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.
Sourced through Scoop.it from: hbr.org Here’s an article for you to support leader behaviours to advance developing team creative skills. Getting a team ready for WCIW 2016? Want to double check your skill set to help them be creative? Take a quick look.
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
As World Creativity and Innovation Week April 15-21 approaches, watch Chef Ferran Adria’s creative process as stimulation to consider your own. What practices do you use for insight, illumination, inspiration? https://youtu.be/-3bYqCBNUuo
A good list of reasons to engage in World Creativity and Innovation Week April 15 – 21 this year. Thank you Sir Ken. The link leads to his 90-minute presentation to marketing professors on the nature of innovation in organizations.
Walter Isaacson, the author of definitive biographies of Steve Jobs and Albert Einstein, finds that brilliant ideas invariably have a history, and that brilliant innovators are people who know how to build on the work of others to turn ideas into reality. As he puts it, “Only in storybooks do inventions come like a thunderbolt.” The Innovators repeatedly shows that coming up with breakthrough ideas is the easy part of innovation. The hard part? Turning those ideas into advances that are practical to implement—practical not only technically, but also commercially. Doing so, Isaacson emphasizes, requires not just an idea, but an ecosystem.
What gets in the way of innovation according to the Center for Creative Leadership’s David Horth and Jonathan Vehar? It’s the full commitment of leaders to practice new ways of leading while continuing to efficiently and effectively manage the core business.
Commit. Innovation requires resources and deliberate focus. To break down the organizational barriers to innovation, ensure that people have appropriate governance, funding, resources, support and access to decision-makers.
“But don’t launch a big innovation initiative, contest or campaign,” Vehar warns. “It’s bound to backfire.”
Innovation is at its best when it has a job to do. Start with a key organizational issue assigned to a small group and give them your best leadership and support. Then get out of their way so they can find innovative resolutions to the challenge. Create simple and effective ways to reinforce the message that innovation is important for all functions in the organization. Speak in compelling and simple terms that motivate people to think and do things differently (but not just for the sake of it!).
Work on the culture. Shift away from the “management of creativity” (a control mindset) and towards “leadership for innovation,” which calls for developing a culture and climate that promotes and acknowledges the creative process. Without the supporting culture, breakthroughs and meaningful innovations that challenge the status quo rarely emerge. If radical ideas surface, they often never make it to the marketplace or get implemented as innovations. Such ideas are typically rejected before they get very far.
“Innovation leadership goes against the grain of organizations that have been built on the foundation of operational efficiency and repeatable processes,” says Horth. “Innovation and efficiency must co-exist. If this tension is embraced, it becomes a source of all it takes to transform ideas into innovations — but it takes time and deep understanding of the leadership culture so the two don’t cancel each other out.”
Accept risk — really. Innovation rarely works according to a predetermined plan. In a culture where it’s possible for people to try, make mistakes and learn from what happens, innovations can find their own path, flourish and add value. Even so, the success of a new product, service or process might not be guaranteed. What you must demand and can expect is learning — and the chance to succeed the next time around. This is the basis of de-risking by experimenting and rapid prototyping.
Hone your own creative competencies. Most business leaders have bought into the myth that people are either creative or not. This myth is probably considered fact in your organization — and, as a result, your drive for innovation is going nowhere. To change this pattern, you must first get in touch with your own innovation thinking skills, including the ability to defer judgment, tolerate ambiguity and be genuinely curious. Be a model; innovation is part of your job, too.
Finally, nothing kills innovation more than the “know-it-all leader.” A leader’s job is not to tell people how to do things, nor is it to have all the great ideas.
“Model appropriate humility, offer up your best challenge and then get out of the way,” says Vehar. “When you create the culture and step back, people will amaze you with novel, useful and potentially valuable solutions.”
By David Slocum As part of a long-term research project examining the guiding tenets of creative leadership, Doug Guthrie and I have interviewed dozens of leaders of creative businesses.
Marci Segal, MS‘s insight:
Creative military leaders appreciate and engage diversity, appreciate generalists, have decision-making know how, practice discipline, manage and process information systematically and act as role models for right behavior and integrity.