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Five Creative Management Techniques

Managers are often called upon to make critical decisions that determine the direction of a project or product. Solving difficult or tricky problems is par for the course when coming up with solutions. In these situations managers must dig deep by tapping into a well of creativity.

Creativity is a concept that few managers learn how to completely embrace. This is because there is a misconception that creativity tends to be reckless and not very serious. However, creativity is a powerful idea developer that can make the task of problem solving so much easier. This is why the best managers use creative management techniques to stimulate innovation and positive organizational change.

Five Creative Management Techniques

1. Brainstorming

Brainstorming is a simple concept that requires participants to let go of the status quo mentality. Effective brainstorming at its core is like playing a free word association game. A word or phrase is written out and random ideas are listed as they come to mind. Anyone can speak or write an idea without fear of criticism. There is no right or wrong with this exercise. The purpose is to get as many ideas as possible. The big list of ideas is then whittled down to the few standouts.

2. Attribute Listing

A popular creativity tool used by many R&D departments is attribute listing. Start by taking a product, service or organized system and break it down into separate attributes. Think of everything that it does and any benefits or features. Place all the attributes into categories. Next, brainstorm ways that each attribute can be modified or improved.

3. Mind Mapping

Mind mapping is a fantastic visual technique that allows you to see at a glance all of the new ideas stemming from a core concept. You can learn mind mapping by doing an  NJIT online MBA in management information systems. The end results look similar to a road map. Begin by placing the main topic in the center. You can circle it to make it more prominent. Use multiple colored markets to draw separate lines outward from the center topic. Each line represents a different subtopic that is related to the main one.

Each subtopic can have its own subtopics with corresponding lines. Imagine the typical family tree diagram. A mind map is like adding on more members to a family of interconnected ideas. Mind maps are a fun way to look at all angles.

4. Provocations

Provocations are silly statements made about common things that everyone knows are not true. For example, a typical provocation may be “Computers are no longer allowed for creating presentations.” This gets everyone thinking outside the box. What alternatives can be used for presentations?

Answers to these types of questions lead to creative ideas.

5. Reversal

Everyone has assumptions about how things should work. This makes it difficult to be creative. Therefore, use the reversal technique to challenge those assumptions. Take the opposite position. Flip a problem or solution on its head and see it in another light.

Your company has a great new product idea. What could go wrong with it?

Start thinking. Maybe you can put to use one of these Five Creative Management Techniques yourself?


4 Responses to Five Creative Management Techniques

  1. IDK - July 31, 2013 at 1:40 pm #

    Well done, Sam: your back-story’s a brilliant way to start conversations!

    • Samantha Kelly August 1, 2013 at 10:17 am #

      lol thanks xx

  2. Brian August 1, 2013 at 11:17 am #

    I really like the Mind mapping tip. I found pen and paper mind maps to be too rigid so i invested in software a few years ago. I personally use MindGenius. This way i can move branches around, filter, priortise and analyze my ideas. It just seems to add a new dimension to my mind maps

  3. Martyn Best August 29, 2013 at 2:44 pm #

    Good article and supports some of the points I recently made.

    IT matters with Document Direct’s FOUNDER & CEO, Martyn Best
    Liverpool Post – 16th August 2013

    Q: I read about the dangers of “Bring your own device” (BYOD) and the reported looming demise of Blackberry, so how should I manage mobile devices within my business?

    A: Technology has democratised us all.

    Once upon a time you would need the budget of NASA to put a man on the moon, but nowadays the latest smart phone could probably place a rocket close enough. So, the smartphones that your employees choose certainly have the capability and capacity to also be used as good business tools.

    There are of course real and perceived security issues but there are also significant benefits – both in cost and management terms, and also in giving your team choice and the opportunity to engage and contribute more to the business.

    Any IT department should delight in the relief that BYOD brings to the capital and training budget, and whilst security is a clear danger, a few careful steps can help reduce or mitigate this.

    The key issue is communication and the creation of a very clear policy. So, be clear about what mobile devices are allowed, give guidance as to what software and apps should be avoided and help people with their data usage and download practices.
    Other elements which will help streamline your management of this will be ability for users to be configured “over-the-air” and most devices now have this simple function. Give advice on such matters as password protection and that most important element of data-erasure should any device be lost.

    Don’t also forget to have everyone install the app Find My Phone which can be invaluable in locating a lost phone and at the very worst performing that remote erasure of data.

    On very strong balance, Bring Your Own Device is to be welcomed, and as for BlackBerry – dont’ worry – it’s only evolution.

    Contact Martyn on 0151 227 9150 or at

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