The organizational creativity represents the foundation of the organizational and group innovative efforts. Researchers have traditionally focused on examining the impact of creativity on the organizational performance and its ability to effectively implement creative processes (Shipton et al., 2016). The team leader has a major role to play in preparing an innovative climate and promoting the innovative culture within the organization. Effective leaders are those who inspire their followers, create and maintain an effective communication system and get involved in the daily work activities to leave no space for failure (Fay et al., 2015).
The incremental innovation approach takes place in the organizations' platform. It aims to stretch the space around the innovation through the establishment of a strong platform that ensures the flexibility of producing innovative products. According to Tidd & Pavitt (2011), the basic idea behind the lean manufacturing originated in automobile firms like Toyota, then spreaded across many other organizations. In addition, Julian Birkinshaw and Gary Hamel argued that innovation management involves a number of core competencies.
The main objective of this report is to analyze the climate for creativity and innovation on the organizational level in order to enable organizations to maintain their success through creative leadership and open innovation. It considers the case of MBA Matchbox Architects, the company provides innovative designs to its clients through challenging the status quo. It aligns its products and process of construction with the clients' needs. Creativity and organizational learning represent the main drivers of its business process during the project lifetime. MBA suffers from several problems that threaten its success, represented in miscommunication with the clients, leadership's inability to exchange ideas with the employees, lack of qualified employees who can deliver high-quality products within the specified budget and time frame.
The following section discusses the climate for creativity and innovation, it provides arguments about creating an innovative platform and the organizational climate to promote the MBA organization for creativity and innovation. Secondly, it analyses the qualities and skills of the creative leadership and how it performs in volatile times. Finally, it analyzes the open innovation by shedding the light on the ambidexterity in the VUCA world in perspective of MBA organization, the corporate innovation and change for MBA organization under the conditions of uncertainty.
First: Climate for creativity and innovation
Creating innovative platform
Amabile (1986), as cited in Kwan, Leung & Liou (2018), argue that creativity is not connected to a universal judgment of novelty. Also, it depends on the stakeholder judgment according to their pre-specified requirements. It is highly associated with the organizational culture-bound. The Hofstede cultural dimensions should be used to evaluate the organizational ability to introduce creative products and services. Galambos (1997), as cited in Kwan, Leung & Liou (2018), argues that culture could have a significant impact on creativity and creativity shapes the culture as well.
Chermack (2005) and Walsh (2005), as cited in Chermack et al. (2015), assume that the scenario planning is a useful approach to managers to set future plans. The scenario planning assumes that the future is hard to be predicted. It requires exploration of the uncertainties and problems that exist in the industry. The creative plans help in developing an organizational climate that supports innovation and creativity. They encourage involvement and challenge, openness and trust, humor and playfulness, idea-support, conflict management and risk-taking (Turner, Swart and Maylor, 2013).
Organizational climate to promote the MBA organization for creativity and innovation
The MBA organization has a team of architectures who is able to create exciting buildings based on the clients' needs. Creativity is essential to MBA work, the architects are able to change peoples' lives through their creative and innovative designs. MBA orientation towards the not-for-profit community adds to its social responsibility through the investment of 30% of its profits in charitable projects. The innovative climate enables the architects to fulfill the individual needs to provide value to the design process. Cooperation between the architects is essential to be able to fulfill the project goals. The company strives to use the latest technology in designing buildings. MBA is capable of analyzing the construction process and managing the environmental sustainability through its innovative designs.
The climate in MBA is accountable to the learner and the leader, it allows the learners to ask questions, join the open discussion, read and learn and to think beyond his role. The employees should practice the process, be open minded and benefit from the feedback and teach their peers what they have learned. Also, MBA is accountable to the leaders, it enables them to share their knowledge and expertise, empower the staff members, explain any ambiguous issue, provide honest feedback, guide the subordinates and creates active and healthy communication.
Employee creativity requires skills that motivates them to be creative. Individuals and groups have a major role to foster intrinsic motivation that results in creative performance. Organizations usually incorporate many aspects of management practices that enable the employees to achieve the organizational goals by creating an organizational climate that encourages creativity and independent thinking (Hon, 2012). According to Edmonstone (2017), managing creativity and innovation involves that there is no unique way to be followed by organizations to be innovative, change management is a political process that should be directed through the top management, planning, flexibility and time consideration are essential, the critical reflection is essential, the staff should learn from the successes and failures of the past experiences. Organizational learning should be applied to the process of staff development, the two way communication is a vital process to help with conflict resolution and assure better performance, business incubation management could be adopted within innovative organizations according to the assumptions of the situated learning theory (SLT). The theory assumes that the creative staff does not need learning, but it needs a climate that empowers learning (Theodorakopoulos, Kakabadse and McGowan, 2014).
