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Assessment Task - Creativity and Innovation

Research and critical analysis then synthesising information into group report that demonstrates the creative problem solving process, on a real world business problem.

The presentation and written report should:

1. Describe the starting challenge in the chosen situation of your group, identify the methods used to better establish and define this problem and clearly show the project focus.

2. Describe exploration and idea generation methods and techniques applied to your identified problem, and show what was found during exploration, and the ideas generated.

3. Describe methods used for evaluating and developing the ideas generated into possible solutions, and show the results, Outcomes. Solutions, designs, or strategies developed, including any possible recommendations.

4. Include some reflection on the strengths and limitations of the methods / techniques used in your project.

5. Include copies of supporting documentation that show the group's work and application of creative techniques.


Executive Summary

Innovation and creativity are two aspects of any business who wants to grow and gain competitive advantage in current marketplace. NAB Bank Australia funded in different types of infrastructure within communities, such as hospitals, road and schools. Also, the group performs with complete responsibility towards work effective innovation and creativeness. Moreover, the report evaluated various challenges and problems that affect organisation management, such as ineffective use of latest technology is giving poor quality services. Furthermore, the analysis of problems also suggested that due to lack of employee engagement activities and low training and development programs are affecting business reputation. However, some idea generation techniques and methods like mind mapping, parallel and lateral thinking have been demonstrated to resolve current issues and challenges. Along with this, the recommendations are shown that will help bank to gain competitive advantage in Australian marketplace.



NAB bank has been established for almost 160 years, and the business is helping potential customers with money. Moreover, the bank is also considered as Australia's largest business bank, and works with various organisations to improve the business lifecycle (NAB, 2019). Along with this, the bank also fund in different types of infrastructure within communities, such as hospitals, road and schools. Also, the group performs with complete responsibility towards work effective innovation and creativeness.

The present report shows various challenges and opportunities within NAB bank, and analysis of problem highlights that bank is facing some technological issues with employees. Furthermore, the employees are not trained well to use latest technology implied by business. However, the uses of various idea generation techniques have been evaluated for resolving current challenges and problems.

Challenges and opportunities of employees

The key challenges and opportunities that have been undertaken in the research are associated with the level of technology that is utilized within the NAB bank. Due to presence of advanced technology challenges are faced where the staff members do not possess right skills and knowledge that is needed for conducting the operations smoothly. At the same time, it is a well known fact that technology is replacing the total number of employees within the workplace. Along with this, employee resistance to change is also considered as the key obstacle where employees of NAB bank prefers manual working and at the time of adopting some latest tool the staff members resist change. Hence, these are some of the key challenges or obstacles that are faced by the employees that affects the job satisfaction level (Noworol, and et.al., 2017).

On the other hand, some opportunities have been identified where one of them is growth like in the case when staff members are allowed to work with the latest technology within NAB bank then it enhances their knowledge level and at the same time it leads to favourable results. Mainly with the adoption of technology employees of the NAB bank have to apply lesser efforts in the operations of the entity and in the long run basis it brings favourable results also. Cost of operations and the overall time that is linked with rendering banking service reduces and this is also one of the main opportunities (Amabile and Pratt, 2016). In short, the level of job satisfaction increases at a faster pace with the modern technology and this is the positive contribution of technology. Hence, from this, it can be stated that technology poses both threat and opportunity for the staff members that are part of NAB bank.

Problem analysis

Despite NAB bank has new core banking platforms, still failures are encountering in mobile and online systems. According to the research, the bank is trying to get rid of legacy issues with the use of various techniques, and also due to lack of employee's efficiency in using latest technology is fewer. Overall, the difficulties and challenges regarding quality of services are directly affecting the customer's loyalty. The legacy system plays a crucial role within the business, and therefore, failures in systems can affect reputational and cause technical problems. Along with this, the problems like inaccessibility to National Australia Bank digitally (Mistry, 2016). Moreover, the complete bank is facing pressure under change in banking habits and enhancement in advance digital technology. Thus, competitive and encounter issues are affecting business growth and sustainability (Sarooghi Libaers and Burkemper, 2015). The bank is also facing home loan problems, and it's still not over. Furthermore, the bank believes that by implementing open banking regime and effective training and programs to employees about using modern technology will resolve the problems. Whilst the dissatisfaction in jobs due to high digital computing platforms, which makes difficult for employees to perform task with efficiency. Even, the employees are not satisfied with wages and working hours within the management.


Parallel thinking and mind-mapping

In order to analyze the resolve the problem in the best possible manner some tactics are present that can be undertaken and it can be beneficial for NAB bank also. One of the main approach is parallel thinking that can be undertaken (Khalili, 2016). The issue of the challenge associated with job satisfaction due to technology can easily be tackled with the assistance of parallel thinking. Moreover, it is possible to find best possible alternatives of the issue through generating different ideas that are highly relevant. Hence, these are some of the key attributes that are associated with the parallel thinking.

Apart from this, mind mapping is also regarded to be the key tool where it is a graphical way to represent concepts and ideas. Mind mapping as one of the visual thinking tool contributes in resolving the issues in a proper manner and it totally depends on the way like in which the mind map is drawn (Zhou, 2015). Therefore, with the help of this approach it is possible to solve the challenge undertaken that is linked with job satisfaction due to technology. Without these tools correct ideas cannot be generated easily.

Six Thinking Hats method for analysis of bank

For analyzing the problem in a better manner the six thinking hats is one of the best approach. In this type of model each Thinking Hat has different style of thinking and they have been explained below:

White Hat: In this type of thinking data the individual will focus on the available data or information. Further, the information that is present is undertaken, past trends are analyzed and at the same time learning takes place from it (Caniëls and Rietzschel, 2015). Moreover, gaps are identified in the knowledge. For instance, the data linked with challenges associated with technology in NAB will be collected and analyzed for obtaining correct findings.

