Friday, December 6, 2019

Creativity and Innovation Management

Questions: (1) Describe the starting challenge in the chosen situation of your group, identify the methods used to better establish and define this problem, and clearly show the project focus. (2) Describe exploration and idea generation methods and techniques applied to your identified problem, and show what was found during exploration, and the ideas generated. (3) Describe methods used for evaluating and developing the ideas generated into possible solutions, and show the results, outcomes, solutions, designs, or strategies developed, including any possible recommendations. (4) Include some reflection on the strengths and limitations of the methods / techniques used in your project. (5) Include copies of supporting documentation that show the groups work and application of creative techniques (e.g. Mind Maps, ideation notes, photos, visual representations, and a copy of any PowerPoint slides. Answers: 1.0 Introduction In this assignment, it has been described that how innovation and creativity can be model and deliberate creative thinking skills can applied to solve a real life problem. This study will help to find out the opportunity to observe and analyze different creative thinking process. For this study, the company Woolworths has been selected. It is one of the most successful retail organizations of Australia. The company is presently facing issues related with human resource management. They are such as less chance of promotion, unethical working hours and gender discrimination at workplace. All these issue have affected the business performance of the organization. Creative problem solving method is used to resolve these issues of the organization. 2.0 Overview of the company Woolworths is a supermarket of Australia established in the year of 1924 (Woolworths, 2016). The total revenue of the company is A$ 40 billion. There are more than 111, 000 employees are involved with the company. Currently the company has more than 980 stores in Australia (Woolworths, 2016). It has been found that some of the Woolworths supermarket trade as Safeway. The brand slogan of the organization is The Fresh Food People. This long term campaign had been developed by the company in the year of 1987 and it existed until 2012 (Woolworths, 2016). Then the companies changed its slogan and directly identify it as Aussie. In the year of 2014, the company had brought back its old slogan. The company has developed its offercard to attract more customers towards its services and products. Presently there are more than 1 million customers are presently connected with offercard of the company. As Falkoski (2012) stated that, Woolworths is one of the most recognized brands in Australia. T he company has developed world class experience for its customers at all level of business. As Arajo Burcharth Knudsen and Sndergaard (2014) stated that, the current growth plan of the organization includes four major strategies. They are such as: Leading the food and liquor business in Australia Developing company portfolio to maximize the value of shareholders Maintaining the track record of new growth business Implementing innovation to improve business performance 3.1 Challenges within the organization (Problem Statement): Presently the company Woolworths is facing various employment related issues. There is a survey analysis has been done on 900 employees of the organization. It has been found from this survey analysis that there are two major issues that employees have to face in a workplace. They are such as unfair hours of working and less chance of promotion. As Falkoski (2012 stated that less chance of promotion has decreased the motivation level of employees, which affect their business performance. As De Spiegelaere et al. (2014) mentioned that, many employees of the organization has face bullying while working in the workplace of Woolworths. As the job security level of employees is high at Woolworths, some employees try to change the roster drastically to save the wages (Bais, 2012). In order to gain better position in the company, some employees try to change or control the business operation. As Falkoski (2012) stated that, it increases the stress level of employees at workplace and sufferi ng level of customers. One of the female employees of the organization has stated that she is facing issues related with discrimination. It has been found that most of the management position of the company is holding by males. As Anderson Poto nik and Zhou (2014) argued that some of the managers of Woolworths take their decision about promotion, rewards depending on the age, sex, race, gender and material status of the employee. As Foote and Goodman-Delahunty (2012) mentioned that, over work and little payment is the major issue that the company is presently facing. It has been found that the average working hour of employees of Woolworths is 10 hours in average. Majority of the employees overwork and their pay is much lesser their expected level. As Falkoski (2012 argued that, the typical working day for the company is not fixed, as the management is not being able to develop appropriate time schedule to complete a set work. 3.2 Methods used to cope up with the situation: There are three creative and innovative ways have been proposed by the group in which the critical situation of the company can be handled. They are such as active listening, giving behavioral feedback and be courageous to take tough decisions. Active listening In order to cope up with the problems of employees, management of the organization needs to develop active listening skills (Gregory, 2013). Management needs to turn their attention towards the complaints of employees. They need to jolt down all the problems of employees such extra working hour, less chance of promotion and workplace bullying. After that they need to find out innovative solution for these problems. Giving behavioral feedback The management team needs to analyze the behaviour of all employees. Depending on the assessment, feedback needs to be given to their employees. It will motivate employees towards better performance. Be courageous to take tough decisions In order to stop bullying and organizational politics, the management of the organization has to be courageous to take tough decisions to fire some employees who are related with unethical business practices. Development of weekly roster The management of the organization needs to develop appropriate weekly roaster in order to avoid any kind of confusion related with working hours (Roscigno, Williams Byron, 2012). 