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BUMGT 6927 Creativity & Innovation

Assignment 1

Federation University Australia

Assignment 1– Lecturer’sHints and Tips

What follows is an overview of Assignment One with comments on how you might approach it.  The primary purpose of this assignment is for you to get an overall understanding of the breadth of the topic, AND for you to find some relevance or relationship to your own situation.  I have found that people who understand how creativity and innovation relates to their own situation are more successful in making innovation happen.Good Luck.

Is Creativity & Innovation important to individual or organizational success?

Unit 1 Business environment

If you believe it is then you may like to consider the following…

  • How do we define creativity and innovation? 
  • What’s the difference between them?
  • Where does one end and the other begin?
  • Can you have one without the other?What would be the result if you did?
  • Where does intra/entrepreneurship fit in?
  • Whatare examples of people, organizations, or products/services etc. you believe are innovative, and why do you believe they are.  What type(s) of innovation do they display or use to be successful?

In addition the following questions may raise your interest…

  • Is it important that we have ‘creative’ people in our business?
  • Are creative people born or developed – nature or nurture?
  • What examples do we have of creative genius – and what makes them creative?
  • Should we try to find and hire creative geniuses?
  • Should we reward creativity and innovation, and if so how might we do that?
  • What is your experience in this area?

Assignment 1 Individual Essay (30%)

Each participant is required to submit an essay based on an exploration of the nature of creativity and innovation – how these are defined, what academics and others say about them, what their own experiences are, and how they might apply the insights they gain from reading material on these topics.  The assignment report should be a document of 2000-2500 words and should include a Mind Map® overview and Executive Summary.  The topic will relate to the theory and practice of creativity and innovation in an organisational setting and will require participants to research the current body of knowledge in the area and present a case based on their research.  

The assessment criteria are outlined in the course description.

This assignment asks you to explore around the concepts of Creativity and Innovation.  The approach to undertaking the task is purposely open to interpretation – much like the concepts involved.  Our aim is to invite you to research, explore and hopefully discover what creativity and innovation mean to you, your situation and your entrepreneurial or career aspirations – based on what has been done and learnt by many others.  There is no ‘right’ answer to the assignment, but we believe the subject is animportant one that entrepreneurs and leaders need to be abreast of.  This is a chance to explore what is likely to be the differentiating factor for business in coming years.We anticipate that you couldspend20-30 hours working on this, including the reading and web-searching, and if you do you will almost certainly be rewarded with some interesting insights. 

We enjoy reading the reports we get back from participants, as no two are alike.  How boring it would be to read papers that all covered the same stuff! In the past most papers were laid out in standard essay form, and many had summaries in Mind Map form, which is what we ask for.  A couple were presented in alternative formats, such as cartoon story book and a video, and these were fun – although content is ourprimary interest.  Some peoplefocus on the creativity aspect, with people and thinking as a central topic, while others look more at organisational innovation effort.  Most participantsgo well beyond theset ofreadings wemake available, and those that do score much better than those that simply cut and pasted information and wrap it up with a brief summary.  The reports welike are those that surprise us with new and/or controversial information.

Wealso look for you to find links to your own situation, or for you to challenge views held by ‘experts’ based on your own experiences.

In written comments on your reports we try to only give Yellow Hat comments, because each of you will learn something of value – sometimes significant, sometimes small. In grading the papers I use the criteria in the grading sheet but in general I look for….

  • A clear focus on what you are trying to achieve with the report, and whether or not you went beyond what is asked for in the instructions.  The research aspect is wide open and we hope to see you start with the reading references we give you, but that you then go beyond this into areas more specific to your area of interest. 
  • The assignment is wide open to individuality, and here we really invite you to pursue diverse and sometimes contradictory views held by ‘experts’.  Are you posing questions that demand further exploration andthen followingthem through?  Wewould like you to find a relationship to your own experience.  Do this by building on yourresearch and reflect these onto your personal experiences.  Don’t just give usyour opinions.  We value these, but without reference to something they remain just opinion.  Make a connection with the research and see what you learn about yourself, those you work with and your business interests.  Keep this top of mind as you write.
  • I also consider the quality and richness of your thinking and the layout of the report.  We want to see you presented your thinking well in a building and interesting way.  We expect to see good referencing and that grammar and spelling is checked and the report is easy to navigate.  Written communication is a skill all leaders must have, so at least use your spell-checker.

The issue of what Creativity and Innovation means to different people, organisations, and situations is clearly a tough one to pin down, but you willlikely agree that trying to understand it bettergives you an insight into running a business better.  This is a chance to see the wide diversity in what Creativity and Innovation mean to different companies and ‘experts’.  At its base though is creative thinking and this is even more difficult of define and engage.  In our view at the source of creativity is the human being with a genius brain that can be left to radiate somewhat aimlessly or directed with discipline and purpose in the pursuit of new ideas, new concepts, and new answers.

Can you have Innovation without Creativity?  Can people be more creative through the use of thinking tools? Can the human brain be used better, more creatively?  Where does learning, artistry, memory, experience, education etc. come in?  Do we have the desire, the discipline, theskills to think better?These are questions we believe entrepreneurs need to explore.  We urge you to keep looking, reading, exploring and experimenting well beyond this assignment.

References

With References, please be clear in your report on what is a direct quote or reference, what is paraphrasing, and what are your own insights, being sure to correctly reference these in the report and in the Reference Appendix.  If you need help with referencing in the Fed Unistyle there are links available on Moodle under Student Information & Support (Right Side Column).

Doing this assignment, you will have scanned and read a lot of articles, websites, videos etc. but in your Reference List please clearly list those you actually use in your paper.  We often see a long list of 25 or more references in reports, but most are not used in the report.

If you feel it is important to also indicate what other articles etc. you've reviewed that didn't feature in your final report you can list those separately under a suitable title (E.G. Other information reviewed).

Lastly, remember to submit your assignment via Moodle – don't leave it in Draft form there, as we are only notified when it is fully submitted. It is to be submitted by midnight on the day before the it is due, or as instructed by your lecturer.  Be sure to include a signed Uni Cover Sheet

Lastly, just check with your Lecturer to see if she/he would like you to, if possible, also bring to class a printed copy.  Some lecturers prefer to provide comments on the marking sheet, rather than via Moodle, and will often give overall feedback to the entire class, as many comments are common to many people and everything can be a good lesson.  Thanks

Good luck.

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