The creative process can be challenging as people come together to develop and realize innovative ideas. Such a process can be influenced by the external and internal elements of the individuals and groups collaborating on a project, either constraining or expediting the whole undertaking. This post will consider various inhibiting and facilitating factors of the creative process and argue that adverse organizational elements are the most significant barriers to creativity.
The creative process of developing a product from an original, inventive idea in any field is usually a collaborative effort. Different personal, social, and organizational factors can have a meaningful impact on whether a project fails or succeeds. Numerous facilitating factors positively affect the development of a product. For example, the favorable attitude of the collective towards change and innovation can result in employees being more inventive and offering new initiatives and concepts (London School of Design and Marketing, 2018). Similarly, an organization’s structure and climate can substantially impact how workers perform and how creative they are in their positions. Thus, the corporate culture and management that encourage participation, autonomy, respect, and offer appropriate training and resources are more likely to facilitate the successful creative process.
Furthermore, many inhibiting factors can influence a creative process and result in a product or project not being delivered. For example, in a team within which new ideas and initiatives are considered deviant behavior, any creative project is likely to fail (London School of Design and Marketing, 2018). A company with employees who disapprove of innovative proposals and new concepts or methods of reaching set goals can lose productive workers who feel stifled by their colleagues. Organizational factors are also of great importance when creating a productive environment. Thus, a repressive culture within the company, inadequate resource distribution, poor management style, and unnecessary bureaucratization can suppress creativity in employees (London School of Design and Marketing, 2018). In addition, workers lacking problem-solving skills, sufficient training, and daring to try new approaches are likely to curb the aspirations of others (London School of Design and Marketing, 2018). Overall, the organizational culture and social and personal factors can substantially inhibit the creative process.
It can be argued that the organizational factors are principal in creating or removing barriers to the creative process. Inefficient management can result in a lack of an innovative climate, inadequate direction, and the promotion of individuals who prevent their colleagues from being creative. Lack of trust in the employees and failure to promote openness and communication leads to personnel’s inability to be inventive in the workplace and solve problems efficiently (Creativity and Education, 2018). For example, Febreze’s Scentstories failure can be viewed as an organizational fault as hiring a singer to promote a scent player was both uninspired and confusing for potential customers (Schneider & Hall, 2011). As the issues with the marketing campaign were not resolved quickly, it can be contended that the creative process at Febreze was inhibited. Specifically, the team responsible for the marketing failed to present the developed product. According to Hoegl and Parboteeah (2007, p. 161), fewer “collaborative sequences in the course of innovative team projects” can positively affect creativity. Thus, the organization’s view on teamwork and how team members should cooperate can either suppress or facilitate the creative process.
In summary, the creative process can be inhibited or promoted by numerous external and internal factors, including personal, social, cultural, and organizational. However, the latter set of aspects is more likely to affect the former, aggravating the situation and creating more barriers to creativity in the workplace. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that the organization does not stifle its employees’ individual and team efforts, affording them with freedom, openness, and resources required to complete a creative project.
Creativity and Education. (2018). Dimensions of the Creative Climate [Video].
Hoegl, M., & Parboteeah, K. P. (2007). Creativity in innovative projects: How teamwork matters. Journal of Engineering and Technology Management, 24(1-2), 148–166. doi:10.1016/j.jengtecman.2007.01.008
London School of Design and Marketing. (2018). LSDM BA Design – Design & Creative Theory – Lesson 3 [Video].
Schneider, J., & Hall, J. (2011). Why most product launches fail. Harvard Business Review.