4.0 Models used to deal with the situation: There is a new model of employee engagement has been implemented in the company in order to deal with the situation. It is known as refreshment model. This model has following factors which are suitable to resolves the issues of the company Woolworths (Stainback Irvin, 2012). They are such as: Time for a change In order to control bullying inside the organization, the management of the organization needs to implement some changes. They need to develop Zero Tolerance Policy (ZTP) in order to stop mental and physical harassment of female employees (Roscigno, Williams Byron, 2012). Making work attractable As Gregory (2013) stated that, the company needs to think about improving their engagement with the employees. They need to capture employee feedback and their sentiment about their work (Stainback Irvin, 2012). It will make the work more attractable. The HR department needs to develop fun sessions every week to develop a friendly working environment. Compensation and remuneration The management of the organization needs to develop effective compensation and remuneration program so that employees of the organization become motivated towards their work (Anderson, Poto nik Zhou, 2014). The management needs to find out the best performing employees and give rewards and promotions accordingly. As Falkoski (2012) stated that, it will motivate employees to conduct their work in appropriate manner. 5.0 Methods for evaluating the ideas There are a number of methods which are used for the evaluation of ideas. In this section, three most important methods of idea evaluation have been discussed. These methods are namely, Six thinking hat. Six Thinking Hats is one of the time-based, proven and practical thinking tools that provide a framework to assist people in thinking clearly and thoroughly by directing their thinking attention in one specified direction at a time. This is a simple mental metaphor and is easy to put on and to take off. It can be seen that each hat has different color that signifies different thinking ingredients. Sheth (2012) has stated that six thinking that facilitates productive thinking, collaboration, creativity and creativity. Most importantly, this enables the unique point of view of the persons to be highly included and considered. It is regardless to say that the critical thinking procedure can be complex and this might be confusing. However, it can be stated that one of the well proven and successful methods for organizing both the group and individual thinking is the Six Thinking Hats, which is also known as De Bonos Six Thinking hats (Gregory Masters, 2012). This procedure was first int roduced in the year 1985 by Edward De Bono in a book with the same name. The six thinking hat is a time-tested, practical thinking tool which provides the framework for helping people to clarify thinking and thereby directing the thought process. Geissler, Edison and Wayland (2012) in their research work have stated the fact that human thinking is unstructured and reinforced in a procedure that different types of thinking can drive the individuals and design the thinking groups to think in an unorganized manner that often leads to the unexpected out comes. In this part, details of this model have been explained for gaining in-depth knowledge on this model. Blue Hat Thinking Process focus on the below mentioned points like thinking about thinking, what thinking is required, organizing the entire thinking procedure and properly planning for the action. Therefore, it can be stated that the Blue Hat is used to manage the thinking procedure. Smith and Cook (2012) have stated that this is the control mechanism that makes sure that the guidelines of the Six Sigma hats are observed. In a nutshell, it can be mentioned that the blue hat thinking concentrates on managing the entire thinking procedure, focusing on that point, next steps and the action plans. White hat thinking process focuses on the thoughts on information, especially the facts and the figures. This includes what information is available and how to get this information. Other considerations of this hat process are information and data, neutral and objective, what a person know, what a person need to find out and most importantly, how a person would get the information they require. Smith and Cook (2012) in their research work have started the fact that this white hat calls for information known or required. It can be seen that during this part, the stock holders only share the information and data regarding the issue and take the notes with it. Therefore, it can be stated that no further development in the thinking procedure should be done and the questions in this section can be what available information is and what the facts and figures that one have are. Green hat thinking process represents that creative thinking procedure part of the discussion. This part focuses on conscious creative effort and at the same time generates ideas and look for the best possible alternatives. This part focuses deeply on solving the issues and gives innovative ideas of what the features can be implemented. Therefore, it can be opined that arguments and endless discussion become a thing of the past and thinking becomes more thorough (Smith Cook, 2012). Figure: Six thinking Hat approach (Source: Sheth, 2012) Yellow hat thinking- Yellow hat helps to explore the plus points and positive thinking. Through this hat, the optimistic, clear, constructive and effective thinking are processed. It helps the individual to see and assess all the benefits of the decision and their values. It helps to explore the brighter and sunny side of the decision and 1thereby promoting the implementation of the decision (Sheth, 2012). Therefore, it can be said that the yellow hat is the sign of positive thinking. It helps to explore why the idea is suitable in that particular situation when the decision has been taken place. Black hat thinking- The black thinking hat is the sign of cautions in the decision making or through processing regarding an idea. In this