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Student Name:

Student ID Number:
Unit Title and Code: Strategy and the-
Global Competitive Environment BSS058-6
Assessment Title: Report on a Contemporary
External Strategic Environment
Date of Submission: Friday 10th January 2020
To: Ellot Lloyd

From:

Date of Report: 10th January 2020

Title of Report: Creative Thinking and


innovations by the Mercy Corps
Executive summary
This report aims at the analysis of a case study of Mercy corps and finding an individual's
creativity, personality traits, the creative thinking process, and building blocks. With this
analysis, some of the recommendations are also to be provided for the development of creative
thinking at Mercy Corps.
Mercy Corps vision is to follow the ideas for community mobilization, cash for work so
the individuals not feel shame, improvement and rebuilding the tourism industry and to educated
the individuals working with the company about the AIDS awareness, water crises faced by
many countries and the importance of children safety. These ideas could only be implemented
after the creative approach and following steps were taken for this initiative; preparation,
incubation, illumination, and verification. The company focused on the personality attributes of
individuals. Few of the attributes are openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, and
agreeableness. Also, by analysis done for some of the hurdles or blocks in creativity have been
found in the shape of communication issues between the company and the individuals, reporting
issues, withdrawal of funds and termination of corporate partnership as the donors stopped
funding for few projects and start focusing more famous ideas.
Mercy Corps required to motivate the divergent thinking as it will contribute towards the
creation of numerous advanced ideas. The company felt that this is required individual to be
more responsible and do communication for the reporting and sharing the ideas. Similarly, long-
term relations must be motivated and by donors who are investing in those projects.
Mercy Corps sustainable innovation through corporate partnership is the challenging part
in the case study which require for the donors to continue their funding for the ongoing projects
so that will lead the individuals to get encourage for more and more good ideas and creativity.

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Table of Contents
Executive summary......................................................................................................................... 1
1. Introduction ............................................................................................................................. 3
2. Analysis................................................................................................................................... 3
2.1. Creative thinking at the Company level ........................................................................... 3
2.1.1. Cash for work ............................................................................................................ 4
2.1.2. Community mobilization .......................................................................................... 4
2.1.3. Tourism recovery ...................................................................................................... 4
2.2. Creative thinking process ................................................................................................. 4
2.2.1. Preparation ................................................................................................................ 5
2.2.2. Incubation ................................................................................................................. 5
2.2.3. Illumination ............................................................................................................... 5
2.2.4. Verification ............................................................................................................... 5
2.3. Personality traits of Organization ..................................................................................... 6
2.3.1. Openness ................................................................................................................... 6
2.3.2. Conscientiousness ..................................................................................................... 6
2.3.3. Extraversion .............................................................................................................. 6
2.3.4. Agreeableness ........................................................................................................... 6
2.4. Blocks to creativity and innovation .................................................................................. 7
3. Conclusion .............................................................................................................................. 8
4. References ............................................................................................................................. 10

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1. Introduction
The report comprises an extensive analysis of the activities, strategies, aims, innovation,
creative thinking and implementation of the creative thinking process by the Mercy Corps for
individuals working at their organization. This report has the following goals.
 Mercy Corps analyze the creativity at the organizational level
 To analyze the creative thinking procedure implemented by Mercy Corps
 Organizational approach leading them towards benefiting the creative thinking
 Maintain the long-lasting relations with the donors for betterment.
Creative Thinking is based on the innovative thinking and new ideas which will be able to
resolve the issues or problems permanently. This will lead organizations toward building the
personal approach for entrepreneurship. Creative thinking theory is based on several steps which
are later discussed in this report to achieve the goal.
In this report, an analysis of the case study of Mercy Corps is to be carried. Mercy Corps is
an NGO that aims to provide support for reducing poverty and reliance of those people by
providing supportable means of growth. The NGO not only operate in many disastrous
circumstances like floods, tsunami, wars, and earthquakes but also managed to provide the aims
to the locals for their future. During that development, the Company has applied their creative
thinking and come up with emerging ideas. The process of idea shaping out with their vision is
also to be discussed in this report. Later, some of the hurdles in the application of creativity and
creative thinking process for company at Mercy Corps are discussed.
The case mention the areas more focused by the company at micro level for the betterment of
locals, individuals, countries faced the crises situations and for the betterment of their own vision
which was to upgrade the self-respect of the individuals working with them to learn to initiate
their own efforts and make the country sustain together during the bad situations.

