Leadership Experience Assignment Help.
In regards to Cultural Communication and Creativity:
Discuss/analyze four major conceptual blocks (from Whetten and Cameron)
Whetten CH03.pdf(Pages 167 to 191)
Why do these blocks occur in organizations in the first place?
What can leaders do to promote communication-based creativity?
Construct and provide an “action plan”, which addresses various block issues, and possible solutions.
A MS Word document is required, 12 pt. font (no script font)
*5 pages minimum (page numbers please)
*Introduction with definitions
*Discussion of each topic with opposing viewpoints, where applicable.
*Reference Page (APA format, 7 sources)
Leadership Experience Assignment Help.
Critical and creative thinking skills rank amongst the top level of a human cognitive development as they are extremely relevant in the achievement of success in today’s fast-paced world. In practice, however, the more formal education and work experience individuals have the lesser creativity they exhibit in problem-solving. Experience in a work environment often leads to what is commonly referred to as ‘proper and time-tested ‘ways of doing things which are as a result of specialized knowledge and rigidity of expectations which leads to the loss of the ability or willingness to experiment, improvise or even take mental detours (Whetten & Cameron,2002,164 ).
Since problems are part of work and life, it’s important to figure out how best to solve them. The goal of a problem-solving exercise, therefore, would be to overcome obstacles that hinder critical and creative thinking and come up with solutions that best solve the problem. Such obstacles in problem-solving parlance are what is called conceptual blocks and can be defined as those concepts that hinder a person from creatively arriving at creative solutions to their problems. They come in the form of either pre-established or preconceived methods or actions that result in clumsy and unsatisfactory solutions. The four major conceptual blocks, according to Whetten and Cameron (2002) are constancy, commitment, compression and complacency. They are discussed below
Whetten and Cameron (2002, 168) defines constancy as the act of looking at a problem in only one way, or using only one method or approach to define, describe and/or solve a problem. It’s a very common approach and highly valued attribute often associated with honesty, maturity and even intelligence in some cases. However, as Whetten and Cameron (pg 168) observes, consistency is prone to driving out critical thinking and creativity in problem-solving. Once we learn how to solve a particular problem, we are prone to using the same method to solve any future similar problems as it becomes increasingly difficult to ignore such a proven solution and try others especially if such solutions have worked in the past. We continue to reuse such solutions until they become ineffective, and that is when creativity and critical thinking becomes an important tool. Constancy arises in either vertical thinking- failure to consider alternative ways of defining or solving solutions or single thinking language- the failure to appreciate non-verbal cues (emotions, gestures, imagery and symbols) as part of problem-solving
Commitment arises when individuals become fixated to a particular point of view, description, definition or solution. The two forms of commitment that result in conceptual blocks include stereotyping which is based on past experiences and ignoring commonalities. When working on a project, for instance, it’s easy to assume that the current project is similar to a prior one and therefore expect the same solutions that worked in the previous project to be effective in the current. Creativity in problem-solving often requires the relaxation of such assumptions to allow for the realization of subtle differences and similarities in problems and projects that help in finding effective solutions. On the converse, ignoring commonalities or the failure to see similarities in disparate data due to the commitment to a particular way of doing things often hinders creativity in decision-making and problem-solving efforts.
Creativity and critical thinking can also be hindered by compression of ideas. This occurs when one looks too narrowly at a problem or in the process of screening for relevant information for to aid in decision making, too much relevant data is screened out or in some cases, making assumptions that limit the probable solutions. It’s generally ‘not looking at the big picture’. Compression may occur as a result of artificial constraints or those unnecessary boundaries that are placed on a problem, making it difficult to consider alternative solutions or the inability to sufficiently constrain a problem, making it too complex and unsolvable.
