How Creative Leaders Can Foster an Innovative Climate [Yes! And. Blog 164]

by | Mar 29, 2016 | Collaborate, Develop Opportunities, Facilitate meetings, Free Articles, Innovate, Overcome Challenges, Tools

To innovate in an organisation requires people to collaborate and think, logically and creatively. To enable this, you need to use a structured approach and tools to innovate, plus you need to foster an innovative climate. I consider that there are two types of innovative climate. One is the microclimate that you create in a workshop situation. The other is the macroclimate that you develop in the organisation. Recently, we worked with the leadership team in a commercial organisation to develop innovative propositions, using our Inn8®  Workshop Programme. As part of the first workshop, we used many of the “action dimensions” below to develop a microclimate for people to innovate in. Having experienced this microclimate as a team, we asked them to use the Action Dimensions Table (see below) to assess the macro climate in their departments. So enthused were they by this simple assessment, the managers took it upon themselves to carry out assessments with their teams after the workshop. They each chose three dimensions to address to begin enhancing their macro climate. To understand more about climate and how to rate this, read on. To understand more about climate and how to rate this, read on. About Climate Goran Ekvall carried out a well-known study (Google, “Goran Ekvall study reference” for a range of articles) on organisational climate for creativity. He identified dimensions on which to measure creative or non-creative climates in organisations and other researchers have extended and amended his original dimensions. James L. Adams also identified blockages to creativity in his book, “Conceptual Blockbusting”. Later studies on climate use different words but identify much the...

Challenge Creative Thinking Tools [Yes! And Blog 15]

“…there were actually three different Walts: the dreamer, the realist, and the spoiler. You never knew which one was coming into your meeting.” Associate of Walt Disney Must you adhere strictly to creative techniques? Imagine this. It is 1.30 a.m. Your son has woken you by kicking something off his bed, you are wide awake with a mind full of ideas and you’re cursing that ba…rista in the coffee bar because you’re convinced she didn’t give you decaff cappuccino. Worse, you know you’re to blame because it tasted burnt and you still drank it because it was so d****d expensive. What are you going to do? It is now 2.19 a.m. and I have crept to my office downstairs to write this article.  Hopefully my wife won’t think I’m a burglar and apply Government guidelines on tackling burglars (you can hit them with a weapon in self defence). Whilst lying awake, I had been running an idea through my head and using the Disney technique to evaluate it. The Disney technique helps clarify your thinking by having you take the perspective of three characters – the “Dreamer” (“we could do THIS and it would be terrific”), the “Critic” or “Spoiler” (“THIS will never work because of….”) and the “Realist” (“Maybe we could replace THIS with THAT and develop a plan”). Robert Dilts described in an article that Walt Disney adopted the different perspectives throughout his career to aid his creativity, albeit he never appeared to have regarded it as a technique. As I lay in bed using the technique I noticed that another “character” was lurking very close and I decided to...

An Opportunity for Better Ideas [Yes! And Blog 181]

“Know what the opportunity really is, before generating ideas”   Opportunity. Solution. Two words that  have a chasm of difference in meaning when you want to innovate. In a workshop in Bahrain, I asked teams to identify an opportunity to work on. One of the teams wrote as their opportunity, “Train staff better in our sales outlets.” I questioned what problem the customers have, as you have an opportunity when someone has a difficulty of some kind, a problem. “They have to queue too long in store to pay bills or buy our products,” was the response. So, a question for you: is “train staff better in our sales outlets” an opportunity or a solution? Training staff is one solution to excessive queuing in store. But what is the problem the client has? Is it not being able to pay a bill quickly in store? Or do they find stores an inconvenient way to pay? Or is it that they want to buy an expensive product but have to queue behind people paying bills? Or… the list could be long and the customer could have many problems. [Please refer to Yes! And blog 147 for a tool to map problems]. Equally, there could be many valid solutions from “stagger the billing date” to “introduce new channels for bill payment”, to…we don’t really know until we have explored and clarified the opportunity. One way to state this team’s initial opportunity is to say simply, “We have a lot of people queuing in stores, especially at certain times in the week and month. This causes customer complaints, lost sales…etc.” Why is...