How do we promote creativity? What are the Key Factors?

#1
Icy Mountain in the thread Research and Development in the ISO9001:2000 forum

howste,

I think you've hit it! I have heard this one, "If you put all this ISO process control stuff into Engineering you'll take away their creativity and they won't be able to design anything."

Yes, I wan't to take away their creativity to spend untold resources researching products that are not viable, to generate undocumented designs, to generate untested designs, to generate designs that manufacturing does not have the equipment to produce, to generate designs that do not meet customer requirements, to make undocumented changes to products...."
Icy Mountain made some good points about creativity, and I decided to ask you about your thoughts on the subject. So tell me:

What are the key factors needed to promote creativity?

/Claes
 
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R

Randy Stewart

#2
Responsiblity, ownership, training, and as much as I hate to use the word, empowerment.
 
#3
Great question, great placement

Claes,
I am glad you posted this in this forum but it might well go here just as well:philosophy, Gurus, Controversy and Evolution.
This story is paraphrased from a book (or tape) by Dr. James Dobson on parenting.
They were operating a day care center in Denver. The playground needed to be refurbished and this required the removal of the fence surrounding the playground. The boundaries were still in evidence due to the bare dirt strip where the fence had been. However, these boundaries were far from clear. During recess the children stratified into three groups. The largest group, by far, clustered in the center of the playground because they had no defined limits and were therefore afraid to explore near the boundaries. The next group ignored the boundries completely and headed for the hills. The smallest group tested the boundaries and were corrected until they had the boundaries defined.

My point being that our design and development systems have inherent boundaries whether we acknowledge them or not (don't devolop products that no one can manufacture). Clear definition of the boundaries (documentation) allows consistent training, and that allows a larger group to have responsibility and ownership for the process. Yes, R.S., that leads to empowerment: the capability of the largest possible group to explore the largest possible area within the boundaries, without fear of repercussions.
 
M

M Greenaway

#4
I think quite simply we have to remove the obstacles to creativity, such as er certification to management system standards (ahem).
 
L

leanne - 2009

#5
M Greenaway said:
I think quite simply we have to remove the obstacles to creativity, such as er certification to management system standards (ahem).

LOL...

Many engineers are designing to a pre-ordained set of customer constraints (in addition to a management system certification) & engineering creativity is "limited", therefore, by those customer constraints - silly things like input/output characteristics...And, why would that customer want a moped when I've designed a Harley?

There is very little that an engineer likes better than a problem to resolve. Sometimes the "problems to resolve" are those constraints.

sparky :bigwave:
 
Last edited by a moderator:
E

energy

#6
As a group?

Icy Mountain said:
Claes,
Clear definition of the boundaries (documentation) allows consistent training, and that allows a larger group to have responsibility and ownership for the process. Yes, R.S., that leads to empowerment: the capability of the largest possible group to explore the largest possible area within the boundaries, without fear of repercussions.
I once had an Inspector who accused me of stifling his "individualism" which I feel can be confused with "creativity". He set about making unauthorized changes to a system that 7 other people were working with. As I reined him in and explained that the "system" works for us and he will do it "our" way, he got a case of the ***. He spent more time trying to figure out an easier way to do things than to doing his job. Creativity is a good thing, if you're an Artist. Make suggestions to Mgt, recommend better ways to accomplish the same end, but most important, don't wander off the playground. I agree with Icy, I think. Creativity should be a group activity. :p
 
R

Randy Stewart

#7
don't wander off the playground
That's why I placed responsibility first. What I was thinking was more along the lines of discipline. You know the "Stay between the lines, the lines are our friends" kind of thing.
 
#8
Great answers.

I guess this could fit under empowerment, but nobody mentioned time...

In todays often anorectic organisations lots of people lack the time to sit back and consider how and even why we do things.

More..?

/Claes
 
E

energy

#9
Just imagine it!

Claes Gefvenberg said:
Great answers.

I guess this could fit under empowerment, but nobody mentioned time...

In todays often anorectic organisations lots of people lack the time to sit back and consider how and even why we do things.

More..?

/Claes
I'm sitting at my desk staring off into the void and my supervisor asks me what I'm doing. I tell him/her that I'm creating better ways to get things done. He/she looks at my desk and says "How about creating an empty desk for starters?" :vfunny: My best ideas came while driving to and from work. That way, if your really serious about improving the system, it's on your time. That is unless you think you should be allowed to mull things over when being paid to perform functions related to somebody elses "creativity". ;)
 

Randy

Super Moderator
#10
The key element to creativity is "Imagination", everything else is on the perrifary. Imagination charges us to ask "how, why, what if" and the other questions that come from identifying needs/desires and developing the fulfillment of them.
 
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