Creativity

I have moved on to the electives part in my MBA programme and thinking of taking the road less travelled, opted for a module called ‘Knowledge Management’. Yes, I should have chosen something more familiar like International Marketing but the whole rationale of taking this MBA was for me to learn something different.

So, Knowledge Management (KM) that is.

KM is nothing new to me, although immersing myself in its theories are something different altogether. Yes, it has been widely acknowledged that KM within a company can be harnessed as a source of competitive advantage and it is a huge, huge waste if an employee with tons of knowledge leaves the company.

Like me. Heh.

Anyway, was reading this journal on knowledge within a company and it touches on the role of creativity in organisations. Which I find interesting.

I moved from an open-minded organisation to a very much closed-minded one. Although it is an ‘international’ organisation, unfortunately, we are being led by someone who is rather ‘traditional’.

You would really expect a hive of learning experience within such a big organisation but the sad part is (like what the journal article says) our creativity and learning experience had been hampered by myopic management. The definition of a good manager and a good leader differs apparently but I am not going into this.

We are not encouraged to question or even take our own initiative. Due to pressures from above to perform and meet targets all departments were merely operating on a ‘finish our job ASAP’ basis. No time to think outside the box, no time to sit and brainstorm on ideas. Its work within the budget, line up some activities, advertise and put these in all our reports so they look good. Why are we using money to participate in this event which will not generate much returns? Don’t ask, just go.

I believe that they key to keeping yourself updated is doing a lot of reading on trends. And if you do not do so, you are going to look stupid in front of every one. I dread becoming one such manager myself and hope that I would be a leader instead of a manager.

Creativity, it seems, comes from the intrinsic satisfaction of an employee. No doubt, money is a strong motivator, but if one is not passionate about what he does, creativity wouldn’t kick in naturally. How true. The carrot may be dangling in front of you – a huge, fat bonus at the end of the year – if you achieve your sales target. People will be so consumed with achieving the target and not thinking of how the organisation could do better in the long run by injecting some creative or innovative marketing strategies.

I have always believed in the visions at the top. If those at the top advocates innovation and creativity, the whole organisation would. Otherwise, it is just a matter of going along with the daily grind.

The root of the problem? Me thinks it’s the trend where Senior Management are expected to go on rotation to different countries/regions. There would be less sense of belonging and no concern on what’s long term in an organisation. No?

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