Creative and Learning Organizations

Author: Dr. Cheryl Cottle

Within the past five years or so ago, entrepreneurship has been seen by many leaders in the modern world as a crucial catalyst to building the nation's economy. Entrepreneurship is valued  and appreciated and is seen as a quality that every one should have or aspire to have. It is what provides the employee in-demand as opposed to the employee who can become obsolete.

Critical thinking, problem solving, analytical skills, decision making, computer skills and communication skills have become skills that are now required in the workplace and not just the market place. The valuing of these skills by organizations has had a great impact on the culture of an organizations. This transformation is now linked to business success, organization’s success, and innovation. More and more large companies and organizations are adopting entrepreneurship — this modern behavior; to encourage more creativity and critical-thinking employees.

This change of behavior by organizations is what is motivating, and it facilitates employee’s commitment and dictates employees' performances, and at the same time encourages team-work and corporation. It also fosters inter-group and inter-departmental relationships that extend into intercultural and inter-organizational networks — in the case of foreign based organizations. Organizations are designing their workplace to put their employees in a position where they can be creative and innovative — to generate new ideas and have the opportunity to implement them and see them come to fruition.

When conducting my doctoral research, one of my case studies, a large multinational financial institution began developing their employees; showing appreciation and valuing who they were and the assets they were as human resources to the organization’s development. This initiative created employees who looked forward to going to work every day. They also enjoyed working and sharing their ideas and knowledge. As employees, they felt valued and as a result felt nothing to give up their time and knowledge; and further, it was a two way win-win situation. They were compensated for their ideas and creations. They were acknowledged in the company's annual year book as well as many of them receive opportunities to engage in advanced studies without having to repay the loan and at the same time on returning to the workplace were given a better position within the organization.

Organizations are changing the way they do business and manage the decision-making process. In earlier times, upper management made all the decisions; it was a top-down approach. In most modern high technology organizations, creativity and innovation is engendered — employees are encouraged and rewarded for suggestions and recommendations. Voicing your views are encouraged and rewarded handsomely. One of the prime method used to garner employees thoughts and ideas is by using a "drop-box" Employees are also included in major decision making process; at least through an employee representative giving voice to the employees.

However with the advent of technology and the emergence of a CEO of Technology with its mandates to make decisions, we see a great shift in the leadership style, leadership and the structure of the organization. In earlier time, the structure and hierarchy was"peaked" or called a "pyramid" but in today's high-tech creative and learning organizations, decision-making is now taking place, in a bottom-up, top-down approach. Upper management, also no longer has all the control and power to make all of the decisions. They are communicated to, but the technology department in particular has autonomy to make decisions.

This transformation that we are seeing in organizations, is creating a “learning and creative” organization. “Creative” and “Learning” organizations are the new trend in business and corporate organizations where employees are pooled or pushed together to create and to be innovative. They are like the “brain cell” or the “pulse” of the organization. This change is indeed a “revolutionary transformation.” It is occurring with great significance to the implications to societal changes.

1 comment:

  1. Reading over this article since I wrote and published it, I find it to be a wonderful article that touches on the topic of organizational transformation. Yes, organizations that adopt a more human-centered approach to management, not only increase their intellectual capacity, but enhances its absorptive capabilities also.