For companies to compete effectively in a marketplace marked by turbulence, those that place a strong emphasis on the soft skills will have a competitive advantage, the authors of this paper concluded.
The study looked at the resources used to create resilience within organisations and how each of these resources relates to organisational creativity.
The work found a positive relationship between resilience and creativity highlighting the importance of focusing on cognitive and emotional resources.
- Function like a Swiss army knife – firms with resilience have the ability to find the right tools for seemingly unsolvable situations and problems and to create unconventional (and creative) responses to unexpected challenges
- Establish mentoring programmes – firms that are capable of utilising their employees’ knowledge and skills, by matching a problem-solving assignment with the person having the best competence, create trust.
- Facilitate trust – friendship, support, respect, and collegiality have an impact on organisational creativity.
However, it is easier to (re- )draw an organization chart or to develop visions and plans (all examples of structural resources) than to address issues of friendship, support, and trust (all examples of emotional resources).
Recommendations for improving resilience
Based on the results of their study, the authors offer the following four recommendations to managers:
- Nurture the cognitive resources of the organisation – as many people as possible in the organisation should be encouraged to take initiatives, seek knowledge, and make external contacts to nurture their skills and keep up-to-date with new knowledge.
- Consider the emotional climate – managers regularly examine whether the product development project teams or processes have the potential to be resilient.
- Address problems and concerns about change – evaluate whether structures, which can support creativity, can be created or strengthened.
- Maintaining resilience in product development – allow room for employees to fail, recover, and try again, a process necessary for successful creativity – and at the end of the day, innovation.
The researcher concluded that it is their hope that we have set out the direction for companies who want to be able to manage in turbulence, by showing how they can develop their capacity for resilience in order to be creative.
Managing in turbulence: how the capacity for resilience influences creativity Anders Richtnér1 and Hans Löfsten2