Fostering the Implementation of Creative Ideas in Organizations
Edited by Miha Škerlavaj, Matej Černe, Anders Dysvik and Arne Carlsen
Upon returning from California to Finland in 2008, one of the authors was struck by the different attitude towards ideas at the two sets of industrial culture. In Silicon Valley, ideas were about the exploration of the new. The stranger the idea, the more opportunities it gave for thinking about what could be. In Finland, ideas were strictly about implementation. Indeed, upon voicing an idea, one was very soon charged with its execution. Not proceeding to such implementation meant personal failure. These two attitudes at two sites across the Atlantic illustrate very different assumptions toward what ideas are and how one can capitalize on creativity in organizations. In this chapter we challenge implicit assumptions with regard to ideas as discrete, stable entities to be implemented in processes subsequent to and clearly separated from their generation. We differentiate between an orthodox view where implementation is a matter of execution and a more enlightened view where implementation is best understood as a process of discovery. The orthodox view of creativity carries implicit assumptions of discreteness and reification of ideas. It implies a linear sequence to creative work and an atomistic view of the decisions of actors. We discuss why these assumptions are both theoretically flawed and impractical (or ineffective) and present tenets of a strong process-based view on creativity.
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