Mar 2, 2016
How Can Analytical Thinkers And Creatives Innovate Together?
At a high level, there are two types of people, creatives, and logical types.
The creative kind, or, right-brained kind, can contribute to a workplace in many ways. They can produce by thinking of new ways to do things better.
They can design better, create better, and have a subjective mindset that allows them to be more aware of something. It is safe to assume that the people aren’t squares.
They do have some of the traits of a left-brained kind, but if you want to play to your strengths, you should make sure that these people are utilizing their brains to drive creative new initiatives.
The analytical types, or, the left-brained people, are ones that are being more rational, logical, and sequential, can contribute to an office in many ways as well.
They won’t necessarily fit the mold of an artist, but their brains work more like Excel as opposed to Paint. These kinds of workers allow the machine to function properly. They will be your accountants, your developers, your engineers, and will help you run a sustainable business.
How do both of these parties coexist to create and innovate more in the workplace?
Here are some of the basics:
The Essentials For (Strategic) Innovation At The Workplace
The most important driver of innovation within workplace is a diverse group of people from different backgrounds. I am not talking about race, gender, or socioeconomic class. It has to do with the different kinds of studies, fields, and backgrounds, of the people that you are hiring and allowing to create within an organization.
Diversity can lead to a lot of creativity, and the more diverse your workplace becomes, you will be able to attract and embrace different mindsets and have people working towards a common goal.
Key for Innovation: Aspiration
Having employees aspire toward a goal, whether they are creative or analytical, just creates that mindset that things have to get done.
The best example that I can think of is one we, as a country, came up with a goal of reaching the moon.
It seemed nearly far-fetched, but with a lot of hard work and elbow grease, creators and analytical types were able to coexist and make it happen. They did so well, that people still doubt that it even happened, to this day.
All that to say, that analytic minds, along with creative minds can work together to create amazing things. There’s a lot more potential when creative minds partner with the hard-working analytical minds.
When you find the right “flow” the input and output of both archetypes can be optimized to make sure that they can create and accomplish more.
So making sure that you can manage both parties becomes a major key to your organization’s success. This is why it’s vital to focus on strategic management techniques that encourage innovation.
How Does Strategic Management Influence Creativity and innovation?
Management plays an important role on influencing a staff’s creativity.
The person at the top of the managerial food chain affects all the people under him. And the further you go down the line, the more important the roles in every caveat of the organization becomes.
The best example of strategic management to complete a creative task is a film production. A lot of people just see the final product and the key players (actors) that make it happen. However, if you know what goes on behind the scene, you know that it is nuts.
Every little aspect has to be of the highest quality, if not the production will fail. The crew, cameramen, special effects, extras, catering, land surveying (for scenes), and the list goes on. There are so many intricacies that a director has to pay attention to, and if one thing messes up, it become a train wreck. If you were one of the few who saw (or heard) of the last Fantastic 4 film, it’s a perfect example of a company failing to manage properly.
Companies are even more sophisticated than film productions. There are a lot more moving parts and a lot of egos that come into play.
Strategic management is just making sure that you are giving the right people the right amount of power. Once you do that you’re able to create a more productive workplace, and, the right people can delegate the right tasks.
Create an environment that makes the high-level management treat all employees with respect. Much too often, workplaces make sure to have the Tayloristic style of management allowing for the people at the top to belittle and berate their employees.
Managing People “Like People” Has An Influence For Your Bottom-Line
Treating people like adults shouldn’t be out of the ordinary.
Back in the olden days, it appeared that there was just this lack of respect that came from management and all employees were almost frightened by their upper management.
What we are seeing now, is the employees are now the central focus of the business. Having a people-centric company encourages people to create more and innovate more for their employers.
We are seeing employee disengagement reach all-time highs. At the same time, we are seeing new, innovative workplaces come out and deal out excellent compensation packages to corporate workers. So people are ditching the corporate life to work for smaller groups and teams that focus on innovative projects, at a more lucrative price.
Giving employees autonomy to work on their projects and lead their teams has also become quite the craze in the States’.
