Cultivating Creativity and Adaptability in the US Healthcare Institutions

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The concept of creativity is usually associated with artistic activities like drawing, painting, or writing that suggest a person’s using his or her inborn abilities. In spite of the fact that medicine and healthcare are not considered to be the spheres where creativity is required, they need creative workers as well. It does not mean that the majority of nurses, doctors, and other healthcare professionals are expected to have a talent for music or art. In this context, the meaning of creativity resembles the one of adaptability and refers to professionals being able to use new and useful methods in their work (Cooper, 2017).

Researchers note that the need for this is recognized by doctors and nurses themselves, the authorities, and patients that are the most important elements of the healthcare system (Cooper, 2017). In order to foster the employees’ creative thinking and adaptability, appropriate conditions should be developed by leadership at workplaces. The purpose of this paper is to make a plan that would help to create a culture embracing creativity and adaptability.

The Four Aspects of Stimulating Creativity

Leaders play a significant role in encouraging people to employ an innovative approach and develop adaptability because they are responsible for the right work environment. A manager’s plan for fostering creativity might be based on Amabile’s Componential Model of Organisational Creativity (Doran & Ryan, 2017). The model describes creativity as a sum of four major parts (Doran & Ryan, 2017).

Three of the components refer to a worker’s individual characteristics that include knowledge, creative thinking, and motivation. Speaking about them in detail, knowledge is all the appropriate understanding necessary for thinking in an innovative way (Doran & Ryan, 2017). Creative thinking embraces the ways people tackle problems; motivation might be described as one’s interest in the work he or she does (Doran & Ryan, 2017). The fourth part of the Componential Model of Organisational Creativity is the work environment provided by leaders (Doran & Ryan, 2017). It might be stated that the last component is the most important one because through managing the atmosphere at work effectively, a leader can influence workers’ knowledge, creativeness, and motivation. In fact, the scheme by Amabile suggests methods for performing such an influence.

Improving workers’ knowledge can be achieved through special training and subject-related courses. Besides, composing a work team of people with different backgrounds and levels of education is an innovative decision for it might help workers to acquire knowledge from their colleagues (Doran & Ryan, 2017).

Nevertheless, a leader should consider the fact that making employees more knowledgeable might be both beneficial and dangerous for a medical institution. On the one hand, knowledge is a unique resource that can positively affect the general performance of an organization; therefore, sharing knowledge might be seen as significant. On the other hand, workers can leave and start working for other healthcare institutions. In this case, the resources provided by a leader would be used by other managers that would benefit from the results without having invested in them.

Although creative thinking depends on personal characteristics to a large extent, there are several ways managers can use to increase creativity in the staff. In fact, creative thinking is one’s ability to solve upcoming problems in an innovative and elegant way (Doran & Ryan, 2017). Sometimes, the right decision might be made on the basis of colleagues’ ideas. That is why brainstorming is one of the most widely used techniques aimed at inducing creative thinking (Doran & Ryan, 2017).

However, for the successful incorporation of the method, before brainstorming, the problem should be clearly defined and the appropriate information gathered. Then the leader should collect all the ideas and decisions suggested and organize an open discussion. Another way of making doctors and nurses more creative is by giving the staff an opportunity to learn by offering them special courses and professional training. They will improve the employees’ potential for generating new ideas and finding innovative approaches to work.

Speaking about motivation, some people are eager to do their job because they feel involved and excited. However, the majority of workers need special rewards and bonuses to stay interested in the business. Hence, for boosting personnel’s motivation, incentives are incorporated by leaders. According to Doran and Ryan (2017), “incentives are commonly used in business to motivate employees and to align their wants with the needs of the employer” (p. 33). There are two major kinds of incentives with the first one being purely based on financial benefits (Doran & Ryan, 2017). Some researchers believe that this method is effective because the majority of people are encouraged by salaries (Doran & Ryan, 2017). It is so even for workers who are busy at hospitals and have a noble purpose of helping others. Therefore, the higher their income, the more motivated doctors and other healthcare professionals are.

However, there are certain objections to the above theory that have psychological grounds. In fact, when workers are motivated by higher salaries, they will just do what is necessary to meet the standards (Doran & Ryan, 2017). This approach is not effective enough for encouraging people to think creatively. As for the second type of incentives, it suggests feedback on an employee’s ideas and recognition for his or her good performance (Doran & Ryan, 2017). From a psychological point of view, this way of stimulating creativity works better than the first one because everyone likes being praised.

Summarizing all the recommendations described above, it might be stated that a part of the plan aimed at fostering personnel’s creativity in hospitals and other healthcare institutions includes steps in several directions. First of all, to be able to find new solutions, a doctor or a nurse should be knowledgeable; therefore, a manager should improve their education level by special training or expertise.

Then, workers’ creative thinking is provided by a leader’s treating all the personnel with respect, discussing problems openly, practicing brainstorm, and building up to creative solutions. Finally, encouraging the staff in the right way can make them deeply interested in their work. To achieve such involvement, not only financial but also psychological motivators like recognition are used.

In addition, to create an appropriate atmosphere for creativity, a leader should show a good example by facing challenges positively and using them as new opportunities. For example, the current pandemic of COVID-19 is a serious threat to the world that requires great exertion from medical workers. At the same time, it gives chances to brilliant doctors and scientists to demonstrate their abilities, for instance, by contributing to the inventing of the vaccine.

The Three Fundamental Skills Involved in Cultivating Adaptability

Adaptability refers to one’s being able to find the roots of different work cases and clarify ambiguous issues quickly and requires appropriate skills from a leader. The first one is understanding the environment which means a manager’s talent for accessing situations, people, outcomes, relationships, and history in the right way (Ferreira, 2019). The second leadership’s fundamental skill for cultivating adaptability is choosing the best course of action among alternatives quickly (Ferreira, 2019).

This ability is of particular importance for healthcare professionals because patients’ life and well-being often depend on it. The third talent a leader requires for developing adaptability is selecting a leadership style that suits a particular situation (Ferreira, 2019). For example, in emergency cases, giving short and informative orders can help to provide well-coordinated work, and hence, save a patient. In other situations, a leader might collect employees’ ideas to find the right decision. Hence, the plan for fostering creativity and adaptability should include the steps described above.

Opportunities for Upcoming Leaders Provided by the Plan

Following the plan given above that has been developed on the basis of Amabile’s Componential Model of Organisational Creativity, an upcoming leader can get a chance to avoid several leadership mistakes. Furthermore, implementing the parts of the plan that suggest treating staff respectfully, discussing the problems with workers, and being positive towards challenges might be beneficial for a manager’s reputation. Moreover, using the plan is one of the preludes for an upcoming leader’s good performance and therefore, being promoted.


To sum up, it is significant to press the point that the level of workers’ creativity and adaptability in many cases depends on the leader. To cultivate these skills, a manager should follow the plan that includes improving employee’s knowledge and creative thinking, motivating them, treating challenges positively, and being able to act according to the situation. Developing creativity and adaptability is an acute issue for healthcare; following the plan suggested might be beneficial for both the personnel and their leader.


  1. Cooper, J. (2017). Harness the power of creativity in health care. Web.
  2. Doran, J., & Ryan, G. (2017). The role of stimulating employees’ creativity and idea generation in encouraging innovation behavior in Irish firms. The Irish Journal of Management, 36(1), 32-48.
  3. Ferreira, N. (2019). Enhancing career wellbeing: The role of workplace friendship, career adaptability, and organisational commitment. In Theory, Research and Dynamics of Career Wellbeing (pp. 197-216). Springer, Cham.

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