Prentice Hall

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Creativity

Published February 4, 2013 by Mayrbear's Lair

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Creativity can have a positive impact on an organization’s effectiveness as well as provide an enriching experience for us. CEO, Dorie Clark (2012) suggests that there are two significant types of creativity: (a) conceptual or theoretical; and (b) the gradual process. Clark purports that the conceptual or theoretical process of creativity is derived from situations or challenges that require immediate solutions (Clark, 2012). In this context, creativity is looked to as a means to an end.  In other words, the creative process is implemented with the intent to generate resolutions for organizational problems.

For example, a Senegalese farmer living in destitution can look to creative solutions to improve the living conditions set forth by the social, economic and political structure of his geography by expanding his agricultural abilities with the advent of technological upgrades like farm machinery  (Harper & Leicht, 2011, pp. 292-294). This is one example of a possible solution that was conceived from a concept based on the success of farmers in core nations.

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The second type of creativity Clark cites, the gradual process, is just that; finding a path to resolution step by step with no eureka moment.  This method is harder to identify due to its nature and is often referred to as experimental or empirical creativity which requires time for development and evolution.

Clark offers three tips she believes are significant for stimulating the creative process:

  1. Bring both types of thinkers to the table – conceptual and gradual process.  Their opposing views and arguments offer a ripe atmosphere for new creation.
  2. Offer rewards – Rewards (like mid-career innovation) in the form of grants, prices, and other resources.
  3. Nurture experimental thinking – When this is done correctly, working on something new and completely different affords the opportunity to learn new techniques, new concepts, and new systems.

Albert Einstein

The creative process is complex. The more variety of methods and ideas, the better. Michalko (2001) focused his studies on individuals at the genius level.  His observations conclude that most geniuses think productively, not re-productively.  When confronted with a challenge, they ask themselves how many different ways they can crack the problem, rethink it and solve it, rather than follow traditional methods.  Geniuses tend to think out of the box; outside the norm and implement unconventional methods.  Productive thinking generates many alternative angles, taking into consideration the least and the most likely approaches.  In short, there is a willingness to explore all avenues.  Einstein for example, said that if the average individual were asked to find a needle in a haystack, that person would stop upon the task’s completion.  Einstein on the other hand, would tear through the entire haystack looking for all the possible needles (Michalko, 2001). It was after all, Albert Einstein who said that imagination is more important than knowledge.

In contrast, reproductive thinkers tend to foster attitudes of rigidity and an unwillingness to try new things. They are set in their ways, comfortable with the norms and repeating traditional methods of problem solving. They interpret challenges from a more cautious perspective and tend to view different ideas as foreign concepts.  This attitude puts constraints on the creative process.

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Ray and Myers (1986) have a unique approach to organizational creativity. They simply view business as art, stating that capital, people, the markets, and ideas (that have lives of their own), are the tools required. The creative process merely lies with taking these tools and reorganizing them in new and different ways. In conclusion, creativity isn’t a destination; it is a journey that thrives at all levels and in all phases of a business. These are just a few concepts one can look at when opening the door to the creative process.

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References:

Clark, D. (2012, April 3). Three ways to foster creativity in your organization. Retrieved January 21, 2013, from http://www.forbes.com: http://www.forbes.com/sites/dorieclark/2012/04/03/three-ways-to-foster-creativity-in-your-organization/

Harper, C., & Leicht, K. (2011). Exploring social change American and the world (6th ed.). Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Michalko, M. (2001). Cracking creativity: The secrets of creative genius. Berkeley, CA: Ten Speed Press.

Ray, M., & Myers, R. (1986). Creativity in business. New York, NY: Broadway Books.

Social Change

Published January 21, 2013 by Mayrbear's Lair

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Most experts agree that we tend to think about social change in three ways: (a) as a result of significant events such as a war or a terrorist attack like that of 911, (b) in a macroscopic level suggesting that wide-scale trends enable us to view patterns, and (c) in social institutions that affect the lives of the population as individuals, groups, families, in various situations, and in work settings (Harper & Leicht, 2011). So what drives these changes? Journalist David Bornstein (2007) simply states it is the barriers that were once impeding that is disappearing and at a staggering rate (p. 6).

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One of the three areas of social change that continues to have significant impact is that of education.  According the article Social Change (n.d.), experts agree that education is a powerful platform for bringing about changes in society.  Although changes appear to come slow, they are constant and tend to have an enormous impact than those brought on by revolution, incursions, or any other unforeseen events.  French sociologist David Emile Durkheim purports that social change in education is important for the younger generation (Social Change, n.d.).  In the 1960s, President Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson shared these sentiments and asked the federal government to shift their focus toward education when they lobbied Congress for more federal aid and the creation of new programs.

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Studies reveal that the majority of the middle class have received higher levels of education following high school.  A trend toward greater tolerance of religions, cultures and politics is widespread partly explained by the increasing levels of education in America.  Individuals for instance, that continue to expand their levels of knowledge, tend to be less fearful of others with different views.  We can illustrate this by observing sects of devout Christians who believe persons outside their religious faith are condemned to an afterlife of misery, cruelty and suffering.  This information is very confusing to Christian youngsters educated in the traditional brick and mortar school systems where they are exposed to multiculturalism and the variety of belief systems apart from their own as they bond with fellow classmates.  The classroom is where young learners are exposed to a hodge-podge of input that can be very confusing from what their church teaches or is viewed as the norm in their family environment.  It is up to each individual to discern between that of what they are taught in their spiritual practices to the experiences in the classroom intermingling with peers of different faiths.  These experiences in an educational environment can encourage children to expand their views as they begin to comprehend each other more and ponder the new information.   With higher levels of education, friendships that are built and the sharing of views with others from various spiritual belief systems can encourage more tolerance and understanding.

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Religions greatly differ from one society to the next; each one is sacred and beautiful, with their own set of moral rules.  Social change is ushered when the structural properties of a social system evolve that determine the degree of inequality and power (Noble, 2000). Education is one avenue that can tear down the walls of prejudice and misinformation. The more individuals are educated and empowered on specific topics like religion, government, and history, the more understanding and tolerance we can hope to expect and experience as a society.  Social change is a redeeming feature in human society and education is one key component that continues to help shape and steer mankind’s ever evolving world.

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References:

Bornstein, D. (2007). How to change the world: Social entrepreneurs and the power of new ideas. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Harper, C., & Leicht, K. (2011). Exploring social change American and the world (6th ed.). Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Social Change. (n.d.). Retrieved January 6, 2012, from Questia.com: http://www.questia.com/library/sociology-and-anthropology/social-organization-and-community/social-change

Noble, T. (2000). Social theory and social change. New York, NY: St. Martin’s Press.