specific soft skills can be developed/taught and measured/assessed
IV.2B: Strategies for teaching the soft skills required for business and work life at the organisational level
IV.3: Activities/exercises to increase creativity at the organisational level
IV.4: Additional resources
Technical information for the chapter
Creativity represents the ability to develop new or imaginative ideas and turn them into a reality. Businesses can use creativity in the workplace to create innovative solutions or more positive and collaborative work environments. Creativity promotes employees to think outside of the norm and experiment. Beyond experimentation, the creative process also involves asking questions or looking at problems from diverse perspectives. These qualities can help promote more productive brainstorming and teamwork behaviours. Encouraging creativity in the workplace can help boost business success. Creative thinking allows individuals to develop new or innovative ideas and challenge norms or old ways of thinking. These behaviours can help businesses create products, services and other offerings that differentiate themselves from their competitors.
There are many ways to increase creativity on the organisational level. Those may include:
- Encourage open-mindedness – Creativity often represents trying new things
- Promote diversity – A workforce made up of diverse perspectives, backgrounds and skills can develop a more creative business.
- Consider flexible work arrangements – When possible, you can implement flexible working arrangements to give employees more freedom.
- Host brainstorming sessions – These meetings promote collaboration and encourage participants to share and discuss their ideas through various games or techniques
- Allow employees to recharge – To keep your workforce energized, allow them to take time for themselves to recharge
- Reward employees’ creativity – You can encourage creativity within your organisation by rewarding individuals who utilise this skill
Creativity in the workplace is regarded as the main cause for business and organisational success and a company’s competitiveness. The atmosphere in the workplace, which primarily stems from the kind of leadership provided, also greatly influences employee’s level of innovative productivity.
This crash course will offer the opportunity to develop the following soft skills on an organisational level:
- Communication – Communication soft skills are the tools you use to clearly and effectively converse with others, set expectations, and collaborate on projects.
- Collaboration – Collaboration skills enable you to successfully work toward a common goal with others.
- Problem-solving – Problem-solving skills help you determine why an issue is happening and how to resolve that issue.
- Resilience – a resilient person is able to cope with a situation causing stress or grief while remaining positive.
- Adaptability – Adaptability is a soft skill that enables you to use logic and reason to control your emotional state
Soft skills are also known as people skills, emotional skills, communication skills, and interpersonal skills. Typically, certain soft skills are inherent to a particular person, but soft skills can be learned.
While “hard skills” usually describe technical skills like the knowledge of CSS, a “soft skill” is something less quantifiable. However, soft skills are incredibly important, especially in your alternative office spaces or flexible work environments that are becoming increasingly commonplace.
Soft skills development on the organisational level is equally important. Today’s business landscape is about communication, relationships and presenting your organisation in a positive way to the public and potential employees. Soft skills in the workplace allow organisations to effectively and efficiently use their technical skills and knowledge without being hampered by interpersonal issues, infighting and poor public and market perceptions.
For example, if a hiring manager is looking for a great Director of Marketing, there are plenty of hard skills that she will need to fulfil. These might include software knowledge, knowledge of paid advertising, a handle on market strategies, and brand strategy.
Over the years, organisations have come to value soft skills more and more, while still struggling to measure and train around gaps in their workforce. A 2019 study from LinkedIn shows that 92% of hiring professionals think that soft skills are as important, if not more important, than hard skills, although the majority aren’t confident in their ability to properly screen candidates on that basis. And when hiring decisions go badly, it’s rarely due to a lack of hard skills. In fact, 89% of those surveyed blame soft skills or a combination of hard and soft skills for the new employees’ inability to thrive.
Employees who lack these key skills don’t only affect their own job prospects, either. They have a range of impacts, which may include:
- Quality of work
- Efficiency of the team
- Teammate/subordinate happiness/retention
- Overall office morale
Running this course will allow your students to:
- Identify soft skills that are in demand
- Assess their level of creativity and innovation on an organizational level
- Understand the importance of soft-skills development on an organizational level
Benefits for academic staff:
- Easy to follow lesson plan
- Various teaching resources
- Material based on the latest developments and studies
Benefits for students:
- Understand the importance of balancing hard and soft skills
- Learn about the transferability of skills inside and inter-organisationally
- Learn through inspiring tasks
- Introduction to creativity and pioneering innovation at the organizational level: Why creativity and innovative pioneering are essential for career and working life
- Assess student baseline creativity skills with the innCREA audit tool
- Teach the five techniques in this course or select exercises based on student results (i.e. skills assessed as needing improvement to be matched with exercises intended to improve those skills)
- Implement individual exercises
- Assess student creativity skills with the innCREA audit tool after completion of the creativity exercises and compare to starting baseline results
The methods used are:
- E-learning course
- Case studies
- Individual or group exercises
All material is designed to be easily used both online, in-classroom or through blended learning.
