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...

Is it time to SWAT the SWOT? [Yes! And. Blog 187]

“Is there a more constructive way to do SWOT analysis?” John Brooker The Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis has existed as a planning tool for decades. I see it used most often as a 2 x 2 matrix, where the Strengths and Weaknesses are focused on the internal situation in an organisation and the Opportunities and Threats focused on the external, (but that is not an absolute requirement)   Issues With the SWOT With that much history behind it and based on the amount of usage it gets, it can be said, fairly, to be a successful tool. However, because a tool is successful, does that mean that you as a creative leader cannot reconsider how you might use it? No. So, on what basis might you reconsider using SWOT in your next meeting? Here are a couple of thoughts: To overcome the extensive use of SWOT People, especially those in senior teams, can be bored with using it. This can lead people to have complete disinterest in using the tool or using it in a mechanical way – they “go through the motions”. This can lead to poor analysis or inaction as a result of the analysis. To avoid the language of the tool Invented in 1964, no doubt the tool carried some baggage from the ex-military leadership model still in management at that time. The term “weakness” is not something that those of us in the Solution Focus world use. We prefer to focus on what works, and if something doesn’t work, talk more about what we want to happen rather than delve further into...

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...