condition, the black hat thinking helps the individual to see the difficulties and dangers in the idea or decision making in the business process. It helps to spot the risks of the process which would be implemented through the though process following the black hat thinking. As the yellow hat thinking, in this process, logical reasons are also given, however, this time, the negative sides of the though process are highlighted (Smith Cook, 2012). It helps to direct the thinking by analyzing the facts that why the decision might not work. Red hat thinking- The red thinking Hat represents the feelings in thought process and idea shaping. The red thinking Hat promotes the emotional sides of the decision. It helps to think with judgment, institution and suspicions. While thinking by following the red thinking hat, or while wearing the red hat, the issues in the decision making through the institution, emotion and gut reactions are explored, thereby helping to prioritize the emotional aspects in the thought process and their contribution in the process where the decision or idea would be implemented. It helps to prioritize the current feelings of the thinker, the feelings can be changed through the decision making proves, thereby changing the entire thought process and final outcome of the decision (Gregory Masters, 2012). However, this thinking hat does not support the clear, logical thinking. In this context, the importance of this thinking hat is less than the other thinking hats, it is because, in professional decisi on making, there is no place for emotional judgment in business. 5.1 Outcome of the process: The outcome of the six thinking hat gave rise to the same solution. The ideas, which were generated for solving the employee related issues in Wool Worth like gender discrimination, unfair working hours and less chances of promotion, are intended to solve by the process of group idea generation (Jiang, Wang Zhao, 2012). The first and foremost idea that came up for solving the concerned problem is to design the company specific human resource policy. Thereby design a significant pay structure and convenient working hour. Both of these models depicted that it is the most important idea that came up. Next in the queue was the idea of implementing zero tolerance policy in order to avoid the gender discrimination (Eisenbei Boerner, 2013). 5.2 Recommendations: Therefore, in order to provide plausible recommendations it can be stated that the group is efficient enough to come up with the plausible ideas that can help the company to cope up with the current scenario. However, the idea evaluation process has determined which idea is more important and which one is more essential to be implemented. Therefore, it is recommended that the company should follow the ideas given by the group. 6.0 Strengths and Limitation of the process used: Strengths of the Six thinking hat approach The six thinking hat approach is one of the best tool for brainstorming which helps to shape the decision making process. The six thinking hat approach also helps to improve the communication process, both verbal and non verbal. One of the major strength of the six thinking hat approach is that, this approach promotes the creative thinking. It helps to improve the decision making process in addition to the communication improvement. The improvement in decision making helps to improve the critical thinking capability of the thinker, thereby enhancing the potential of being a leader and shaping the career path (Sheth, 2012). It is a convenient mechanism for switching gears. The six thinking hats approach allows the thinker to make decision without having risk. The six thinking hats approach allows the process of understanding multiple perspectives on any severe issue generated in the organization. The six thinking hats model helps to concentrate upon thinking process Limitations of Six Hat thinking approach However, after going through this six thinking hat, it can be seen that the realistic application of this model is comparatively less. However, it can be stated that the disadvantages of the Six Thinking Hats are much less compared to the advantages and these have been mentioned here. The entire procedure of thinking is highly time-taking. Moreover, some of the team members prefer to think alone rather than in a group and most importantly, conflicts can still take place between people of different perspectives (Geissler, Edison Wayland, 2012). 7.0 Documents in support of the group work Figure 2: Mind map (Source: Author) It has been found from this mind map that there are 5 major issues are related with innovative solution development. They are such as meaningful work development, hands-on management, and positive development of working environment, growth opportunity and trust in leadership. The company needs to develop small and empowered teams to monitor all the issues of the organization. Woolworths need to develop transparent goals so that task can be divided effectively between different employees. As Falkoski (2012) stated that a company must need to focus on self directed dynamic learning and training program to increase growth opportunity of employees. Increasing transparency and honesty in the leadership style can motivate employees to work ethically. In order to gain in-depth knowledge, some other models and theories have been gone through and it has been seen that Six Thinking Hat is the most appropriate one in this regards. Over the other models and theories, this six thinking hat theory allows one to say things without any risks and successfully generates understanding that there exist multiple perspectives on a particular issue. Apart from that, it has been seen that this model is one of the convenient mechanisms for the switching the gears and focuses intensely on thinking. It is needless to mention that in case of innovation, focusing intensely on thinking is highly necessary and this model precisely leads to more creative thinking. Some other models have failed to enhance communication procedure and on the contrary to this situation Six Thinking Hat is more efficient in improving the decision making procedure. Therefore, the selection of this model is justified enough in this research work. Reference List Anderson, N., Poto nik, K., Zhou, J. (2014). 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