Working Methods and Creativity
The working methodology consists of creativity, order and chaos.
The working methodology needs creativity in order to develop further. Both are mutually dependent. Creativity enables innovations that improve our working methods, increase our productivity and maintain our standard of living. Creativity thrives in creative chaos. An exaggerated order suffocates creativity. An adequate productive order creates the space for creativity. Creativity needs care and support.
Working methodology and creativity
Contribution No. 1 defined the working methodology as a tool for efficiently dealing with the tasks at hand.
A tool needs constant further development in order to be even more productive – otherwise it becomes obsolete. Only creativity makes the further development of this tool possible, i.e. only creativity looks for new solutions or procedures for the task accomplishment – also under changed basic conditions.
Thanks to good working methods, there is scope for creativity. Both complement and fertilize each other, cf. Figure 1.
Creativity is particularly important where working methods are used to increase productivity. No improvement without creativity.
High-wage countries depend on a steady increase in labour productivity to keep unit costs low.
ThinkSimple® contributes directly to maintaining and increasing competitiveness and thus helps to secure high incomes.
Figure 1: Working methods and creativity complement each other.
Definition and description of creativity
The encyclopedia defines “creativity as the ability to solve new problems by applying acquired skills”. However, this definition does not say whether the solution is simpler or more complicated than the previous solutions or methods. Therefore, this definition is not yet sufficient for our purpose.
For example, the PC has replaced the typewriter because it has greatly simplified similar tasks, such as writing texts. It was a double improvement: in quality and time.
Etymology: The term creativity goes back to the Latin word “creare”, which means “to create something, to invent something”.
This “creare” is usually limited to the further development of existing products. The gasoline engine is a further development of existing engine concepts. The inventor of the Otto engine, Nikolaus August Otto, made the engine more economical through internal engine changes. This ensured that the engine was initially suitable for everyday use. The same applies to the PC in its current form. IBM and Microsoft made the breakthrough of today’s PC possible at the beginning of 1980 with standard hardware and software.
What prompted Nikolaus August Otto to invent the engine? Answer: His travel activity. As a commercial traveller, he was used to travelling with horse-drawn carriages. That was unsatisfactory for him. The means of transport had been in use for thousands of years. And an invention in thermodynamics or engine technology made an alternative to the horse-drawn carriage appear within reach.
Creativity presupposes a customer need and an existing technology. This topic will be dealt with in more detail in later articles if it is only about creativity and innovation.
Let’s get back to our topic: Where does creativity affect working methods?
For example through the application of new tools: e.g. software programs or through better application of the influencing factors (cf. article no. 1).
Where is creativity applied? Mostly on the further development of company products and processes.
Creativity is not an end in itself. The actual purpose is the generation of higher sales. In the case of person-related labour productivity this means: The person-related turnover is increased by improved work processes and thus the higher personnel costs are compensated.
Creativity here can mean using an optimally configured netbook on the road, a modern navigation system, Internet access in the vehicle, etc.
Numerous apps for PDAs (e.g. iPhone) lead to time savings when used sensibly. Creativity means here,
Productive and destructive order
Order is usually associated with productive order. Order can also be destructive. When? For example, when it strangles the creative chaos (see point 3 in this article).
Order is a means to an end. Order is necessary on the level of operative activity: processing of processes, preparation of meetings, etc. Thanks to this productive order, the time spent on operative activity is reduced to a minimum. So far the productive order is positive.
However, order can gain the upper hand and create rigid, unadapted structures. It can prevent necessary changes. In this case one speaks of destructive order.
“Order is necessary at the level of operative activity”.
The combination of productive order and creative chaos brings you and your company forward. There are no fixed rules regarding the respective scope and its implementation. But both are interdependent.
Thanks to a “productive order”, you can complete your standard tasks in a short time and with optimum quality. Creative chaos allows you to develop your business: new products, new strategies. These secure the future. The first secures the present for you.
“Without productive order there is no present. No future without creative chaos”.
An order that allows for “creative chaos” is what we call “productive order” here. An excess of order, i.e. too much order, so that no creativity can flourish, is what we call “destructive order” here. The latter suffocates further development. It is rigid.
Rhythm of creativity
When are you creative? In the evening? In the morning? Do you have a fixed rhythm? Do you know it?
Creative phases come and go. They cannot be forced, but they can be encouraged.
Hecticness and creativity are difficult to combine, but creativity and relaxation are. For some people, creativity and time pressure go hand in hand. But that is rather the exception.
When are you creative? At sports, driving a car, at the cinema, at concerts? Ultimately, where your attention is not fully drawn. But also where you receive suggestions from outside, e.g. during lectures. It is in such situations that most of my creative phases arise.
“Creativity cannot be forced”.
Thomas Mann wrote his books from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. In the afternoon he walked through the Herzogpark district of Munich. Did he write in the morning what he had in mind the afternoon before? Has he been able to harmonize inspiration and writing in time? Rather unlikely.
If Georg Friedrich Händel had an inspiration, he composed for days. As long as the inspiration lasted. He didn’t want to stop the process. And you? What do you do when you get into a creative phase? Run away?
Find out the circumstances under which you are creative. Rarely in the office between phone call, meeting and e-mail.
After finding out where and under what circumstances you can be creative, promote these times. Some go for a coffee, ride a train, sit in a lounge. Where operational stimuli have an effect on you.