As defined by Marshall (2013), creativity is the process in which a business oriented person becomes sensitive to gaps in knowledge, disharmonies, and deficiencies thus recognizing the strain and searching for solutions. This process is done through constant trials of testing until it becomes successful, and the outcomes are communicated to the relevant stakeholders (Marshall 2013). For businesses to flourish in a competitive environment, it is a must that their services become different from their competitors. This difference is in most cases well achieved through creativity whereby the business managers cultivate the coming up with new ideas and implement them successfully (Shorthose, 2012: 52). Below is a discussion of a creative idea that a banking business can adopt to make their services unique from their competitors.
Creativity and Innovation
There are some eminent dissimilarities that are present between creativity and innovation (Marshall 2013). The first difference is that creativity involves revealing the capability of the thoughts to come up with new ideas (Shorthose, 2012: 58). The ideas could be evident in several ways, but they eventually become visible, audio, tangible, or can be tasted. On the other hand, innovation is about modifying and implementing an already existing idea to make it excellent and more suitable to the customer preferences (Puddy & Brankovic 2015). The second difference is the element of subjectivity (Hawamdeh, 2005: 73). Creativity is dependent on the individual an element that makes it hard to measure. On the other hand, innovation is totally measurable since it involves asserting modification into comparatively established systems. The third difference is that creativity is the act of breeding original ideas while innovation is the act of getting these ideas to reality (Hawamdeh, 2005: 77). The fourth difference is that creativity is directly affiliated to experience while innovation, on the other hand, is directly affiliated to observation.
Explanation of the Problem and the Creative Solution
The problem, that is intended to be solved in the banking business, is that of long time queuing when seeking services from the bank. Instead of queues, the banking management can come up with an idea of establishing a waiting area, well furnished with comfortable seats. For this to happen, there is a need to implement several technologies that would make the idea a reality. First, it is a must that an automated receipt machine be installed just after the entry door of the bank. The work of these automated machine is to generate receipts with numbers to the customers on the press of a button. The numbers on the receipts indicate the counter in which the customer should wait to be served. For efficiency, the automated receipt generating machines should be more and should be labeled according to the services that the customer wishes to enjoy. Examples of these services include; money depositing services, loan services, cheque-book services, ATM application and issuance services and inquiries.
The second necessity for the implementation of the idea is the presence of automated gadgets fixed on a visible position on the counters, which indicate the number to be served. To cater for those with poor eyesight or those with a sight problem, the automated gadgets should be accompanied by an audio readout of the number to be served. The waiting area should be established in such a way that all the displaying automated gadgets are visible to the customers. To this end, it will, therefore, be necessary to establish several waiting areas in which the customers can sit according to the services they wish to enjoy. For example, there may be established three waiting areas: one for those with inquiries and account opening, the other for those depositing, and loan issues and the third for mobile banking and currency exchange.
Through the implementation of this creative idea, the customers will have comfort when seeking services from the bank. Customer’s satisfaction is key for the success of any business; thus the bank will have an upper hand against its competitors. An assistant specifically specializing in directing the new users of the system must be employed to ensure the effective operation of this idea. This way, the problem of long hours of queuing and exhaustive standing will have been met. The customers’ discomfort will be solved thus giving them the comfort of enjoying services.
Explanation of the Opportunity
The opportunity being exploited through the establishment of a comfortable waiting bay is that of ensuring the comfort of the customers when seeking services from the bank. Through the comfort of these customers, there is an opportunity of luring more new customers into banking with the institution (Shorthose, 2012: 68). Similarly, there is the opportunity of retention of the existing customers attributed to their comfort. The assistant to be employed further ensures the comfort of the customers in using the system until they become used to it. To implement this idea, there are other several costs involved. Some of these costs are; the cost of establishing these waiting bays, the cost of installing automated receipt machines and the cost of installing automated display and audio machines. This cost notwithstanding, the expected long-term results far outdo the cost incurred if the implementation of the idea becomes successful. There is thus the opportunity of future business growth and expansion as the number of customers increase.
