Creativity and problem solving in recessionary times

Basadur, M.S. (2009). Creativity and problem solving in recessionary times. Europa: Novas Fronteiras. The European Information Centre Jacques Delors (CIEJD). No. 24/25, Lisbon. January/December.


Two seemingly paradoxical ideas, innovation and recession, are front and centre these days. However, there really is no paradox because innovation tends to occur when there’s a real need for it. When things are going well, it’s easy to relax and be content with the status quo. But when things aren’t going well, there is a real opportunity for innovating. Many organizations miss this opportunity. While loaded with a wealth of talent and knowledge in their people, many unfortunately do not know how to leverage that wealth of thinking power. So when bad times arrive and sales are down, they tend to take a short-term reactive approach, cutting jobs and other costs while waiting for the good times to return. The result, however, is that the organization handcuffs itself in two ways. Along with losing talent and knowledge, the organization also has fewer people to even do what it normally does. With little time for innovation, you can be sure few new ideas will be generated, and quality of service may be compromised.

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