Governments lead the way in creativity and innovation in Middle East

Managing and promoting creative working requires organisations to gain a deeper understanding of the drivers and barriers to innovation, writes Dr Mark Batey of Manchester Business School.

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Governments lead the way in creativity and innovation in Middle East Batey: Innovation programs require skills development and training for key staff.
By  Dr Mark Batey Published  September 16, 2015

People are always the major challenge in every transformation and change management is therefore a significant component of any/every transformation. How do governments and companies engage and motivate people to go the extra mile?

If it is true that creativity is the most important skill for leaders in the modern world of work (and I would argue that it is, of course) then it also true that organisations must encourage creativity to drive innovation. Unfortunately, some leaders may kill rather than cultivate creativity.

As a creativity researcher, I am often asked about creativity and innovation. These are the top 10 most frequently asked questions that I face:

What is creativity?

Creativity is the capacity to develop ideas to solve problems and take advantage of opportunities. Creativity is not art, it is not design and is not the sole preserve of geniuses. Creativity is a capacity — it is something that we can all learn to use more effectively. It allows us to develop ideas to solve problems in different ways and capture opportunities.

What is innovation?

Innovation is the application of creativity that leads to a new and useful concept, product, service or process. When we innovate, we work with the creative ideas we have developed and put them into practice. Innovation is not just about making new gadgets and fancy widgets. We can be innovative in new product design, but in many other ways too. New concepts, like how to lead and motivate people at work, as well as new services and processes.

How are they related?

Innovation relies on creativity. You cannot innovate without first developing some ideas. Creativity is the source of innovation. Every improvement at work starts with an idea.

What jobs require creativity?

Every job requires creativity. In The Everyday Innovation survey in 2009, NESTA found that all jobs, in all industries need creative thinking.

Why do organisations need creativity?

In a range of studies since 2003, The Accenture Institute for High Performance found that the highest performing companies in the world encourage staff at every level to solve problems to make things new and better.

The Ernst & Young Connecting Innovation to Profit report (2010) concluded that “the ability to manage, organise, cultivate and nurture creative thinking is directly linked to growth and achievement”. The IBM Global CEO Survey 2010 concluded that creativity is the most important leadership trait for the future.

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