2. Analysis
Analysis part of this task represents the thorough evaluation of the company’s responses to
several incidents and events at Mercy Corps. There are many happenings in the case that needed
the organization’s reactions and solutions. This part is to define the ways, models and processes
applied by the company in managing different circumstances. Also, some difficulties in the way
of creativity and creative problem solving are to be discussed followed by design thinking and
change management on an organization level. The analysis also covers the personality traits
which are focused by the company for more better improved ideas and creativity keeping in
mind the each individual’s traits and attributes rather focusing all them to follow only one
direction. The company provided the ground to individuals to openly share their ideas and
supported through the funding to initiate the desirable one.

2.1.Creative thinking at the Company level


Organizational-level creativity, thinking, and entrepreneurial determinations were
motivated. Employees at Mercy corps were constantly participated in different kinds of concepts

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(Ahmed and Mao, 2019). Individuals in the organization were motivated to present their ideas
and as the management to provide ground to implement those ideas. Individuals have given
different creative ideas to resolve the difficulties (Burch, Burch and Batchelor, 2019). These
concepts are as follows. The support and better approach provided to each individual so that they
can share their ideas without hesitation and if looks perfect as per the vision to get out of the
crises situations, company immediately approve those projects.

2.1.1. Cash for work


Organization believed to provide the strength to the people by working their own rather
than just focusing on financial help. The company not only wanted to mitigate the crises situation
but to also let the local’s believe on their thinking ability that they can come out of any worst
situation by themselves. This is for their future preparation. Organization trained their people to
not only focus on what they have been provided as aid but to focus on infrastructure stability by
maintaining their roads and cleaning their areas for better development and organized approach
(Clapp and Ruckthum, 2019). This way they are not only financially sound as they are earning
their own but also feel respectable as per organization’s approach (Halder, Roy and Chakraborty,
2017).

2.1.2. Community mobilization


The aim of the company is to help the victims in crises to rebuild their self-esteem. The
Mercy Corps has provided them the opportunity to the victims of crises to work such as building
roads, constructing buildings, and cleaning their area so that they can eventually increase the
development of projects 93% by the locals (Harms, Kennel, and Reiter-Palmon, 2017).

2.1.3. Tourism recovery


Other aim of organization is to rebuild the tourism industry at the effected countries such
as Sri-Lanka where the organization with the help of locals successfully build some hotels at the
river bank along with markets and grocery stores to recover from the disaster and to start the
tourism industry again (Kasemsap, 2017). The tourism industry in many countries take a boost
again which was never imagined without the company’s creative approach and by supporting the
individuals to work together for building up this industry again.

2.2.Creative thinking process

An organizational capability was developed with proper processes to Mercy Corps which
are adopted at individual’s level willingly (Kaul, 2019). The company not only wanted the
countries facing the crises situation to come out of the situation but also wanted to build the
nations who are self-motivated for the betterment for their future.
Based on the creative thinking model provided by Graham Wallas, the assessment of the
creative thinking process applied by Mercy Corps is as follows.

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Preparation Incubation Illumination Verification

2.2.1. Preparation
This is the first step in the creative thinking process. At this level, the main problem is
focused. Whenever a crisis occurs in any part of the world, an organization look into the matter
and tries finding different dimensions of crises (Lyskova, 2018). This is required to find the
dimension of the problem. Logical thinking and analysis of the facts & figures at management
level are the part of this process that is followed by Mercy Corps at first stage to further guide at
individual level. Each problem has been first look at micro level to understand the circumstances
and pros and cons before initiating any step and then properly planned solutions and strategies
were designed for the resolution.

2.2.2. Incubation
Incubation required organization to work in to different groups. One is management who just
focus on the incubation side and try finding the best possible solution avaibale with current
resources and the employees who need to come up with the best strategy for the crises including
the time and material required (Main, Delcourt and Treffinger, 2019). Also, we can say that
organization keep serving the victim but take some time to devise the strategies.
This has also seen in the case of partnership with Ethos Water and Tazo Tea. The
management invited the agencies and individuals working their started making the strategies to
resolve the crises situation (McAleer and Belin, 2018). This process can be from hours to
months.

2.2.3. Illumination
At the stage the organization comes up with the ideas and resolution. After making the strategy
and analyzing at micro level the organization starts to implement the solution accordingly with
injecting the resources in different directions (Medeiros, Williams and Damadzic, 2019). This is
the process that is analyzed to be followed by company to finalize the approach to resolve the
crises sometimes with complete plan or sometimes ongoing process. This is the stage where
Mercy Corps found the ideas of community mobilization, cash for work, recovery of tourism of
Sri-Lanka and many others (Mitchell and Walinga, 2017).

