Organizational creativity heavily depends on the development of a culture of openness that encourages every employee, regardless of their status, to provide constructive feedback.
According to Csikszentmihalyi (1997) and Rasulzada and Dackert (2009), the psychological well-being of employees strongly depends on organizational creativity within a company. One of the factors that foster organizational creativity is time pressure (Blomberg, Kallio, and Pohjanpää, 2017). For example, during the flight of Apollo 13 in 1970, the air filtration system was severely damaged. If the astronauts had failed to repair the system, they would have died within a few hours. The astronauts created a way to fix the system even though their colleagues on Earth had no ideas of what could be done. According to Amabile, Hadley, and Kramer (2002), the strict time limit and threat to life motivated astronauts to develop a creative solutions rapidly. Nevertheless, working under time pressure does not always lead to creating an effective solution. Everyone knows that Steve Jobs called his company “Apple” because his colleagues failed to develop a proper name within the given time limit.
Some studies emphasize that leaders could promote organizational creativity by encouraging employees to be creative (Gumusluoglu and Ilsev, 2009; Andrew, Sirkin, and Butman, 2007). Still, nothing facilitates organizational creativity better than the culture of openness because it makes employees feel free to share their thoughts, think outside the box, and ensure that their ideas will be heard (Ghosh, 2015; George and Zhou, 2001; Simmons, 2011). The leadership role is closely related to the culture of openness because the leader’s task is to inspire the subordinates and encourage their attempts at constructive criticism (Jia et al., 2018). Pixar’s openness corresponds with other researchers views of “openness” because the company practices free communication between employees of all positions. The major obstacles to creating a culture of openness are the arrogance of employees with a higher status, lack of respect, and bias based on racial, religious, and other cultural differences.
Amabile, T. M., Hadley, C. N., & Kramer, S. J. (2002) ‘Creativity under the gun’, Harvard business review, 80, pp. 52-63.
Andrew, J. P., Sirkin, H. L., & Butman, J. (2007). Payback: reaping the rewards of innovation. Boston: Harvard Business Press.
Blomberg, A., Kallio, T., & Pohjanpää, H. (2017) ‘Antecedents of organizational creativity: drivers, barriers or both?’, Journal of Innovation Management, 5(1), 78-104.
Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1997) ‘Happiness and creativity’, The Futurist, 31(5), pp. S8-S12.
George, J. M., & Zhou, J. (2001) ‘When openness to experience and conscientiousness are related to creative behavior: an interactional approach’, Journal of applied psychology, 86(3), pp. 513–524.
Ghosh, K. (2015) ‘Developing organizational creativity and innovation: toward a model of self-leadership, employee creativity, creativity climate and workplace innovative orientation’, Management Research Review, 38(11), pp. 1126-1148.
Gumusluoglu, L., & Ilsev, A. (2009) ‘Transformational leadership, creativity, and organizational innovation’, Journal of business research, 62(4), pp. 461-473.
Jia, X., Chen, J., Mei, L., & Wu, Q. (2018) ‘How leadership matters in organizational innovation: a perspective of openness’, Management Decision, 56(1), pp. 6-25.
Rasulzada, F., and Dackert, I. (2009) ‘Organizational creativity and innovation in relation to psychological well-being and organizational factors’, Creativity Research Journal, 21(2-3), pp. 191-198.
Simmons, A. L. (2011) ‘The influence of openness to experience and organizational justice on creativity’, Creativity Research Journal, 23(1), pp. 9-23.