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EE: CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION IN BUSINESS

CREATIVITY

Creativity is the ability to bringing something new into existence like a new idea, new technique of production, new style to meet the identified need of a society .or

Creativity is to the act of turning new and imaginative ideas into reality. It requires passion and commitment and to act out of creative abilities as expressed by somebody`s imagination.It involves developing innovative solutions of the needs or society and marketing them.

IMPORTANCE OF CREATIVITY

  1. Creativity helps the entrepreneur to set a platform for competition. This improves the business performance in the market.
  2. It helps one to perceive the world in the new order i.e. finding the hidden partners and making connections so as to generate fresh solutions and new products for change.
  3. It helps the business to create new products brand. This increases the profitability of the business.
  4. It helps managers to design policy that don’t hurt employees. This improves the relationship between the manager and the workers.
  5. It increases awareness. This helps to open the entrepreneurs` mind to new thinking.
  6. It helps the entrepreneur to solve problem e.g. how to promote products or services, how to make use of the available limited resource.
  7. It helps the entrepreneur to sharpen the business ideas. This makes it more attractive and increased the possibilities of developing it into a business opportunity.

Methods or Techniques for developing the creative ability among the employees

To be creative, an individual should;

  1. Think beyond the invisible frame work, that surrounds problem or solution.
  2. Recognizing assumptions when are being made and challenges them.
  3. Spotting narrow minded thinkers and widening the fields of vision to draw on the experiences of other individuals.
  4. Developing ideas from more than one source for a situation.
  5. Practicing fortune i.e. finding valuable and agreeable things when not practically seeking for them.
  6. Transfer knowledge from one field to another.
  7. Be prepared to use unpredictable events to one`s advantage.
  8. Explore thought processes and key element of the mind of work in analyzing and solving of a fact.
  9. Noting down ideas that apparently drop into the mind so that they are not forgotten
  10. Use imaginative thinking to find solution in nature in other organization or services.
  11. Trying something new which may be strong.
  12. Making connection with points that are apparently relevant or not easily accessible.
  13. Suspending judgment to encourage the creative process and avoiding primitive criticism.
  14. Knowing when to leave the problem, I .e not until solution have been discovered

Obstacles or barriers to creativity

  1. Negative thinking of an individual, Manifested in individuals not to see anything good in whatever is being done.
  2. Limited research on the issues that need possible solution, this creates a situation where an individual may take a wrong solution to a problem.
  3. Failure / Fear of an entrepreneur or a person, this leads to such an individual to fail to try out something or a number of solutions in order to get the possible solution.
  4. Limited finance for financing creative activities, this limit an individual or an entrepreneur to engage in activities such as conducting market research and providing multiple solutions to a problem.
  5. Lack of quality time, this makes it hard for one to develop creative ideas and solutions for business use.
  6. Applying to much logic to a problem, this slows down creativity as the minds get fixed to one solution.
  7. Making assumptions that hinder creativity, such assumptions include assuming that failure of the business is due to which crafts, inherited bad lack from the parents among others.
  8. Extreme delays in decision making;this is manifested in concentrating much on past action to address a problem at hand.
  9. Poor working conditions, this limits the freedom of workers to think beyond about the problem and providing possible solution.
  10. Being strict to following of rules and regulations, this makes a person not to think beyond the problems at hand.

Characteristics of non creative person

  1. Not able to think positively about a problem
  2. Too busy or stresses to think objectively
  3. Very self critical
  4. Timid in putting forward a new idea
  5. Prone to apply logic as a first and last resort
  6. Unable to think laterally
  7. Always goes with what others say

CREATIVE PROCESS

This refers to the purposeful, organized risk taking change introduced for the purpose of maximizing economic opportunities. It may take the form of lower prices new or better products or improvement in design. The stages include:

  1. Idea germination, Exactly how an idea is germinated is a mystery; it is not something that can be examined under the microscope. For most entrepreneurs, ideas begin with interest in a subject or curiosity about finding a solution to a particular problem
  2. Preparation,This involves all steps of gathering information analyzing it and exploiting possible solutions to the problems.
  3. Incubation,This is the situation which involve allowing the mind to continue thinking over and over the problem and the possible solutions to the problem.
  4. Illumination,This refers to a situation of building inspiration of taking actions by having some relaxation of task being handled.
  5. Verification,This is where the idea is tasted, alternative solutions are provided and possibility of their applicability before picking the most suitable solution.

Individual creativity:

For an individual to be creative needs the following aspects

  1. Knowledge: The T-shape mind with a breadth of understanding across multiple disciplines and one or two areas of in-depth expertise.
  2. Thinking: a strong ability to generate novel ideas by combining previously disparate elements. The thinking force must be combined with analytical and practical thinking.
  3. Personal motivation: the appropriate levels of intrinsic motivation and passion for one’s work combined with appropriate team force motivators and self-confidence.
  4. Environment: a non-threatening, non-controlling climate conducive to ideal combination and recombination such as ‘intersection makes an individual to become creative’.
  5. An explicit decision to be creative along with a meta-cognitive awareness of the creative process can go a long way in enhancing long-term creative results.

INNOVATION IN BUSINESS

Innovation is the way of transforming resources of an enterprise through the creativity of people into new resources and wealth.

The goal of innovation is positive change to make someone or something better. Innovation and the introduction of it that leads to productivity is a fundamental source of increasing wealth in an economy.

