Creativity and the Management Process

Management is the process of mobilizing a variety of essential resources in support of an objective or goal. This process is usually subdivided into functions, components or steps. The book Basic Health Planning Methods identifies six steps as a basis for planning and managing health activities:

This is the planning/management model that most people are familar with. I have found that one of the chief disadvantages of this approach is that when groups try to apply it systematically, they often get caught up in the details of defining the problems and inventorying resources, and rarely get around to devoting much time to implementation and evaluation.
 

Management Sciences for Health (MSH) in their book Managing Drug Supply helps to resolve the problem of planning paralysis by limiting the planning/management process to three phases - planning, implementation and evaluation. The MSH model suggests that the planning process should "resemble a progressively enlarging spiral. Initial planning cycles are quite small in time and scope. Implementation occurs in small increments that allow rapid evaluation and quick adjustment of plans. The experience gained is thus incorporated into subsequent cycles."
 

Another approach to both management and research is Operations Research which as developed by the PRICOR project (Primary Health Care in Operations Research) comprises the steps of Problem Analysis, Solution Development and Solution Validation.Problem analysis and solution development equate more or less to the planning stage of the MSH spiral model and the first four steps of the health planning and management model. Operations research can become an effective managment tool to resolve problems encountered in day to day health service delivery.

All of the above planning and management processes consist of comparable components, and, as your might already suspect, also parallel the creative process and the learning process. This may be illustrated in the following table:
 
 

PRICOR OPERATIONS RESEARCH
LEARNING 
PROCESS
MSH PLANNING & MGT SPIRAL
HEALTH 
PLANNING & MANAGEMENT
FRANK'S CREATIVE PROCESS
PROBLEM ANALYSIS
LOOK
PLAN
IDENTIFY THE PROBLEM
 
FORAGE
SEE
 
INVENTORY RESOURCES 
SOLUTION DEVELOPMENT
UNDERSTAND
CONSIDER ALTERNATIVES 
REFLECT
LEARN
 
PRIORITIZE
ADOPT
SOLUTION 
 
VALIDATION
APPLICATION
IMPLEMENT
IMPLEMENT 

 
NURTURE
EVALUATE
EVALUATE
 
KNUCKLE DOWN 

Continue to Creative Management

 

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