The Wood's mental model of an organizational climate assumes that the power of the game-based technologies should be recognized to enhance and assess learning. The adoption of this theory within the organization is likely to enhance the organizational readiness for learning and energizes the learner mental model by measuring the gameplay behavior. It is useful in measuring the learning process within the organization when the climate is well prepared for learning (Ifenthaler, Eseryel and Ge, 2012).
The MBA organizational creativity starts when the new task requirements are set by the client the architects produce the designs in the agreed format, then it is reviewed by the consultative body. The content should be free of errors and it should be consistent with the text, the details of the design and the schedules. The quality of the design should be checked before the final submission to the client. This process shows that the creative process starts from the individual architecture, then the added knowledge of the leadership and quality represent the group creativity, then the final delivery represent the organizational creativity.
Creativity, performance management, and leadership
Leader's major role is to influence their subordinates towards achieving the desired goals. That is why leaders are at the heart of the organization. The performance management system is beneficial, because it links between the creative performance and the leader's performance. It is considered a new approach of applying creativity within the organization. Leaders should manage the routine and non-routine work, although creativity is required from the employees in the two types of work (Waples and Friedrich, 2011). The MBA team delivers building designs that are enjoyed by the clients. Although, the team has a problem represented in delivering over budget designs and under quality. This problem results in money, time and effort consumption because the work must be re-done. Also, the clients face the problem of communication with the team. This is not because the team lacks communication skills, but it is due to the fear of telling the clients bad news. The result is that the clients keep complaining about unsatisfactory and costly service. In addition, it creates an untrusted relationship and bad word of mouth. Here comes the role of the leaders, they have to be involved in every step of the work process to fix the problems.
Mumford et al. (2002), as cited in Mumford & Gibson (2011), argue that leadership should facilitate, motivate and coach the performance of the employees. He suggests that the competency-based systems should be developed within the organization to enable the leaders to facilitate the creative efforts of the team. The high-tech organization needs the social innovation to precede the other forms of innovation. The structure should be changed to maintain more relational forms of managerial power to be able to manage the interpersonal issues (Dovey, Burdon and Simpson, 2017).
According to Antes & Schuelke (2011), technology may be useful in developing innovative and creative leadership. Different approaches could be developed and incorporated within the organization, include the simulations, e-mentoring, multisource feedback, social media, and succession planning software.
The contemporary organizations need leaders who can effectively and efficiently manage the daily activities and direct the future innovation of the organization. Leaders should be problem solvers of the non-routine activities. Problems could be novel, complex and lack accurate information. According to Williams & Foti (2011), the theories of behavioral styles describe the required types of leaders in innovative organizations to be charismatic or transformational.
Researchers as Camerer (2003) and Deutsch (1973), as cited in Proctor (2010), assure that trust could be achieved through the alignment of interests. MBA should avoid losing the trust of its stakeholders. The Goldman Sachs model represents the clearest example of gaining advantages by misleading its clients. This bank wanted to achieve rapid success that led to its failure. The MBA should be transparent with its clients to avoid the Goldman Sachs mistakes. It has to choose the slower growth to avoid client conflicts and stop acting as performing according to the clients' needs and the reality that the company has many leadership problems (Hurley, Gong and Waqar, 2014).
According to Kotter (1996), as cited in Rajan and Ganesan (2017), the change implementation could be used in MBA to enhance revenues, maximize efficiency and enhance its profitability. There are eight steps in the change implementation process that MBA could follow. MBA should start with establishing a sense of urgency, then creates a guiding coalition, develops an innovative vision and innovation strategy, communicates the innovative change vision, empowers the designers for broad-based action, generates short-term wins, consolidates gains and produces more change and finally, anchors new approaches in the culture.
Agility rules in volatile times
In the time where concepts like flexibility and agility take place, we should notice that innovation is rapidly expanding across the contemporary organizations. Innovation is associated with uncertainty. The term VUCA describes the dynamism of the business environment of the organizations. Volatility refers to the speed in the nature and volume of the dynamics of change. The uncertainty refers to the unpredictability of the events. Complexity is about the chaos surrounding the organizations and ambiguity is related to the overlapping of events and mixed meanings (Rodriguez and Rodriguez, 2015).