Red Hat: In this thinking problems are considered on the basis of intuition and at the same time response of other people is analyzed.

Black Hat: The negative outcome of the decisions is considered using black hat thinking. At the same time weak points are considered in the plan. For instance, if the decision regarding the selected challenge is taken to provide training to the employees and in this case it's negative outcome can be rise in the cost to the business etc (Braun, and et.al., 2016).

Yellow Hat: With the assistance of this style individual in the group can think positively where all the benefits of the decisions are considered. For instance, if decision is taken to provide training to staff for dealing with the challenge of technology then its positive outcomes will be rise in the level of employee productivity.


Green Hat: This type of style enhances creativity level. Moreover, creative solutions to problem can be identified easily. Therefore, this style can also be considered in the group for dealing with the challenge of job satisfaction due to the technology.

Blue Hat: This form of hat mainly represents the process control. It is a kind of hat that is worn by chairing meetings (Paulus and Nijstad, 2019). By conducting different form of meetings it is possible to think in a different way and at the same time key ideas can be generated easily.

Hence, this is the overall effectiveness of the six hats with the help of which issues can be resolved easily and at the same time it can bring favourable results also.

Uses of Ideation technique and lateral thinking

Moreover, with the use of various ideation and lateral thinking techniques, the NAB bank can easily overcome challenges and issues, like technical and poor job satisfaction. Along with this, the ideas generated will be mostly regarding to resolve technological and employee turnover rate. Furthermore, the most common and successful use of ideation techniques are brainstorm, sketch storm, and lateral thinking like provocation, which is best way to gather innovative ideas. The usage of ideation technique will provide equal opportunity to employees to share the views and opinions in solving current problem (Hughes and et.al., 2018). The ideation is very simple where facilitator provides problem statement to ideation participants with overall goals and business insights. For example, NAB bank can conduct brainstorm sessions about poor job satisfaction and training & development programs. However, the employee will be free to suggest their views through brainstorm, brain-dumping and brain-writing. Overall, the company will recognise the issues and problem within management and try to implement effective strategies like Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, flexible working hours, benefits and high salary wages. The use of provocation lateral technique will help NAB bank in exploring new realities at extreme level. Therefore, the lateral thinking mechanism will avoid unconventional thinking patterns that are not useful in resolving problems (Sloane, 2017). Thus, provocation technique will be beneficial for the bank to make new conventional ideas, and also enhance employee recognition within the management.

Strengths and limitation of techniques within group

I have analysed several ideation and lateral thinking methods that are demonstrated in the above report, such as brainstorming, provocation, mind mapping and parallel thinking. Moreover, I have also evaluated strengths and limitations of each technique within the group. The strengths of brainstorming is that it helps in achieving desired solution as compared to other techniques. Also, the cost of implementing brainstorming session is very low with maximum outputs, and generation of high amount of ideas (Helfat and Martin, 2015). Although the time consumption in conducting brainstorming sessions are more, and sometimes collect bad or worst ideas, and requirement of leader is mandatory.

I have analysed strengths of lateral thinking, i.e. provocation, and found out that provocation directly provide conventional ideas, and helps to gain competitive advantage through innovations and creativity. Along with this, employee will get new opportunities for growth and development within the management (Kandampully Bilgihan and Zhang, 2016). The only disadvantage is that even after time consumption, the technique is not deterministic, which means it does not always lead to right solution.


Another major ideation technique that is suitable for any banking business is Mind maps, which enhance planning session with high transparency, engagement and flexibility within management. Also, the technique is highly adaptable by various organisations both in public and private sector. The only limitation sis that it is hard to understood by majority of people.

IPPCO & Idea Harvesting

IPPCO is considered as a well-known explanatory tool used in problem solving regarding innovation and creation, and provides useful ideas (Rietzschel Zacher and Stroebe, 2016). Moreover, it focus on providing ideas that can be sent into implementation phase, and enhance chances of success. IPPCO states as Information, Pluses, Potential, Concerns, and Overcome. For example, NAB bank can acquire reliable information and valuable ideas by using this tool, and provides potential opportunities to resolve current problem. Furthermore, the concerns and views related to customers and employees are kept in mind during generation of ideas, and after gathering participants the business is ready to generate ideas (Kendal and et.al.,2016).

Whereas Idea Harvesting is another techniques that boost innovation with the help of invention, and therefore, by implying idea harvesting practices the company can channel it focus and energy to drive innovation for sustainable growth in future. Thus, the effective harvesting of ideas is based upon innovative culture, and large number of participants in decision making process (Daabes, and et.al., 2018). However, idea harvesting includes four parts, i.e. kickoff, brainstorming ideas, filtration of ideas, and action plans that provides correct solution to solve critical problem.


From the present report, it had been concluded that NAB ban in Australia is facing several challenges and issues like poor employee engagement and ineffective usage of latest technology. Moreover, the recommendations are demonstrated that will help bank to provide quality services to customers and employees. Along with this, several techniques and methods regarding idea generation and harvesting are shown, such as brainstorming, mind maps, and lateral thinking. Lastly, it can be said that implications of effective idea generation technique will help in growth and sustainability in Australian marketplace.


It is recommended to NAB bank to focus on API as one of the key technology. The best part is that through this it will be possible for the officials in the bank to share data and information easily.

Some form of motivational tactics can be undertaken that are linked with the adoption of technology. Reward and other form of practices can be considered through which employees can easily adopt the latest technology and at the same time they will apply more initiatives for the adoption of technology.

More advanced techniques of generating ideas must be applied within the banks especially mind mapping etc that possess the attribute of visual presentation. Through this it will be possible for dealing with any particular problem easily.


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