Category Archives: Creativity in organizations

Do you want innovation to proceed? Then pay attention to the people

Imagine your plans are less effective than you anticipated. There’s pressure to perform differently, successfully. Conditions have changed; time now to adapt or innovate.
SoftplaceYou want to overcome obstacles, use creativity, and creative thinking. You want to access imagination, dream up what could be next, chart a different course, engage interested parties, and marshall resources to achieve results.
You want new outcomes, new ideas, new decisions, new actions.
So, what’s the first thing you do? Perhaps go to experts, listen to what they say. Perhaps you survey others to see if they have the same challenge and how they handle it. Perhaps you listen to podcasts about changes and trends that affect how you operate.
You might call together a group of colleagues to brainstorm insights. You could use a design thinking or other creative problem-solving process to uncover missing gaps from which to gain an advantage. You might look for inefficiencies at the macro and micro levels. Whatever your process, you find something that could work. Brava!
Now, what if, after all your effort, your colleagues use critical thinking first, and say the solution won’t work. End of story. Then what? You might feel dejected, sad, hurt. You might decide you haven’t the courage to do it again, to submit new thinking to solve new problems. You might make up a story about why your ideas weren’t accepted, take it personally or blame others. Your behavior might change as a result in ways that impact your overall performance and attitude towards your organization, your boss, your teammates.
Innovation_ConversationWhat if instead, your colleagues respond to new ideas in ways that support your creative thinking? Innovation is really about the people involved and how they work together, with the intended audience. Innovation is about people.
One aspect of World Creativity and Innovation Week April 15 – 21 is to remember to apply new thinking to new thinking – to discuss and/or hold conversations about new ideas rather than to immediately criticize them.
Here’s a four-step process you can use with colleagues, friends, clients, suppliers, children and other people with whom you regularly interact during WCIW this year. Do this, and you will honor, encourage and help facilitate people’s creative thinking.
You can use the Angel’s Advocate approach:

  1. Affirm first – say what’s good about the idea (even if you don’t like it – stretch your thinking)
  2. Future potentials – say what some positive potentials might be for this idea in the long run (even if you don’t like it – stretch your thinking)
  3. Objections and obstacles – mention your concerns and the idea’s limitations
  4. Strengthen the relationship – in dialogue, talk about ways to overcome concerns, to strengthen or modify the solution, discuss how well this fits the challenge, and/or problem-solve the findings together.

Share how you are contributing to World Creativity and Innovation Week April 15-21, to help acknowledge, support and release creative energy worldwide.

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7 Ways Leaders Can Celebrate World Creativity and Innovation Week

In our busy world, it can be challenging to make time to advance your innovation agenda and cultivate the creativity in the people around you. The development of new thinking, new ideas, and new actions often winds up on the back burner. So why not leverage World Creativity and Innovation Week (April 15-21) to gain momentum on perplexing problems or seeking opportunities?

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.banffcentre.ca
Welcome to World Creativity and Innovation Week Apri l 15-21.  Shout out to the Banff Centre, Peter Lougheed Leadership Institute for posting this article. Wishing you inspired and inspiring connections this week and beyond.

Design Thinking Exercise and Guide for WCIW

Are you looking for a 20-minute World Creativity and Innovation Week April 15 – 21 activity?
This Ready-Set-Design activity from Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum of the Smithsonian may fit the bill.  


This is a highly adaptable design challenge that can jump-start collaborative and creative thinking in any group. They say it is used  with kids’ groups at the Museum, for internal staff meetings, and even at industry conferences and summits they host. The activity is such a success with participants that they’ve received many requests for their how-to guide.
Source: http://www.cooperhewitt.org/2011/09/09/ready-set-design/

Resolving the Paradox of Group Creativity

What makes teams work better also makes them less creative.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: hbr.org

A corporate philosophy that lets people know it’s OK to be creative is critical, as is leadership that promotes the notion that everyone’s creative contribution will be taken seriously. Given the importance of innovation in contemporary organizations, isn’t it time we all started taking creativity more seriously?Viva World Creativity and Innovation Week April 15-21!