According to the VUCA analysis, the MBA leadership should struggle to lead the company in the best way. The changing environment around the company enforces it to respond swiftly to assure the organizational success. The solution could replacing the less successful leaders with more qualified leaders. Besides of depending on the best capabilities, provide them the necessary training to be able to cope with the changing business environment with flexibility (Rodriguez and Rodriguez, 2015).
The HRM at the MBA company is required to hire creative individuals to avoid mistakes and redoing the work, but Loewenberger (2013), argues that a large number of creative employees could result in new and complex managerial problems.
Open innovation importance is increasing as a new paradigm for organizing innovation. It combines the ideas from the internal and external environments into one platform, system and architectures. The integration of ideas creates value of the organizational performance (Bogers, Chesbrough and Moedas, 2017).
Ambidexterity in a VUCA world in perspective of MBA organization
The MBA company is doing business in a living VUCA world that creates many problems and advantages as well to the leaders. If the leaders at MBA could combine the external idea by benefiting from the volatility of the environment, they can achieve numerous advantages. Although, they should be careful when dealing with the ambiguous issues. Capitalizing on the opportunities requires a clear understanding of the environment (Bennett and Lemoine, 2014).
Corporate innovation and change for the MBA organization
The degree of open innovation in a company directly contributes to the innovativeness of the outputs of the organization. According to Dundas & Roper (2017), there is an inverted U-shaped relationship between the innovation measures and the output. Simplifying the measures is likely to yield more innovative output in the complex environment (Formica, 2018). MBA needs to have an innovation culture of co-creation and cooperation. It requires healthy cultural norms to enhance the transferability of knowledge between the leaders and the followers. If the communication channels are open between the leaders and their followers the mistakes will be reduced through the sharing and exchange of ideas between the two sides. In addition, depending on the R&D acts as an enabler for organizations to avoid mistakes under the VUCA conditions. R&D enables the organization to manage the inflows (inbound) and outflows (outbound) of knowledge (Naqshbandi, 2018)
MBA adoption of the open R&D is likely to advance its business processes, where the employees have the chance to be connected with the outside world. Changing the mindset of the leaders and the employees will change the work routine and avoid mistakes and overlapping of work activities (Salter, Criscuolo and Wal, 2014).
Changes and uncertainties the MBA currently facing
MBA is currently facing the challenge of technology transfer in an open innovation. Innovation is initially generated within the inter-organizational networks of relations, not in isolation. Networks represent a new perspective of complex and novel development. MBA faces the inflow of knowledge across its borders. Its R&D should be always ready for the inbound stream of innovation (Lauto, Bau and Compagno, 2013). MBA is also facing a growing cost of technology development that requires efficient resource utilization and shortened product lifecycle. This is likely to transform the linear innovation into interactive mechanisms. The MBA business model has to be changed to be able to manage the innovation activities and the new ways of profiting from technology and open innovation (Munoz and Lu, 2011).
MBA is required to adopt an innovation strategy to enable it to make innovative improvements and manage the external alliances and effectively collaborate with clients. The problem stems from the organizational innovative system. It reflects the interrelated processes and structures that express how the organization can implement innovative solutions for the novel problems. Having the chance to select between different alternatives enables MBA to make the best decision and adopt the most fitting strategy (Pisano, 2015). Moreover, the corporate incubation has become the means of promoting for the organizational innovation. The inside-out process has proofed its success in different innovative companies, for example, Xerox’s PARC research facility, 3Com and Adobe (Weiblen and Chesbrough, 2015). It is not enough for MBA to initiate 'The Why Conversation', but it has to make the necessary change to its team capabilities and improve their skills to be able to achieve its goal of shifting from a good company to a great one.
Culture could have a significant impact on creativity and creativity shapes the culture as well. The scenario planning assumes that the future is hard to be predicted. It requires exploration of the uncertainties and problems that exist in the industry. The creative plans help in developing an organizational climate that supports innovation and creativity. MBA is capable of analyzing the construction process and managing the environmental sustainability through its innovative designs.
Organizations usually incorporate many aspects of management practices that enable the employees to achieve the organizational goals by creating an organizational climate that encourages creativity and independent thinking. MBA is accountable to the learner and the leader, it allows the learners to ask questions, join the open discussion, read and learn and to think beyond his role.
