Have you noticed that problem generation does not come easily to many people? They prefer to wait for others to surface problems and to take the lead in finding opportunities for improvement and new approaches. This applies to people at all levels of organizations, including leaders.
Would any automobile company try to build a new car without an assembly line? Just dump the parts on the factory floor and say “go to it” to the workers? Of course not. We all know that the assembly line is a necessary part of building a car that actually works.
Are you in an organization in which the leaders understand problem-solving and implementing, but are a bit fuzzy about problem generation and conceptualization? It can be frustrating when you know that the secret of organizational effectiveness requires both efficiency AND adaptability – or in other words, all four of these capabilities. Simply put, many organizations favor efficiency at the expense of adaptability. They become blind to other possibilities.
We live and work in an era of rapidly accelerating change with frequent upheavals and interruptions. Everywhere we look, traditional structures are abruptly being reshaped or falling down. Many organizations that prospered during more stable times – times that rewarded routinized efficiency – now find themselves poorly adapted to today’s new economic and social realities.
Organizations must develop new ways of thinking and behaving in order to succeed in a turbulent world. While many organizations possess ample efficiency and analytical capability, successful organizations must also learn to integrate adaptability and innovative capability into their repertoires. Creative problem solving attitudes, behaviors, thinking skills and processes must be learned and developed to the extent that they become second nature. Organizations that adopt this approach will discover that creativity competency serves to complement analytical capability in building a highly effective operation that can thrive in today’s demanding business environment.
Many things will be different by the time we hit the middle of this century. Managers will be leading, thinking and problem solving at much deeper and more innovative levels. As technological advances in social networking, Big Data and artificial intelligence provide more insightful information and more reliable evaluative analytical tools, tomorrow’s managers will differentiate themselves through their generative and conceptualizing abilities.