Overview of Creating a Creative Culture in an Organization
In the banking institution, there are several ways in which creative culture could be created. First, the goals set should be clear-cut on what the institution is aimed at achieving (Hawamdeh, 2005: 87). When the employees clearly understand the goal of an organization, they keep towards it. This way, they will be able to develop new ways in which they can achieve the set goals. These goals are well achieved in teams made up of members with complementary skills. The second way, through which the creative culture could be created, is through giving up some extent of control to the employees (Mumford, Hunter & Bedell-Avers 2008: 203). This assertion can be achieved through giving the employees of the institution some free time for them to try out new ideas. The third way of creating the creative culture is through the provision of toolkits that help employees to innovate (Pitta, Wood & Franzak 2008: 139). When such toolkits are promoted by the leaders of the institution, they help convince the employees that their leaders care about their development. The employees thus feel recognized and can come up with ideas that enable them maintain their relevance to their leaders and the team. The fourth way is through recognizing success whenever realized (Pitta, Wood & Franzak 2008: 141). The recognition should not only be formal like the ones held every year. More non-formal ways of recognizing success work wonders on the ability of the employees to become creative. These recognitions are in most cases worth little but have a great impact on creativity. Example of such an informal recognition is distribution of wooden nickels to creative members during regular meetings.
Process and Barriers to Creativity
There are several strengths associated with the idea of establishing waiting bays in the banking institution. The first strength the availability of space for the establishment of the bays. The bays require enough space, and the banking institution must have space. The second strength is the availability of the required resources to implement the idea. The third strength is the willingness of the management to implement the idea and employ a customer assistant.
Some of the weaknesses of the idea are as follows. The first is that the implementation may cost the institution a lot of finances which may be higher than the bank can afford. The second weakness is that the bank may have limited space for the establishment of the bay. The third weakness is that the bank management may be unwilling to implement the idea.
The first opportunity is that of improving the satisfaction of the customers. The second opportunity is that of luring and retaining more customers than the competitors.
The first threat is that the competitors may implement the same idea. The second threat is that of the failure to recover the incurred costs of implementing the idea in case the prospected customers do not orient with the institution. The third threat is that the illiterate customers may shy away because of the unwillingness to consult with the assistant.
In summary, creativity is a process of coming up with a completely original idea (Puddy & Brankovic 2015). It is different from innovation in several ways as presented in the above discussion. These way include the subjectivity, affiliation, the revealing of the idea and originality. The idea of establishing a waiting bay in the bank as opposed to queuing can be used as an example of a creative business idea. This idea presents several strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats as presented in the above discussion.
There are several recommendations that should be considered before implementing the idea;
1. The availability of space should be categorically considered before establishing the bay. If space is limited and can only accommodate a single bay, it is essential to stick to that. If it can’t, the idea should be forgone.
2. The availability of the finances required for the implementation of the idea should also be considered. It is advisable to venture into the idea only if the finances are available.
3. The assessment of the risks involved in implementing the idea against the gains is essential. For the implementation of the idea, the gains should surpass the risks involved.
Hawamdeh, S. (2005). Knowledge Management: Nurturing Culture, Innovation and Technology – Proceedings of the 2005 International Conference on Knowledge Management. Singapore: World Scientific Publishing Company.
Marshall, D. (2013). There’s A Critical Difference Between Creativity And Innovation. Business Insider. Retrieved 9 January 2015, from https://www.businessinsider.com/difference-between-creativity-and-innovation-2013-4
Mumford, M., Hunter, S., & Bedell-Avers, K. (2008). Multi-level issues in creativity and innovation. Bingley, U.K.: Emerald.
Pitta, D. A., Wood, V. R., & Franzak, F. J. (May 02, 2008). Nurturing an effective creative culture within a marketing organization. Journal of Consumer Marketing, 25, 3, 137-148.
Puddy, M., & Brankovic, A. (2015). IESE Insight Building a Creative Culture in an Organization. Ieseinsight.com. Retrieved 9 January 2015, from https://ieseinsight.com/doc.aspx?id=1231&ar=16
Shorthose, J. (2012). Understanding creative business: Values, networks and innovation. Farnham: Gower Publishing Ltd.