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My colleague Anke Scherer and I published an article called "The Dao of Innovation" in the current issue (5, 2017) of Kindai Management Review, a prestigious Japanese management journal:
A central question for managers in charge of innovation is to what extent creativity and innovation can be controlled and supervised, or whether they just have to be set free and allowed to take shape. In assessing this dilemma the authors conclude that there is a contradiction of action versus inaction on the personal level as well as a contradiction of control versus loss of control on the organizational level. What European innovators can learn from philosophical Daoism is an attitude that allows a process to just develop “naturally” and refrains from premature interference with the intention to permanently be in control. In business structures that judge everything according to its usefulness, i.e. profitability for the company, a look at the laid-back attitude of Daoism where usefulness and uselessness are relative qualities might relief the pressure on people to perform in a premeditated way. Innovation can be supported, but creativity cannot be forced. It can only be allowed to happen when control, interference, and action are balanced out with non-interference, and go-with-the-flow. This attitude in not an excuse for stressed-out managers to neglect their duty, but a time honoured worldview of one of the oldest civilizations in the world that can give them the sovereignty to “get out of the way” and let innovation happen.
In October 2016 I gave a presentation at the 5th M-Sphere Conference in Dubrovnik about tensions in corporate creativity. Meanwhile the proceedings of the conference have been published as a Book of Papers containing my contribution "Tensions in Corporate Creativity". Here is the abstract:
The standard definition of creativity is based on a tension between originality and effectiveness. Borrowing from the wave-particle duality in physics one could say that there is an
originality-effectiveness duality at work for creativity. The paper explores how this tension pervades Amabile’s (1997) componential theory of organizational creativity with the components
organizational motivation, management practices (including work assignment and work control) and resources. As a method the so called value square (“Wertequadrat”) developed by Helwig (1967) and Schulz von Thun (1998) is used which balances a value with its countervalue. The author identifies a tension of corporate tradition and corporate change for organizational motivation, a tension of skills and challenges for work assignment, a tension of management by control and management by loss of control for work control as well as a tension of organizational efficiency and organizational slack for resources. Additionally different implications of these tensions for the resistance of a company to creativity, for an organizational climate conducive to creativity as well as for resource allocation in creative endeavours are discussed.
The full paper can be found here.
For more information on the M-Sphere Conference go to the following website: http://m-sphere.com.hr/
The journal Business Creativity and the Creative Economy published an article by me called "On the Originality-Effectiveness Duality of Creativity: Tensions Concerning the Components of Creativity". Here is the abstract:
The standard definition of individual creativity is based on a tension between originality on the one side and effectiveness (usefulness and appropriateness) on the other side. In this article this tension is called the originality-effectiveness duality of creativity. The article explores how this duality pervades the componential theories of creativity. To analyze the components of creativity with regard to their tensions, the so called value square (“Wertequadrat”) developed by Helwig (1967) and Schulz von Thun (1998) is used. The value square explains each component as a dynamic equilibrium and shows how a positive value is balanced with its positive countervalue. Tensions of mindfulness, precision and ambiguity, as well as immersion and detachment are identified permeating the components of creativity. This article explores the implications these tensions have for creativity research and for businesses in a creative economy.
Link to Vol. 2 (Fall 2016) of the journal Business Creativity and the Creative Economy: http://www.icscpress.com//index.php?cID=163
Link to the website of the article: http://www.icscpress.com//index.php?cID=170
Frederic Mäckel und ich haben einen Artikel mir dem Titel "Bestimmung des Carbon Footprints in der Transportbranche – Status und Entwicklungstendenzen in Nordrhein-Westfalen" in der Zeitschrift uwf - Umweltwirtschaftsforum beim Springer-Verlag veröffentlicht.
Der Transport trägt in erheblichem Maße zu den Treibhausgasemissionen der Logistik bei. Die Einführung der DIN EN 16258 hat zu einer neuen Dynamik in der Diskussion um den Transport Carbon Footprint (TCF) geführt. Die Autoren untersuchen im Rahmen einer Umfrage den Status und die Entwicklungstendenzen des TCF bei Transportunternehmen in Nordrhein-Westfalen. Als Ergebnis kann festgehalten werden, dass das Thema des nachhaltigen Transports zwar bereits zu positiven Entwicklungen im Hinblick auf Maßnahmen zur Reduktion von Treibhausgasemissionen geführt hat. Aber die DIN EN 16258 hat noch keine weite Verbreitung bei Transportunternehmen gefunden, und es besteht noch erheblicher Unterstützungsbedarf bei der Ermittlung von TCFs, z.B. durch einfache und einheitliche Berechnungstools.
I published a new article in the journal uwf at Springer entitled "Ecological sustainability of material resources – Why material efficiency just isn’t enough"
In a finite system like the earth economical use and preservation of resources is mandatory. The aspiration to fulfil the demand of an increasing population with raised standards of living and to generate on-going economic growth leads to certain dilemmas concerning material resources. The paper will elaborate on the differences of economics with relatively scarce resources and economics with absolutely scarce resources with a focus on material resources. Currently many sustainability initiatives try to solve the problem of scarce resources by increasing efficiency. But general economic principles which increase efficiency such as economies of scale and learning curve effects demand high quantities and high lot sizes. Thus, efficiency in an economic sense does not always mean resource efficiency, which should not only include material efficiency but also preservation of resource availability and resource stewardship. If sustainability research takes the definition of the Brundtland report seriously and wants to meet “the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” then in the long run there needs to be a shift to renewable resources. This shift leads to new problems concerning overuse and tragedy of the commons as well as competition for acreage. The paper argues that sustainability research needs to change its focus from a mere increase of material efficiency to the problems of resource stewardship and preservation of natural resources taking a system dynamics perspective. It will elaborate on some of the possible directions these more wide-spread approaches may lead to.