WOW Help Build a Creative Climate [Yes! And. Blog 157]

by | Jul 30, 2015 | Collaborate, Develop Opportunities, Facilitate meetings, Overcome Challenges, Solution Focus

“A candle loses nothing when it lights another candle.” Thomas Jefferson. 3rd President of the USA.   How appreciating what others do can change your life and build a creative climate Hi. Wouldn’t it be great if this year were a WOW year for you? This article could help you achieve that. For only the third time I am going to use another author to write my blog because I thought this article contained a simple and memorable way to improve the creative climate in your life and organisation.. Julia Kalenberg, a Solution Focus practitioner from Switzerland, writes it, though I have made a few small edits. Here is what she says: Looking at what already works and what is already there instead of looking for what’s missing can change your life and the life of others. If you look at resources instead of problems, you help others grow and create a totally different atmosphere in teams. When I was at the SOLWorld Conference in Oxford in September 2012, I experienced the wonderful effect of a real and authentic “Wow”. When people appreciate what other people do it creates a positive atmosphere that is ideal for development and growth. Coming back from Oxford I thought about what WOW could stand for and decided it can stand for WHO OR WHAT. The WOW Formula Who or what really impressed me today? Who or what am I really grateful for today? Who or what would need a nice word today? Who or what will I really be thankful for tonight and why? Different Levels of WOW The WOW formula works on different levels...

Think Outside the Box? No… [Yes! And. Blog 109]

“Before thinking outside the box, think how you might make your box bigger?” John Brooker Understanding and widening the boundaries of a situation can help you to create more options and better solutions… I took my daughter to compete in the second round of an inter school public speaking competition organised by the Rotary Club. Teams of children, made a speech (no visuals allowed!) to an audience of around sixty people, about a topic of their choice. One introduces the topic and speaker, the second presents the case and a third gives thanks. This is a great challenge for the children and provides an element of entertainment as well as some thoughtful points. During a talk on “Breaking the Mould”, which challenged conventional thinking about small people, one girl in her introduction mentioned that phrase so often heard in the same breath as creativity, “Think outside the box”. She set me thinking. In my world, when setting outcomes with the group on a creativity course, people say regularly that this is what they want to be able to do. My normal response is that “thinking outside the box” is a fair outcome. Could they also make the box bigger? This question usually produces confusion and no wonder, as “think outside the box” derives from the old nine dot puzzle of how to connect all nine dots with a single unbroken line. No matter how big you make that box, you are still going to have to go outside the box to obtain a result. So to avoid confusion, let me explain that in my response, I mix box metaphors....

How to Facilitate Creativity [Yes! And. Blog 100]

And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic. Will never find it. ROALD DAHL – THE MINPINS Everyone can be creative; with the right process, techniques and a little magic … Footballer scores 99 goals but stalls before the hundred. Cricketer hits 99 runs and stalls before the hundred. Brooker writes 99 articles and stalls… After the 99th article, I decided to write something “special” for the 100th. I thought I would review all 99 articles, identify the themes and write about them. I didn’t realise how busy I would be and how long it would take to review 99 articles. And, when I had done it, I had no enthusiasm for it! So tonight in my hotel room I gave up on the idea. My 100th goal would not be a thirty metre volley in to the top corner of the net. My 100th run would not be a six in to the crowd. Instead, I would scramble the ball over the line, sneak a quick run, write on any topic and… Just write it…! And a question arrived. In the three months since writing the 99th article, what was the stand out moment about creativity that has stuck in my mind? Here it is. I was running a residential weekend on creativity with MBA students. Two of the students were, I suspect  (I didn’t measure it), adaptive rather than innovative in their style and they were both more introvert than extrovert. They were great people...

How Style Affects How You Innovate [Yes! And Blog #141]

How using different styles effectively can  enhance innovation… One of the activities I use at the start of innovation workshops or team workshops, is the cane activity (or “Get Caned” as I call it). This involves having two equal size teams either side of a long cane (I use a foldable tent pole) with the cane resting on each person’s index fingers. They must lower the cane to the floor from waist height, keeping their fingers on the cane at all times. This sounds very easy; if I say that groups usually take “five minutes plus” on their first run and are often standing on tip toes at times, you can sense it might not be. I give teams three attempts at it and usually they can reduce the time to less than a minute (the record being 25 seconds in my classes). Apart from being a useful team building exercise, I use it to bring out lessons about creativity and innovation. In the debriefing, one key lesson that emerges is about the different styles people have to tackle the challenge. Some are obvious; those who focus completely on the outcome and go for it, immediately shouting instructions seeking to use their intuition to work it out. Others want to break the rules “just drop it!” Some people are more experimental, “Let’s try this… that didn’t work, try this…” The rest observe how others do it and replicate what works. There is often frustration and the biggest lesson is that people tackle challenges in different ways (their style) and the team must listen and collaborate if they going to achieve the required...