2.2.4. Verification
This is the last stage where company implemented the solution with cognitive approach and
educated the local people how to fight against the issues such as AIDS, water crises and safety
for child after 11th Septemer in New York. They look if the approach resolve the issue or need
some improvement (Moise, Vladoiu and Constantinescu, 2017).

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2.3.Personality traits of Organization
The creativity applied by the organization for community development is because of their
characteristics or traits designed for individuals (Orzechowski, Kruchowska, Gruszka and
Szymura, 2017). Based on the model of personality traits, the evaluation done for individuals at
Mercy Corps is as follows.

2.3.1. Openness
Mercy Corps try to come up with openness and new ideas for their individuals. The case
study states the approach of company for the individuals faced the crises of the tsunami, floods,
earthquakes, wars and many more. Company try to motivate the individuals to to carry the
mission of Mercy Corps with its full passion with the application of new and innovative concepts
like cash to work, the involvement of victims in the development process, educating people
regarding different diseases and disasters (Rawlinson, 2017). Company is always striving for
finding the ways for resolving the issues and making circumstances better for the victims as well
as individuals working with them.

2.3.2. Conscientiousness
Another trait that has been found in the Mercy Corps is conscientiousness. Company try
to look into every aspect by not leave any stone unturned to provide relief to the victims of wars,
floods, earthquakes, etc (Medeiros, Williams and Damadzic, 2019. Organization believes to
motivate employees through goal-oriented and start any project with the mission of eliminating
poverty and reduce the dependence of the victims on others. This trait leads the organization
approach towards innovation at individual level.

2.3.3. Extraversion
The company has managed in many critical situations to resolve the crises situation. They
focus keenly for understanding the situation deeply. Through their deep analysis of the situation,
local conditions and the people facing the crises, they make proper strategy and ideas to eradicate
the problem and resolve it for the good of locals living there (Mitchell and Walinga, 2017).

2.3.4. Agreeableness
Another important trait of the company that has been accessed from the analysis of the
case study is agreeableness. The Mercy Corps focus for individuals to be kind, tolerant and
sensitive as per their goal. They try listening to the local people, their donors and other
individuals working in the field (Lyskova, 2018). With mutual understanding and collaboration
of all the involved parties, they apply the solution.

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•Creativity
Openness •Curiosity
•Open to new ideas

•Systematic
Conscientiousness •Achievement Oriented

•Sociable
Extraversion •Understand social situations

•Tolerant
Agreeableness •Kind
•Sensitive

2.4.Blocks to creativity and innovation


There were many strategies designed for the employees to show their skills and innovation.
At the start, the Mercy Corps approach was to allow specific people to present their ideas and go
out of the box for quick application. But still, some of the issues came up as the obstacle that
needed to be fixed. Some of the blocks or obstacles to creativity for people at Mercy Corps are as
follows.
 As the organization managed to grow, it start facing issues at micro level like paying
attention to each individual ideas, to discuss and finalize it for approval, and for paying
as per the requirement. Managing multiple groups at a time to initiate the different
projects became so difficult. (Moise, Vladoiu and Constantinescu, 2017).
 Sometimes it became difficult for the organization to fund each individual’s ideas, as
those could be beneficial but there are limited resources which need to be utilized
carefully on the ideas which are famous and more beneficial than the others with less
output. (Rawlinson, 2017).
 Many times Company faced the issue where they have to manage the equivalency
between the quality and the work of individual’s ideas as they have to manage the
resources with the corporate partnership and in case individual’s feels less important
with one corporation, they look for other one to support which make it difficult to
manage funding. (Ahmed and Mao, 2019). In such cases, employees find it difficult to
carry their projects and find an alternative for the implementation of their creativity.
 Many corporations partnered with Mercy Corps including Nike, BP, Tazo Tea, JP
Morgan Chase, Bright Horizon and Ethos Water. All those corporations ask for regular
reporting related to the fund investment and progress in developmental projects.
Reporting becomes quite difficult for the employees because they have no streamlined
procedure of communication (Burch, Burch and Batchelor, 2019). They do not know
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who they are to present the report and who will present the report in from of the
partnered organization. This block decreased their ability to apply creative and
innovative ideas because it would not be possible without the approval of Partner
Corporation.

