Mobilising Creativity and Innovation at the Individual Level

Subject: Technology
Type: Exploratory Essay
Pages: 7
Word count: 1857
Topics: Innovation, Creativity, Entrepreneurship, Management, Teamwork

Executive Summary

The report explores the significance of enhancing creativity and innovation at the individual level. In the twenty-first century, organisations target to be more innovative so that they can create a competitive edge over other players in their specific industries. Some of the barriers that inhibit creativity and innovation at the individual level include the lack of intrinsic motivation, a low self-drive, the lack of confidence, limited resources, and the existence of negative dispositions towards change. It is possible to enhance creativity and innovation by enriching people’s jobs and allowing them to enjoy independence and autonomy. An organisation should assess the needs of employees and establish training programs that conform to employee needs. The provision of rewards and recognitions also represents an effective strategy for enhancing creativity and innovation. Undoubtedly, organisations can introduce each of these measures as a way of promoting creativity and innovation at the individual level. 


Many organisations have given attention to the need for increasing creativity and innovation at different levels. However, it is important to foster innovation and creativity at the individual level. Organisations rely on innovation and creativity to register a competitive advantage in the market. If individuals exhibit remarkable levels of innovation and creativity, the organisation is likely to register an improvement in performance (West, 2014). For this reason, it is necessary for organisations to implement measures and strategies that will enhance the level of creativity at the individual level. Many organisations lack the optimal conditions required for enhancing innovation and creativity (Cohen-Meitar, Carmeli, & Waldman, 2009). This report will highlight some of the leading barriers that inhibit the process of creativity and innovation. The paper will also present a critical plan of how the organisation can increase innovation and creativity at the individual level. 

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Individual Blocks that Inhibit Creativity and Innovation

Several factors serve as barriers to innovation and creativity. Particularly, individuals may exhibit certain attitudes, assumptions, and belief systems that promote the status quo. Notably, individuals may resist new ideas and concepts because they feel uncomfortable with change. Such a perception of new ideas and processes presents a major setback at the individual level. It is impossible for the individual to overcome the outdated belief systems without being open to the process of change (Jiang, Wang, & Zhao, 2012). An individual who lacks the personal drive to pursue challenging responsibilities is less likely to register higher levels of creativity. Notably, some individuals lack sufficient self-drive that motivates them to pursue new ventures. The lack of self-drive or initiative to pursue new ventures serves as a barrier to creativity and innovation. In many organisations, individuals who hold negative views towards change are less likely to exhibit any form of creativity. Additionally, some individuals may be afraid of demonstrating creativity because of the fear of judgment. It is evident that some individuals lack the courage to develop and explore new ideas. 

The fear of judgment is the primary hindrance that prevents many individuals from exploring new ideas. Some organisations do not create a favourable environment that encourages individuals to explore new ideas without any form of judgment or ridicule. The lack of motivation is a major factor that prevents individuals from being innovative (Jiang, Wang, & Zhao, 2012). Particularly, some individuals lack the intrinsic factors that motivate them to pursue new concepts and processes. The lack of motivation may link to personal factors or other factors defining the organisational culture (West, 2014). The lack of motivation is a leading cause of reduced levels of creativity and innovation. Some individuals lack the motivation because they do not have any attachment to the organisational goals and values. It is imperative to develop an attachment to personal values and organisational values for an employee to be motivated. 

The lack of resources may be a hindrance to the process of innovation and creativity. For this reason, the individual may not see the reason of focusing on innovation when the organisation does not have all the relevant resources. Lacking access to resources may discourage individuals from pursuing their real interests. The development of negative dispositions among individuals also hinders the development of creativity and innovation (Cohen-Meitar, Carmeli, & Waldman, 2009). The development of negative dispositions serves to hold back individuals instead of motivating them to pursue innovation and creativity (West, 2014). Individuals are usually keen to determine the amount of support they receive from the organisation. If they perceive that the organisation is not willing to provide adequate support, then they are less likely to be innovative. If an organisation recognises efforts made by different employees and their commitment to the process of innovation, then the employees will respond appropriately. The lack of support from the organisation will lead to low levels of creativity and innovation. 

Alternative Approaches Designed to Promote Individual Creativity and Innovation

Organisations must implement different strategies for promoting creativity and innovation among individuals. Particularly, psychological studies have revealed that intrinsic factors play the most critical role in determining the level of creativity and innovation that an individual can exhibit. Modern day studies have explored how different intrinsic factors drive individuals to participate in creative ventures. The intrinsic factors are tied to the available sources of motivation. The intrinsic factors that contribute to creativity and innovation include personalised rewards and other thought out benefits that will motivate individuals (Jiang, Wang, & Zhao, 2012). One of the intrinsic motivating factors is the availability of independence in the workplace. Notably, independence enhances the level of creativity because employees do not rely on directive instructions that order them around. In many organisations, enhancing autonomy has served to register positive outcomes in increasing the level of creativity and innovation. Independence and autonomy are factors that empower individuals to explore new ideas without any limitations (West, 2014). According to recent studies, career enhancement and the provision of more challenging tasks is an additional factor that promotes creativity and innovation. The best way to motivate individuals to exhibit high levels of innovation is to provide them with career enhancement and enrichment. Both career enhancement and enrichment can motivate an individual to be willing and confident to pursue innovation and creativity.

