Compare the results of your colleague’s assessment with your own. What factors were ranked differently and what factors seemed to impact the climate of creativity the most. Explain why.

Read a selection of your colleagues’ postings. Make sure to find posts where the organization presented was different in size (large vs. small) or where your colleague assessed the organization from a different organizational level (e.g., top level vs. middle level management). Compare your colleagues’ experiences and assessments with your own, giving careful thought to how these dimensions might have impacted the results.

Respond to two or more of your colleagues in one or more of the following ways:

· Compare the results of your colleague’s assessment with your own. What factors were ranked differently and what factors seemed to impact the climate of creativity the most. Explain why.

· Based upon specific details in a colleague’s assessment, explain any additional insights about the influence of the size of the organization and/or the level within the organization from which the assessment was made. For example, how might the assessment change or differ if one is on the frontline versus upper management.

· Analyze the importance of leading from all levels of the organization in fostering a creative climate.

Template Responses to Your Colleagues

Comparison of Colleagues Assessment with Your Own

Additional Insights

Analysis of Leading from All levels

APA References

1st Colleague to respond to:

Description of the Organization

The selected organization is a large, global company with locations in over 14 countries. I currently work for the organization as a Marketing Manager and will be completing this assessment based on my experience in this role and access to varying levels of the organization.

Description of factors that Contribute to Creative Climate

Due to the size of the organization, there are varying levels of leadership and management. I have access to several, both in the America’s and globally due to the nature of our marketing department. I would say that the overall creative climate of our organization involves trust, openness and freedom. Of course, each department varies in creative climate due to the tasks at hand, however as an organization, the creative climate is very positive.

Speaking specifically about the marketing department in which I work, I would say that individual and teams have a positive creative climate and push the boundaries where necessary. For teams, its important to “Match the right people with the right assignments, so employees are stretched but not stretched too thin” (Amabile, 2000). Our organization does a great job at doing so and also in giving “freedom within the company’s goals” (Amabile, 2000). Although there are goals to meet, we can achieve them however we feel is best. Fresh ideas are encouraged and often help achieve new goals.

Areas that contribute to negative creative climate are often time and money. As an organization I think we can continually do better in creating realistic timelines. “Organizations routinely kill creativity with fake deadlines or impossibly tight ones. The former creates distrust and the latter cause burnout” (Amabile, 2000).

Description of the Creativity Assessment

Overall, the assessment was spot on in matching the creative climate of the organization. Regarding the area of trust, I believe that certain departments lack a high level of trust due to varying management styles and the job at hand. The marketing department has a very high level of trust and freedom to present new ideas, methods and trial and error mentality.

This would be the same for the assessment of negative conflict. I believe that areas of our organization can grow in this area to be more supportive of disagreements and fluctuating input. On the other hand, the marketing department is very supportive of positive experience and tends to resolve conflict quickly.

Identify Dimensions of Creativity in the Organization

I ranked the dimension of freedom the highest and risk-taking the lowest for the organization. Freedom tends to be an area in which my organization highly emphasizes. I’ve worked for the company for 5 years and this has not always been the case, however after direction from a new CEO and reorganization, the company is very focused on freedom. Employees have the opportunity and are encouraged to offer up new ideas, manage their own workload and time spend working as they choose. The company empowers their employees to think outside the box and test any new ideas.

On the other hand, risk-taking is an area in which I ranked the lowest. Although I mentioned freedom of ideas is on the higher side, as an entire organization, we need to take more risks. I feel as though large decisions and ideas need to involve risks and we are not quite there yet. Areas of the organization thrive on risk-taking and implementing new ideas, however as a whole company, we must do better to stay competitively aligned in doing so.

APA References

Amabile, T. M. (1998). How to kill creativity. Harvard Business Review, 76(5), 15–24.

2nd Colleague to respond to:

Top of Form

Description of the Organization

The organization I chose for the organizational creativity assessment is my current federal law enforcement agency. It is a large agency with over 30,000 employees across the United States and worldwide. My assessment is from the Executive Management level; my team comprises seven supervisors and about 75 analysts.