Withdrawal of
funds

Blocks to
Termination of Getting
creativity
corporate approval of
and
partnership ideas
innovation

Reporting to
partner
organizations

3. Conclusion
The report includes a thorough analysis of the working and creative thinking of Mercy
Corpse’s management to support the individual’s creative skills and innovations. From the
analysis of the case study, it has been learned that what ideas the individuals have applied.
 The case study specifies the company’s analytical approach toward the application of
creative ideas including community mobilization, cash for work, educating people about
the importance of clean water, providing them with developmental projects and making
them earn what they need.
 Also, the creative thinking process delivered by Company is followed by individuals.
They start with the analysis of the problems, thinking about it, devising the solutions and
implementing those creative ideas for the betterment of people. Each individual focused
towards the better and improved solutions and approach so that they get the funding to
complete the project.
 In addition to this, Mercy Corps are having certain personality traits designed for its
employees or for the local people which is leading them to behave in the good of the
community. The common personality traits analyzed are openness, conscientiousness,
extraversion, and agreeableness. Through this approach the Company made them open
for suggestions, analyze the situation deeply, listen to others, think for the betterment of
the community and want to create innovative solutions.

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 Also, company has faced few hurdles in the journey which are known as blockages in the
building blocks towards creativity. Difficulty in managing the ideas at micro level for the
approvals, sharing the reports with the partnered corporations and withdrawal of funds by
the donors in the middle of the projects due to focus towards other ideas also hinder
individuals to apply their creative ideas.
 Motivation required to encourage the individuals to work for the more improved ideas
which could lead the country fight with the disaster crises is another challenge which
company tried to cope-up with.

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4. References

Ahmed, F.A. and Mao, S., 2019. The Effects of Creative Thinking on the Decision Making
Process. Available at SSRN 3350020.
Burch, G.F., Burch, J.J. and Batchelor, J.H., 2019. Group Creative Problem Solving: The
Role of Creative Personality, Process and Creative Ability. Quality Innovation Prosperity, 23(3),
pp.38-54.
McAleer, P. and Belin, P., 2018. The perception of personality traits from voices.
Medeiros, K.E., Williams, B.C. and Damadzic, A., 2019. Creative Problem Solving:
Processes, Strategies, and Considerations for Leaders. In Leader Thinking Skills (pp. 176-204).
Routledge.
Mitchell, I.K. and Walinga, J., 2017. The creative imperative: The role of creativity, creative
problem solving and insight as key drivers for sustainability. Journal of Cleaner
Production, 140, pp.1872-1884.
Moise, G., Vladoiu, M. and Constantinescu, Z., 2017, October. Building the Most Creative
and Innovative Collaborative Groups Using Bayes Classifiers. In OTM Confederated
Clapp, R. and Ruckthum, V., 2019. Creative Problem-Solving in Countries East and West
Some Organizational Implications. ABAC ODI JOURNAL VISION. ACTION. OUTCOME., 6(2),
pp.63-70.
Halder, S., Roy, A. and Chakraborty, P.K., 2017. The influence of personality traits on
information seeking behaviour of students. Malaysian Journal of Library & Information
Science, 15(1), pp.41-53.
Harms, M., Kennel, V. and Reiter-Palmon, R., 2017. Team creativity: Cognitive processes
underlying problem solving. In Team creativity and innovation (pp. 61-86). Oxford University
Press.
Kasemsap, K., 2017. Advocating problem-based learning and creative problem-solving skills
in global education. In Handbook of research on creative problem-solving skill development in
higher education (pp. 351-377). IGI Global.
Kaul, V.K., 2019. Decision-Making Process and Creative Problem-Solving. Available at
SSRN 3422033.
Lyskova, I., 2018, August. The art of creative thinking as a basis of modern labor
philosophy. In 3rd International Conference on Judicial, Administrative and Humanitarian
Problems of State Structures and Economic Subjects (JAHP 2018). Atlantis Press.
Main, L.F., Delcourt, M.A. and Treffinger, D.J., 2019. Effects of Group Training in Problem‐
Solving Style on Future Problem‐Solving Performance. The journal of creative behavior, 53(3),
pp.274-285.

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International Conferences" On the Move to Meaningful Internet Systems" (pp. 271-283).
Springer, Cham.
Orzechowski, J., Kruchowska, E., Gruszka, A. and Szymura, B., 2017. Understanding factors
behind the effectiveness of personal identification: Revolution–a new technique of creative
problem solving. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 23, pp.140-149.
Rawlinson, J.G., 2017. Creative thinking and brainstorming. Routledge.

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