Can you standardize creativity?

Through my interactions with international educators and business people a common perception of the American student (likewise business hire) is that they have a creative problem-solving ability that many other nations are trying to emulate.  This week, as I am in the middle of prepping training on a large enterprise system (along with my aforementioned duties in planning for an enterprise LMS) I wondered if the move to these systems that are heavy on standardization might be taking away our ability to creatively react to problems as they arise.

As an example, working with the firm’s IS Help Desk who will be among the first impacted by the system implementation, the question arose of why they have to slow down so that the system can keep up with their normal pace.  Now, it wasn’t exactly that the system couldn’t keep up, but more that the administration, standardized responses and data entry that the system required prevented the Help Desk from providing their normal quick turnaround.  In fact, the project manager stated that the slower turnaround brought the crew up to the norm for corporate IS Help Desks.  The point that stuck with me however, was that the crew would now be offering slower service.  Is the system sacrificing creative and proactive solutions in the effort to bring consistency to the process?  Is it possible to have consistency and creativity when solving problems?

Throw in the emphasis on standardized measurements and the lack of rewards for high quality teaching/training and I wonder if the current perceived strength of American students/workers will be hard to maintain for the future.



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