Unknown to many, complacency ranks highly amongst the conceptual blocks discussed above. It occurs because of ignorance, fear, insecurity, incompetence or just plain mental laziness. When faced with problems, most people tend to try the often used and reused methods and if they are not able to find a solution, they either ignore the problem completely to escalate the problem to others seeking help in solving it. Complacency manifests itself in a general lack of mental initiative, lack of enthusiasm in questioning or seeking alternative methods or a general bias against thinking which leads individuals to give up too easily when faced with problems (Whetten, & Cameron, 2002, 175)
Why these blocks occur in organizations
As Merriam-Webster (2014, March 15). noted, humans are habitual creatures who tend to do things in a particular way and are opposed to change. When there is an established way of doing things or approaching a problem, they will generally continue down that path and continue to utilize those methods that have been proven and time tested to be successful in those circumstances. This has also been advanced by the fact that we have existing theories and research studies that corroborate some of these methods that have been adopted over the years. In the present world where efficiency is key, managers do not seem to have time to engage in activities that stimulate critical and creative thinking; no one wants to spend valuable company time experimenting with ideas. This has led to a situation where problems are either half-solved, buried or inefficient solutions arrived at.
Additionally, there is little training on aspects of creativity and critical thinking in organizations today. Due to the existence of elaborate and time-proven methods of approaching problems in an organization, there is little emphasis on creativity, unless problems get out of hand. Knowledge of the existence and impact of these blocks is also scanty among managers in an organization and therefore there is little effort to counter such conceptual blocks in an organizational set-up.
Promotion of communication-based creativity
Encouraging creativity should be at the core of modern leadership discourse. In order to promote communication-based creativity, leaders can adopt a number of methods. First, inculcating a culture of creativity and critical thinking is an important step towards institutionalizing these attributes. This can be done through publicly affirming and recognizing actions that depict critical and creative thinking since recognition plays a great motivational role in behavior change.
Creation of an environment that accommodates dissent and alternative solutions to organizational problems is a great way to encourage creativity. According to Williams, (2014) if employees are free to experiment and make mistakes without fear, they are likely to be more creative in their work.
Constantly looking for creative talent during the recruitment process is a great way to ensure that there a growing pool of creative staffers who would help in the institutionalization of a critical and creative approach to problem solutions.
The purpose of this action plan is to identify and access the various conceptual blocks that may hinder my creativity at work
The goal of this action plan is to recognize and identify any conceptual block that may be affecting me and suggest methods of mitigating these conceptual blocks if any.
|Steps What is to be done?||Responsibilities Who does it?||Timeframe By when will it be done?||Resources Available/required||Barriers What may hinder the success of this exercise||Execution The team Methods Frequency||Evaluation and feedback Determination of success, measures of success|
|Identification of the conceptual blocks||I will put down all the noticeable conceptual blocks||I will request for a peer review by end of the third quarter of 2017||Peers, tracking mechanism||Commitment to other study related issues, non-responsive peers Lack of motivation from colleagues and peers||Family, friends, and colleague Proper utilization of available resources Contact and documentation at least once a week||How I will have avoided the various conceptual blocks, To request an independent evaluation by peers Documentation of successes and lessons learned|
As problems continue to be part of our personal and corporate lives, we have to devise efficient and effective methods of solving them. Critical and creative thinking demands an alternative approach to decision-making and problem-solving, which discards the long-held methods, approaches, and policies and recommends better, creative and more efficient solutions to problems. An understanding of the four main conceptual blocks that hinder creativity ie.- constancy, commitment, compression, and complacency, goes a long way in creating an environment that encourages and accommodates critical and creative thinkers. Identifying these blocks also helps in empowering employees and managers to be effective problem solvers and decision makers. It is imperative; therefore that critical and creative thinking is encouraged and even institutionalized if managers and employees must efficiently handle the challenges that affect modern businesses.
Merriam-Webster. (2014, March 15). Problem-Definition and More from the Free MerriamWebster Dictionary. Retrieved from: http://merriam-webster.com/dictionary/problem
Whetten, D. A., & Cameron, K. M. (2002). Chapter 3: Solving Problems Analytically and Creatively. In D. A. Whetten and K. S. Cameron. Developing Management Skills. Fifth Edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc., (Prentice-Hall), pgs. 155-178
Williams, S. (2014, March 16). Creative Problem Solving. Retrieved from www.http://wright.edu/~scott.williams/LeaderLetter/cps.html