Reward systems have received appraisal from many scholars due to their ability to increase creativity and innovation. An organisation should have a reliable reward system that recognises the efforts of all the employees and provides rewards to employees with the most exemplary performance (Jiang, Wang, & Zhao, 2012). An effective reward system should involve gains for the employee as a way of motivating the employee intrinsically. When an individual registers an improved performance, the organisation should provide such a person with an incentive that will keep them going towards the right direction (Jiang, Wang, & Zhao, 2012). A well-timed incentive or reward can increase employee commitment to not only the organisation but to personal goals. 

The provision of training and empowerment programs also serves to enhance motivation among employees as well as creativity at the individual level. For employees to explore innovation, they must be able to exhibit new skills and abilities. The provision of training and empowerment ensures that the employees can register progress successfully in their personal career goals (West, 2014). Training and development should be suited to meet the needs of the employees. It is good to prepare employees psychologically so that they can benefit from the training programs. In these programs, the employees will be able to recognise the potential adverse effects brought about by the lack of creativity. If training focuses on the specific needs of employees, then it prepares them for the next level of their career. There is evidence that training programs can promote behavioural changes among individuals. Through training, an organisation can make employees open to the process of change and new ideas (Cohen-Meitar, Carmeli, & Waldman, 2009). There is evidence suggesting that training and development lead to a positive perception and disposition of change. Training empowers the employees to access the resources needed for the process of creativity and innovation. 


Different factors hinder innovation and creativity at the individual level. The lack of intrinsic motivation, as well as the upholding of negative attitudes and perceptions towards change, may prevent innovation (Jiang, Wang, & Zhao, 2012). Some individuals lack the confidence of coming with a new idea because they worry about its reception by others. The lack of resources also hinders some individuals from being innovative and creative. When individuals enjoy autonomy and independence, they feel empowered to try out ventures that are outside their comfort zone. Moving out of the comfort zone demonstrates an individual’s initiative to pursue an idea that will transform the organisation. Autonomy and independence allow employees to work on individual projects without necessarily reporting to their supervisors (West, 2014). Such freedom in the workplace enables employees to have an explorative spirit that enhances the level of creativity. It is important for organisations to introduce reward systems that motivate individuals to be innovative. Introducing reward and recognition programs and making the work environment viable will enhance the level of creativity at the individual level. Training and development programs will also help in ensuring that employees develop new skills and abilities to handle challenging responsibilities (Cohen-Meitar, Carmeli, & Waldman, 2009). Undoubtedly, many organisations do not recognise the need for creating a favourable environment that promotes creativity and innovation. It is time for organisations to embrace new strategies that enhance creativity and innovation at the individual level. Managers who recognise the strengths of employees or their outstanding weaknesses should empower them to pursue creativity and innovation in the industry. 

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Provision of reward and recognition systems is effective for enhancing innovation and creativity. The organisation should be able to identify employees who have registered remarkable progress in their efforts to be creative. For this reason, the organisation should provide such employees with a promotion in their careers so that they can gain access to more challenging opportunities. Without registering career growth, it is impossible for an individual to pursue successful innovation. The human resource managers must be able to identify the most remarkable rewards that will have an impact on individual performance and creativity (Jiang, Wang, & Zhao, 2012). The first step should be the assessment of individual needs before planning the training and development exercise (West, 2014). The design of training programs should enable the individuals to achieve organisational goals. The content of training programs determines their effectiveness in helping individuals to be open to new concepts and ventures. Additionally, organisations should be able to foster a positive culture that encourages creativity and innovation. The organisation should make innovation and creativity some of the important shared values to foster organisational culture (Cohen-Meitar, Carmeli, & Waldman, 2009). Organisations that recognise the need for innovation and creativity have regular training programs and provide benefits to employees. The organisation should also create various motivating factors within the organisation and eliminate all the potential barriers to innovation and creativity. The human resource managers should give attention to the unique talent that exhibited by employees and help them to explore their full potential. 

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  1. Cohen-Meitar, R., Carmeli, A., & Waldman, D. A. (2009). Linking Meaningfulness in the Workplace to Employee Creativity: The Intervening Role of Organizational Identification and Positive Psychological Experiences. Creativity Research Journal, 21(4), pp. 361. 
  2. Jiang, J., Wang, S., & Zhao, S. (2012). Does HRM facilitate employee creativity and organizational innovation? A study of Chinese firms.International Journal Of Human Resource Management, 23(19), pp.4025. 
  3. West, R. (2014). Communities of innovation: Individual, group, and organizational characteristics leading to greater potential for innovation. Techtrends: Linking Research & Practice To Improve Learning, 58(5), pp.53-61.
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