Creativity Management – The New Challenge for BPM

by Grant HEnson

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Creative management definition: 

Creative management is the process of stimulating and managing creativity in order to achieve desired outcomes. It is a discipline that encompasses a wide range of activities, such as idea generation, problem-solving, and innovation.

Creative management is essential for businesses that want to stay ahead of the competition. In today's rapidly changing world, it is no longer enough to simply produce good products or services. Businesses also need to be able to innovate and come up with new ideas that will keep their customers engaged.

In the face of commoditized markets filled with identical products and services, organizations are increasingly recognizing the value of creativity and innovation. These elements are now considered just as important as traditional parameters like cost and organizational efficiency.

Business Process Management (BPM), with its proven track record of enhancing performance, reducing costs, and facilitating business imperatives such as risk management and knowledge management, now faces a new challenge: facilitating creativity management.

Traditionally, there has been a tension between control and creativity. There are numerous instances where organizations, in their quest for control, performance, and cost reduction, have inadvertently stifled creativity and innovation. However, based on our experiences with organizations in the creative industries such as the film industry, visual effects production, and more, we believe that BPM can serve as a facilitator, harmoniously merging creativity management with established business principles.

In this context, we introduce two new BPM concepts: creativity-intensive processes and pockets of creativity. Creativity-intensive processes refer to workflows where creative output significantly affects the value of the final product or service. Meanwhile, "pockets of creativity" are spaces within an organization where creative ideas are nurtured and allowed to flourish, often leading to innovative solutions.

So how can we implement BPM without hindering the creative aspect? The answer lies in adopting strategies that strike a balance between process structure and the freedom to create. For example, a process owner or manager can identify and preserve "pockets of creativity," giving employees the flexibility to experiment and innovate within these zones while maintaining a structured approach to other areas of work.

Another strategy could be to create "feedback loops" in creativity-intensive processes to capture, evaluate, and incorporate creative ideas. This can foster a collaborative environment where ideas are shared and refined, leading to continuous innovation. Such strategies can facilitate creativity within an organization without sacrificing other business objectives.

The introduction of these strategies and concepts signals the dawn of what we call "creativity-oriented BPM." It entails a shift from viewing BPM solely as a tool for cost and performance enhancement to recognizing its potential as a facilitator of creativity and innovation.

To conclude, as businesses strive to stay competitive in saturated markets, creativity management has become a crucial aspect. BPM, which has long been used to streamline processes and enhance efficiency, can now be leveraged to foster creativity in organizations. By introducing new concepts and strategies that incorporate creativity into BPM, organizations can set a new course, pushing the boundaries of innovation while still adhering to established business principles. This creativity-oriented BPM is poised to become a game-changer, shaping the future of how businesses operate.

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