Organizations want to make sure that they foster innovation and have employees stay within the company. Companies even invest in projects that are started by employees. For example, Google Ventures is a subsidiary of Google that focuses on new ventures made by entrepreneurs (some of which are Google alums, or employees) that works as an startup accelerator of sorts.
So having an in-house innovation department or R and D lab will become more prominent within your industry. It is really up to you as a leader to determine whether you want to catalyst, or you want to follow.
More Creativity Comes From Innovative Management
The last thing worth noting from a managerial aspect is that when you focus on creativity, your bottom-line become better.
Your products and services get that extra bit of pizzazz and work that it’ll need for it to become over the top. I have seen both sides of this firsthand. With management that had a creative point of view, and begged for more innovation. I have also seen managers that have a point of view that is more analytical than creative.
The sweet spot of great management is always somewhere in the middle of creative and analytical, and never going to either extreme.
To paraphrase a Buddhist point of view: the road to enlightenment is found in moderation. If you can do a little bit of both things and get creatives and analytical thinkers to work together and create a good paradigm, or workspace, then make it happen and optimize it.
A company that becomes too data-driven tends to lose a lot of innovation. As it may suffer from a rare-diseases us in the tech industry, call “over-optimization,” in which every creative opportunity has to be thought out and measured before taken action. So you may take forever, or wait for data to validate whether it is a good idea to get some done.
Being too creative creates a lack of focus. You can focus on several things at once, and instead of focusing on the right things when coming up with a new campaign or effort, you’re focusing on producing new things.
An innovative manager knows that the cure to this is simply having the most analytical minds, work with the most creative minds, so they can validate something better.
If you think it sounds wild to mesh these two mindsets together, look at e-mail marketing. It’s an overlooked thing that is passive to the end-user.
I will try and make this simple, but let’s say that you are a consumer, and you click a subscription, please take into account that all the buttons were placed there strategically from (creative) designers and added and managed to a list. From there, someone has to go through the process of managing lists and making sure that the right campaigns are sent to the right people.
That’s where your analytical minds come in.
The people that are constantly organizing all of the ideas and thoughts, and more importantly, a lot of the information. Going back to the e-mail example, that same person has to make sure that e-mails are being designed to the right end-user and have a good chance of getting a user to convert.
There is a whole study behind this, and there are several jobs dedicated (for both left-brained and right-brained thinkers) just for e-mail marketing. So if you’re a company that has a large list of people, but doesn’t organize things properly, you may want to start investing more in list management and design!
So something as simple and passive as e-mail requires a lot of brainpower and people running the show. The more complex the projects become, the harder it becomes to manage all these things, so invest in the right people that can manage all of these things.
Why You Would Want Innovation in Business Management To Begin With?
At the end of the day, there’s a lot of employees that are willing to work just to work.
There are people that are fine with making a fair wage and staying stagnant. It may sound completely unappealing, but it is the truth. Some people don’t want to create and do anything innovative.
Though I would love to work for either company, the best quote I have ever heard Elon Musk (CEO of Tesla Motors) give to a magazine was: “if they can’t get hired by us, they go to Apple.”
I don’t necessarily think that was that hard of a knock on Apple, but I do think it showed that the people that want to go out there and make a lot of cool, innovative things happen, will go out and try to get hired by the most innovative companies. They will want to work for the Tesla’s, the Apple’s, the Google’s, and so on.
When you focus on creativity and attacking several industries at once, people will buy into your company’s mission and then they’ll try to make their name within the company.
The best minds (analytical and creatives) are going to the businesses that are the most innovative, m because they are engaged at work and they know that their work is meaningful.
When you provide a healthy environment and mission that allows for your employees to feel that sense of innovation and manage your business to foster that kind of creativity, you’ll be able to retain employees and create a lot of cool things throughout their life cycle within the company.
So if you want a successful business management structure, look for companies that create a lot and have happy employees. Then dig deep to understand what is going on, how they do it, and line it up with their mission and core values.
More time than not, it all goes hand-in-hand.
Do You Think Strategic Management Fosters Innovation?
Let us know what your company does to make sure to encourage productivity and create a good environment for the left-brained and right-brained.