Creative behaviours and processes in complex organisations

Using integrated qualitative-quantitative methodologies (participant observation, questionnaires, in-depth interviews, content analysis, census of techniques for stimulating creative processes used in companies, training institutes and research and development departments), I identified a body of meta-rules that trigger creative dynamics from both a systemic and relational perspective. Field investigations have shown that:

  • Every technique used to stimulate creativity and produce new ideas (brainstorming, focus groups, T.r.i.z. and other 200 techniques surveyed by the researcher) is in turn made up of basic meta-rules that are always the same and generate recursive paths, i.e. opposition, combination, separation.
  • Post-modern organisations have proceduralised and bureaucratised creativity; no technique is original, all are similar. The theories from which the techniques have been extrapolated are also based on the same assumptions.
  • The creative process in its relational dynamics is a normally inevitable phenomenon, habitual and not extraordinary, in many cases cybernetic-recursive in that it evolves through variations on the theme predictable from the outset and (especially in cases of product innovation) manageable and measurable.
  • The creative process rests on paradoxical dynamics that are triggered even when the process becomes procedure. New ideas can be created through deviance or consonance; a banal idea becomes brilliant according to the favorable context, the consensus and the charismatic ability of the person proposing the idea.
  • From a relational point of view, a creative process is almost always configured as a set of meta-rules (normative or customary) able to disable themselves in order to achieve a goal.
  • Every definition of creativity lends itself to counterclaims not only on a hermeneutical level, but also on an operational level.
  • I summarize Richard Florida's thesis. Talent, Technology and Social Tolerance do not determine more creativity and more innovation; not even high remuneration increases the rate of creativity; a cosmopolitan and resource-rich environment does not foster creativity any more than a provincial and poor environment. One can speak of different topological creativities. Contexts in which it is possible to elaborate analytically and places in which it is possible to create synthetically. Contexts in which one elaborates from excess or from lack.
  • Creativity is the child of a relational dynamic between problem/context and solution/solver.
  • Technological determinism is declining any kind of innovation towards the digital nano-bio-technological path. The pure analogue path has been abandoned with "obvious distorting effects". It is as if a certain way of thinking, organizing and producing had been concealed. This produces a loss of knowledge.

On the basis of the above considerations, I have elaborated a corpus of relational definitions on the different typologies of Serendipity.