30297 - MANAGING CREATIVITY
Course taught in English
Go to class group/s: 31
Class-group lessons delivered on campus
Creativity is an increasingly important skill for contemporary workers, and a key ingredient of organizations' ability to survive and thrive. As creativity is an important source of competitive advantage, organizations are increasingly seeking to foster it; yet, at the same time, organizations and society more broadly often end up stifling creativity in individuals, leading to a loss of confidence, talent, and good ideas. The objectives of this course are (1) to help you discover, develop, and protect your creative ability; and (2) to provide you with a richer understanding on how creativity can be enhanced and managed in a work setting. Students will learn about the basic features of creativity and creative processes, both short-term and over longer time periods, and on how to nurture creativity in themselves and others, stimulating factors that enhance creativity and removing the barriers that impede it. The course will look at creativity in many domains, including business, science and technology, the arts, and day-to-day life more broadly. Classes will be largely "hands-on", relying on exercises, class discussion, and case studies as well as on lectures and readings.
The course is structured in two parts, strongly connected to each other.
In the first part, students will focus on themselves, and acquire knowledge regarding (1) what creativity is, (2) how to build, feed, and stimulate creativity, and (3) the journey of an idea from inception to implementation.
In the second part, students will acquire knowledge on (1) how to manage creativity in organizations, (2) how to work effectively in creative teams, and (3) what does it mean to lead effectively for creativity.
Some of the questions we will address include: How do creative ideas happen? How can we foster our creativity and the creativity of those around us? What are the paths of creative development of individuals who are successful in their creative endeavors? What are the obstacles to creativity? What is the nature of creativity in teams and organizations?
- Recognize the importance of creativity for personal and professional growth, and its key role for organizational competitiveness
- Identify opportunities and threats for creativity
- Identify processes and practices associated with different phases of the idea journey
- Recognize the key ingredients of creativity-friendly leaders, cultures, and organizations
- Analise creativity in different organizational settings.
- Compare international best practices of creativity and innovation management.
- Apply the appropriate tools and models to develop better organizational choices to foster and manage creativity
- Face-to-face lectures
- Guest speaker's talks (in class or in distance)
- Case studies /Incidents (traditional, online)
- Individual assignments
- Group assignments
- Interactive class activities (role playing, business game, simulation, online forum, instant polls)
The learning experience of this course includes, in addition to face-to-face lectures, the use of individual exercises and group assignments throughout the course. These assignments allow students to:
- Challenge their own perspectives on creativity as for example to debug the “myths” surrounding the creativity process.
- Describe the main concepts covered in class and critically explain the main relationship between processes and practices associated with creativity in different organizational settings.
- Apply tools and models explained during the course to stylized real cases to be presented and discussed in class.
- Students are encouraged to bring their own views and to share their insights as well as guided to learn how to ask and give effective feedbacks during such discussions.
In addition to one-on-one lectures, the course includes one or more guest speakers from a selection of creative industries such as social media, fashion and more traditional ones aimed at better understanding how creativity is fostered, evaluated, and managed in the everyday life of an organization.
Case studies will also be used in class. Different cases are used to identify and illustrate different individual, group and organizational elements able to sustain or hamper creativity.
Taken together these activities allow students both to identify and compare best practices across different international contexts and to apply concepts covered in class to develop solutions to potential problems presented in the cases and in the experiences provided by the guest speakers.
At the end of each of the course’s main two sections, a formal assessment of students’ preparation is provided with the aim to evaluate their knowledge about the concepts, tools and models and their relationship with creativity and their application in different contexts.
With the purpose of measuring the acquisition of the above-mentioned learning outcomes, the students’ assessment is based on three main components:
- In-class participation (20% of the final grade) aimed to test the students’ ability to interact in a constructive way, to complete exercises in a diligent and creative manner, to think critically and to develop their ability to speak in public and defend one's ideas. We will encourage and reward high-quality participation, not quantity.
- Creativity log (10% of the final grade). Students will be required to keep a log of their creative activities. The log should record their creativity-related activities for the whole duration of the class, at least on a weekly basis. Logs can come in form of diaries, drawings, graphs, videos … Whatever students feel comfortable with (Creativity is, of course, encouraged). Logs will be graded based on effort and the degree of self-reflection.
- Written exam (30% of the final grade), consisting of multiple-choice questions. The aims are to assess students’ ability to recognize and apply the knowledge referring to the concepts, models, guest lectures and cases discussed in class. The exam consists of two written exams taken during the course lectures. In this case, the weight is 15% for the partial midterm exam and 15% for the partial end-of-term exam.
- The field project (40%) consists of developing an in-depth analysis of a real organization chosen by the students in order to identify, illustrate and analyze the main elements and aspects of the company’s organization and approach to creativity management. The students have to focus on different levels of analysis - namely individuals, teams, and organization - and to answer to questions such as: How does the company get organized to support the generation of new ideas/ products/services /experiences? What are the strengths and weaknesses of the company’s approach? Does the company have a competitive advantage in creativity? If so, is it sustainable? Additionally, they need to provide a brief analysis of a different company pertaining to the same industry where the approach to creativity strongly differs from that of the company they have chosen. Finally, they are asked to wear the consultant hat and to provide actionable recommendations to the company in terms of fit between the strategy and the way creativity is managed and how to sustain it in the future. These projects are used to verify the ability of students to:
- Identify and examine the main problems regarding the management of creativity within the organizations.
- Apply the knowledge developed during the course to assess the fit between the strategy of the company and their approach to creativity as well as to compare it to different practices developed in similar contexts.
- Develop managerial suggestions for the future sustainability of the company itself. Finally, the students have the opportunity to present the project’s results. The presentations give the opportunity to the students to further develop their ability to speak in public and to verify their ability to communicate concisely the results of the work completed as well as the ability to argue and defend one's ideas and conclusions reached.
The assessment method for non-attending students is based on a final written exam held at the end of the course. It comprises several multiple-choice questions referring to the concepts, models, and cases contained in the textbooks that constitute the exam materials. The multiple-choice questions are mainly aimed at verifying learning of the analytical and management abilities and their correct comprehension and assessing the ability to apply the knowledge students learned when studying the course material.
The exam for attending students is based on:
- The book: Catmull, E., & Wallace, A. 2014. Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration. Penguin Random House.
- The course slides, as well as articles, case studies, exercises and other sources distributed in class and/or available online and through the Course Reserve. Materials with copyright such as cases and articles will be provided through links uploaded in BlackBoard. Finally, students can download HBR articles by accessing the Library https://lib.unibocconi.it/record=b1673134~S9*ita. Students can also more easily retrieve them and other materials by entering the title of the articles in the first search box from the home page of the Library: https://lib.unibocconi.it/*ita (set the search by Keyword / Keywords and not by title).
The exam for non-attending students is based on two textbooks:
Catmull, E., & Wallace, A. 2014. Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration. Penguin Random House.
Mumford, M.D. (2011). Handbook of Organizational Creativity. Elsevier.