|1||Introduction to topic and assessment with audit tool|
PPT – Slides
|15 min.||09:00 –9:15|
|2||Initial evaluation session||5 min.||09:10 –09:15|
|3.1||Introduction to technique # 1 – Focus Group||10 min.||09:15 –09:25|
|3.2||Exercise 1||10 min.||09:25 –09:35|
|3.3||Discussion||5 min.||09:35 –09:40|
|4.1||Introduction to technique # 2 – Six Thinking Hats||10 min.||09:40 –09:50|
|4.2||Exercise 2||15 min.||09:50–10:05|
|5.1||Introduction to technique # 3 – Bionica||10 min.||10:25–10:35|
|5.2||Exercise 3||15 min.||10:35–10:50|
|6.1||Introduction to technique # 4 – 5W2H Method||10 min.||10:55–11:05|
|6.2||Exercise 4||10 min.||11:05–11:15|
|7.1||Introduction to technique # 5 – TRIZ||10 min.||11:20–11:30|
|7.2||Exercise 5||10 min.||11:30–11:40|
|8||Wrap up & Session Evaluation|
Handout – Session Evaluation Form
|TOTAL:||180 min.||3 hrs 0 mins|
Learning content for the chapter
This chapter explores the techniques that can foster creativity and innovation on an organizational level. Those techniques are:
The main soft skills that are enhanced through this training are:
- Communication – Six thinking hats, BIONICA, Focus group, 5W2H
- Collaboration – BIONICA, Focus group, 5W2H
- Problem-solving –TRIZ, Six thinking hats, BIONICA, 5W2H
- Resilience – Six thinking hats, Focus group
- Adaptability – Six thinking hats, Focus group
An organization’s success and survival depend on its capability to create new knowledge and then
innovation. Knowledge is an organization’s most valuable resource because it embodies intangible assets, routines, and creative processes that are difficult to imitate
In organisations, creativity is the process through which new ideas that make innovation possible are developed. Through this crash course, students will be able to develop the skills that bring them closer to the demands of today’s workplace. Students will be able to understand not only what the business world expects, but also the process to acquire and develop the creativity and innovation skills necessary. The crash courses aim to motivate students to use those processes that lets them find their own effective solutions and strategies in the organisational context and open up to new ways of problem-solving. Finally, through the crash course students will learn how to ask the right questions while looking for new and better ways of doing things.
A. How to update teaching strategies
- Utilise the innCREA audit tool to assess levels of creativity both before and after executing the crash course.
- Use real-world scenarios to emphasise application of the theory taught
- Give students the opportunity to practice soft skills in conjunction with the lessons. This will help them associate their soft skill mastery with what they’re trying to achieve later on in their professional life
- Use case studies showing the role of soft skills
B. How to adjust the levels of the techniques, make them more impactful.
- Find concrete examples from company qualification requirements (ex. In job descriptions)
- Use case studies
1. Focus group
The focus group technique is one example of create used to explore the opinions, knowledge, perceptions, and concerns of individuals in regard to a particular topic.
The basic concept of the six thinking hats is that in order to process information and to reach the best conclusions in problem-solving sessions, people need to look at issues from a variety of perspectives
The 5W2H method is used to identify, describe and solve a problem by asking questions according to a specific pattern reflected in its name.
TRIZ, also known as the theory of inventive problem solving, is a technique that fosters invention for project teams who have become stuck while trying to solve a business challenge.
Bionica is a breathtaking and exciting technique that tries to solve difficult technical problems and challenges by taking advantage of the knowledge of nature and biology.
“Tools for Qualitative Researchers: Focus Groups Method”.
National Center for Postsecondary Improvement. Retrieved January 29, 2020.