Being a law enforcement agency, the organization must operate within certain legal boundaries. Nevertheless, there are pockets of creativity and innovation at the Headquarters level, but mainly in the field offices across the country. The creativity is most apparent in the investigations; as criminals have become more creative, the organization has had to adapt to meet the challenges. Moreover, to do more with less, the agency has become more creative and efficient with resource utilization–both people and money.

Description of factors that Contribute to Creative Climate

One process that highlights the creative environment in the organization is the threat prioritization process. After 9/11, the agency shifted to a process where all offices go through a systematic review of the threats in the local office’s area of responsibility, based on defined factors and impact to the local community. After the rankings are defined and the threat priorities are established, the local office then creates a two-year strategic plan to mitigate the threats. The strategic plan is driven from the bottom up by the line agents, analysts, linguists, computer scientists, and others assigned to the threats. The teams are encouraged to take advantage of the diversity of experience, thought, and specialties; Hoever, van Knippenberg, van Ginkel and Barkema (2012) highlighted that diverse teams perform more creatively than homogeneous teams when they take advantage of the diversity. The teams are encouraged to be as creative as possible in developing their plan to detect and combat the threats in the local community. The strategy can include informational and investigative actions, such as traditional investigative techniques, undercover operations, online activity, and proactive investigative activities to get ahead of evolving threats. The only limitation for the teams is staying within the Constitution. The teams can propose operations and get funding from our Headquarters to carry out the plans.

The teams present the plans to Executive Management, which reviews the plans and requests for resources. Executive Management challenges the teams, while also being mindful of the need to hold the teams accountable for results. Executive Management sets measurable goals for each team, the results of which are reviewed on a quarterly basis. The strategy meetings are held every two years; at the mid-way point, we revisit the strategy to see if it needs to be adjusted or rewritten.

The strength of the process lies in individuals and the teamwork between the various specialists. A well balanced, driven team can produce outstanding results. A team of unmotivated individuals who put in minimal effort, however, will have minimal results. If anyone on the team does not do their jobs or cannot work with the other team members, there is a ripple effect on the rest of the team. This is where first line supervisors, as well as the metrics become important. First line supervisors have to check in with the employees periodically and hold them accountable for their performance.

Description of the Creativity Assessment

The creativity assessment shows the organization is a good place where there is a process for sharing ideas that includes employees at all levels. According to Amabile (2000), creativity includes three components: expertise, creative-thinking skills, and motivation, which are all present in the organization. The process includes the exchange of ideas and there is an open environment to share and contribute to the strategic plans. The atmosphere is good; there is camaraderie and, for the most part, employees will go out of their way to help each other.

The downside is that because it is a law enforcement agency, there is some risk aversion at various levels throughout the organization. When the risk aversion is at the Executive Level, it can hamper creativity and stifle idea generation. Moreover, the climate can be too structured and measured at times, which does not allow ideas to percolate and mature. Additionally, we have many self imposed deadlines, which can feel as if we are rushing from one deadline to the next, which Amabile (2000) notes can kill creativity.

Identify Dimensions of Creativity in the Organization

The dimensions of creativity that ranked the highest were Challenge and Involvement, Trust and Openness, and Playfulness and Humor. A majority of employees are intrinsically motivated by service to the community and the public safety mission (Amabile, 2000). The agency is built on trust and transparency, as well as integrity, which is the foundation of the law enforcement part of the organization. Playfulness and humor become critical when dealing with stressful situations. When not involved in high stress operations, employees have their own team building events throughout the year and exercise humor as a bridge between people.

The dimension of creativity that ranked the lowest was Risk Taking. The public profile of the organization, as well as the legal implications means there are some employees who are more risk averse than others. This becomes critical when creating the right environment for creativity. The more risk averse the Executive Management and first level supervisors, the higher the chances the managers will be unwilling to embrace the employees’ creativity.

APA References

Amabile, T. M. (1998). How to kill creativity. Harvard Business Review, 76(5), 15–24.

Hoever, I., van Knippenberg, D., van Ginkel, W., & Barkema, H. (2012). Fostering team creativity: Perspective as key to unlocking diversity’s potential.The Journal of Applied Psychology, 97(5), 982-996.

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