TYPES OF INNOVATIONS

  • Business model innovation. This involves changing the way the business is being done in terms of capturing value e.g telecommunication companies make changes in delivering their services so as to be able to compete with other firms.
  • Marketing innovation. This is the development of new marketing methods with improvement in product, design, packaging, product promotion or pricing e.g soft drinks firms to change to plastic packing of their products.

  • Organisational innovation. This involves creation of new business structures, practices and models and may include process, marketing and business model innovation.
  • Process innovation. This involves implementation of a new or significantly improved production or delivery method.
  • Product innovation. This involves a good or service that is new or improved substantially. E.g today firms that manufacture mobile phones are continuously coming up with phones that are not only serving oral communication but also phones with other functional characteristics like those with radios, television, those that can work as computers, those with cameras etc.

  • Financial innovation. This involves the development of new financial attributed i.e. risk sharing liquidity and credit in innovative ways as well as exploiting the weakness of the tax law.
  • Supply chain innovation. This is an improvement in a way of getting inputs (raw materials) from suppliers and delivery of output of products to the customers
  • Service innovation. This is an improvement in a way services are provided e.g use of ATM machines to withdraw and deposit money, yaka system of UMEME, mobile money services, internet banking

CHARACTERISTICS/FEATURES OF INNOVATION (INNOVATORS)

  • They have a compelling vision. Innovative people believe that they are part of something better to come and that their willingness to contribute to the vision will make it happen.
  • They are opportunity oriented. Innovators are constantly thinking about new ways of doing things and they are not afraid of doing something new.
  • They are self-disciplined. Innovators are able to prioritize their time so that they are doing the important work first. They have the ability to do the hard work to make them happen.
  • They are inner-directed. Innovators are inner directed and goal oriented and do not need any one else to motivate them because of the self-discipline and ability to focus.
  • They are extra ordinary persistent. Innovators are committed to achieving their goals. They keep going and do not let obstacles get in their way.
  • They are passionate about belief. Innovative people are truly passionate about what they believe, they give in everything they have.
  • They are trend spotters. Innovators are trend spotters they are able to identify something new and its social responsibility
  • They associate with positive people. Innovative people usually surround themselves with people with positive attitudes towards creating something new.

Steps in innovation.

  1. Initiation; it is a process which starts with creating ideas in relation to a defined problem.
  2. Agenda setting; this is looking into the environment for a suitable solution.
  3. Feasibility; matching the new or existing idea with the environment your are going to use.
  4. Production process; combining all factors of production to change the idea into the actual product or altering an existing product into something new.
  5. Adoption; analyzing how the product will disseminate the market. First use a few sample customers to see if they will find the product useful.

Decision innovation process

For an entrepreneur to be successful in the innovation, he or she must take this process.

  1. Knowledge. In this stage or process, the individual is first exposed to an innovation but lacks information about the innovation. It should be noted that during this stage of the process, the individual has not been inspired to find more information about the innovation.
  2. Persuasion. Through channels of communication in this stage, the individual is interested in the innovation and actively seeks information/detail about the innovation.
  3. Decision. In this stage, the individual takes the concept of the innovation and weighs the advantages/disadvantages of using the innovation and decides whether to adopt or reject the innovation. Due to the individualistic nature of this stage, Rogers notice that it is the most difficult in decision innovation process.
  4. Implementation. In this stage, the individual employs the innovation to a varying degree depending on the situation. During this stage, the individual determines the usefulness of the innovation and may search for further information about it.
  5. Confirmation. In this stage, the individual finalizes their decision to continue using the innovation and may use the innovation to its fullest potential.

WAYS TO FOSTER / PROMOTE INNOVATION IN A SMALL BUSINESS or WAYS OF ENCOURAGING INNOVATION IN SMALL BUSINESSES

  • Expecting change at all times: This helps the entrepreneur to always be ready to come up with new things that ensures that businesses cope up with change.
  • Developing innovative strategies: e.g. trying out new technology through research.
  • Implementing new rules: i.e. an entrepreneur needs to learn to go beyond the existing indicators of competition in the business environment by looking for new ways of doing things.
  • Thinking globally: this enables an entrepreneur to look for new market for its products abroad, look for new technology abroad among others.
  • Avoiding barriers that limit innovators: i.e. entrepreneurs need to put in place measures that ensure good internal co-operation among departments to promote good relations with each other and other outside parties so as to create a good environment for innovations.
  • Acting fast to take advantage of any new business opportunity: i.e. by coming up with new things that utilize the identified opportunity.
  • Being always a learner: through listening to other people.
  • Measuring performance indicator: the entrepreneur needs to concentrate on key strategic and profitable indicators by focusing energies on new things that drive the future success of the business.
  • Doing things well for others: for example for customers, suppliers etc. this help small business to stay ahead of competitors.
  • Always thinking like entrepreneur: this helps one to always have ideas and even go ahead to improve on them in case of failure to start

Advantages of innovation

  • It helps in locating new technologies and become a foundation of a new set of customers. This improves product design and quality
  • It assists a company in packaging and repositioning its products for global distribution
  • It helps in developing new distribution channels and added value to make the organization’s products /services stand out
  • It helps in reviewing the company’s objectives and comparing them with customers needs to find out what to offer to customers. This creates greater responsiveness to customer’s demands
  • Innovation alternative approaches create alliances with venture partners. This enables a company to position its opportunity to match the interest of investors which improves the focus and objectives of the organisations
  • It lowers organizational research and development and operating costs
  • It streamlines relationships with suppliers and customers
  • It leads to production of variety of products which expends the product range