Project Management

Nurturing Creativity: A Leader's Role

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting S.A., a Roatan, Honduras-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

As you know, this month’s theme is creativity. When I learned that, I thought of many areas I could write about that would highlight some aspect of creativity in a project environment. Some of those ideas made the cut, and you’ve hopefully read those pieces this month.

But one thing occurred to me that was common about all of those aspects: They can only be successful when the organization itself has created an environment where creativity is not only accepted, but encouraged, embraced and even required. How does that come about?

Recognizing the need for—and value of—creativity
Historically, organizations structured every aspect of their operations around consistency—repeatable approaches that were applied to every situation in order to help manage risk, build skills and understanding, and eliminate wastage. That’s a sound approach to business, but it’s not without its problems.

Most notably, it is usually a compromise approach that represents a “best fit” for the majority of situations—but isn’t necessarily very good at handling variances from those situations. As a result, it works well when there is very little variance between each cycle of the process (say in a production line environment), but it works far less well when there is more opportunity for variance.

When it …

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