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Quantifying Creativity

Researchers at the International Center for Studies in Creativity at SUNY-Buffalo have developed a nine-point program for analyzing the climate for innovation within an organization. Scott Isaksen and his colleagues identified the following dimensions of innovation:

  • Challenge How challenged, how emotionally involved, and how committed am I to the work?
  • Freedom How free am I to decide how to do my job?
  • Idea Time Do we have time to think things through before having to act?
  • Idea Support Do we have a few resources to give new ideas a try?
  • Trust and Openness Do people feel safe in speaking their minds and openly offering different points of view?
  • Playfulness and Humor How relaxed is our workplace — is it OK to have fun?
  • Conflicts To what degree do people engage in interpersonal conflict or “warfare?”
  • Debates To what degree do people engage in lively debates about the issues?
  • Risk-Taking Is it OK to fail when trying new things?

Charles Prather has developed a quick questionnaire business leaders can use to gauge where their organization stands in the nine-point program. The UK-based Innovation Web site offers an even quicker questionnaire based on this and Goran Ekvall’s Situational Outlook for Creativity and Change.

Where do you stand? Where do you want to go now?

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