See on Scoop.itCreativity and Learning Insights

Brewing Innovation at University of Michigan through across campus random coffee meet-ups

Innovate Brew is a first-of-its-kind program that randomly matches U-M faculty for 30-minute coffee meetings once a month to foster more innovative thinking on campus.


So simple an idea.  Perhaps an initiative to begin at your workplace for World Creativity and Innovation Week April 15 – 21?
 
https://record.umich.edu/articles/random-coffee-meet-ups-spurring-innovation-across-campus

The Creative Power of Meeting Eyeball to Eyeball


The subtleties of in-person interaction are critical … to creativity. A team of researchers from two U.S. universities and three European universities studied interactions within several teams at the University of Cologne that were trying to find new methods of prediction and analysis in psychology, economics, computer science and other fields; independent raters judged the creativity and quality of the teams’ ideas.
Understanding group creativity is increasingly important as more organizational problem solving gets done by teams rather than individuals; when Oxford Economics asked major employers to name the skills they want most in employees, “co-creativity and brainstorming” ranked near the top.
Additionally….The main reason Google serves its employees gourmet food for free is to make sure they’ll go to the cafeterias, where they’ll meet randomly in person. Google even measures the time spent waiting in line; three to four minutes is optimal.
Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.newsweek.com. Read this article.  Worth it!
 

Why Curious People Are Destined for the C-Suite


We all have the potential to be curious, given the right conditions. And curiosity leads to creativity.
”While curiosity has ignited numerous startup ventures, it also plays an important role at more established companies, where leaders are having to contend with disruptive change in the marketplace. “These days, a leader’s primary occupation must be to discover the future,” Panera Bread CEO Ron Shaich told me. It’s “a continual search,” Shaich says, requiring that today’s leader keep exploring new ideas—including ideas from other industries or even from outside the business world.
Advising business leaders to “be more curious” sounds simple enough, but it may require a change in leadership style. In many cases, managers and top executives have risen through the ranks by providing fixes and solutions, not by asking questions. And once they’ve attained a position of leadership, they may feel the need to project confident expertise.
To acknowledge uncertainty by wondering aloud and asking deep questions carries a risk: the leader may be perceived as lacking knowledge. In their book The Innovator’s DNA, authors Clayton Christensen, Hal Gregersen and Jeff Dyer observed that the curious, questioning leaders they studied seemed to overcome this risk because they had a rare blend of humility and confidence: They were humble enough to acknowledge to themselves that they didn’t have all the answers, and confident enough to be able to admit that in front of everyone else.
While we may tend to think of curiosity as a hardwired personality trait—meaning, one either is blessed with “a curious mind” or not—according to Ian Leslie, author of the book Curious, curiosity is actually “more of a state than a trait.” We all have the potential to be curious, given the right conditions.
Leslie notes that curiosity seems to bubble up when we are exposed to new information and then find ourselves wanting to know more. Hence, the would-be curious leader should endeavor to get “out of the bubble” when possible; to seek out new influences, ideas, and experiences that may fire up the desire to learn more and dig deeper.”
More at: hbr.org

Look for Invisible Potential

Individual and collective creativity are the motors of innovation.
To prepare for World Creativity and Innovation Week April 15 – 21, 2016

  • Look at how creative your people can be and what the conditions are to make them creative.
  • See your situation and resources with new eyes, transcend away confrontational style of communication to an inclusive one. (For example, replace the phrase ‘yes, but’, with ‘yes, and’)
  • Focus on the creative potential of the people involved.
  • Keep in mind: Seeing creative potential doesn’t necessarily mean being able to work with it.  That’s another skill set. To be covered later on.

(adapted from Citizen-Driven Innovation Guidebook issued by the World Bank)