The performance management system is beneficial, because it links between the creative performance and the leader's performance. It is considered a new approach of applying creativity within the organization. Leaders should manage the routine and non-routine work, although creativity is required from the employees in the two types of work. The MBA team delivers building designs that are enjoyed by the clients. Although, the team has a problem represented in delivering over budget designs and under quality. Here comes the role of the leaders, they have to be involved in every step of the work process to fix the problems.
Technology may be useful in developing innovative and creative leadership. Different approaches could be developed and incorporated within the organization, include the simulations, e-mentoring, multisource feedback, social media, and succession planning software. The VUCA describes the dynamism of the business environment of the organizations. Volatility refers to the speed in the nature and volume of the dynamics of change. The uncertainty refers to the unpredictability of the events. Complexity is about the chaos surrounding the organizations and ambiguity is related to the overlapping of events and mixed meanings. Accordingly, the MBA leadership should struggle to lead the company in the best way. The changing environment around the company enforces it to respond swiftly to assure the organizational success. The HRM at the MBA company is required to hire creative individuals to avoid mistakes and redoing the work.
Open innovation importance is increasing as a new paradigm for organizing innovation. It combines the ideas from the internal and external environments into one platform, system and architectures. MBA needs to have an innovation culture of co-creation and cooperation. It requires healthy cultural norms to enhance the transferability of knowledge between the leaders and the followers. If the communication channels are open between the leaders and their followers the mistakes will be reduced through the sharing and exchange of ideas between the two sides.
MBA is required to adopt an innovation strategy to enable it to make innovative improvements and manage the external alliances and effectively collaborate with clients. The problem stems from the organizational innovative system. It is not enough for MBA to initiate 'The Why Conversation', but it has to make the necessary change to its team capabilities and improve their skills to be able to achieve its goal of shifting from a good company to a great one.
MBA requires a development of innovative and creative capabilities through direct intervention that should take place across multiple organizational levels. The adoption of the innovative strategy should stem from the top management and be implemented by the middle management in association with the architects. A single or isolated level as described by the fragmented approaches will not be effective in the case of MBA (Loewenberger, Newton and Wick, 2013). The problem requires dynamic interaction between different levels in a supportive climate. This strategy should be immediately formulated to be effective within three months to improve the company image and increase the client level of trust.
MBA needs to attract and retain high quality leaders, it is very important to create an environment of creativity that enables the architects to excel. According to Emerald Insight (2013), the good leader in the innovative climate should maintain certain characteristics, including quickly intervenes in case that any problem occurs, can easily absorb information and transfer the new knowledge to his team members, acts as a cultural ambassador who connects the team members, facilitates the process of innovation, links between the internal and external ideas in an open innovation context, empowers his followers and supports them in the new projects, the HRM at MBA should implement an evaluation process to the company leaders. Upon the assessment results, the underperforming leaders should leave the company to be replaced with new capable leaders who can implement the new innovative strategy. The new leadership should cooperate in setting the new vision and directions for the architects. The bottom-up leadership accompanied by the directions of the top management should be completed in the short run, specifically less than three months.
The new leadership should be selected based on their capabilities of dealing with technology. The technological features enable the design of dynamic and realistic tools that facilitate learning and knowledge sharing. Also, it improves the processing of routine activities. It is recommended that the leadership in MBA uses the simulation and the e-mentoring tools to develop the leadership capacity in the organization. According to Antes & Schuelke (2011), they could be initiated in MBA as follows:
Simulations: It provides a facilitated opportunity to the individuals to easily conduct activities. The individual can practice the complex and challenging situations that could be tailored to specifically match the unique needs of the individual or the team. The architects at MBA will be able to experience events similar to the real world situation. Simulation in building design is likely to minimize errors, reduce the cost of time and money. The user can interact with different levels and functions and even other organizations by using a dynamic and complex environment. It is recommended because it increases the accuracy and quality of the product that is likely to satisfy the client's needs. The tailored simulation enhances the leadership capacity because it enables the leaders to interact with others in numerous dynamic contexts and environments. It is capable of developing the skills and knowledge of the innovative leadership.
E-Mentoring: It refers to the ability of experienced and knowledgeable leaders to support less knowledgeable individuals through guidance and mentoring. The innovative leaders at MBA are required to provide honest and timely feedback. It is beneficial in allowing the mentees to make sense of situations and solve problems, learn strategies and actions of their leaders. Technology facilitates the mentoring process (e-mentoring), it overcomes the barriers of the traditional mentoring process. It is used as a tool for developing innovative leadership.
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