- Adapting to Change & overcoming Fear (6)
- Ambiguity and embracing the Unknown (5)
- Apple and/or Steve Jobs (2)
- Business Reports: 2010 IBM CEO & 2010 BCG (14)
- Changing Cultures to become Innovative (11)
- Collaboration vs. Silos (8)
- Continuous Improvement or Process Improvement (6)
- Creative Arts & Innovation (10)
- Creative Genius among Staff (8)
- Creative Problem Solving (8)
- Creative Thinking Practices & Exercises (11)
- Creativity/Innovation (2)
- Critical Thinking (3)
- Curiosity & Asking Questions (14)
- Divergent vs. Convergent thinking (5)
- Employee Engagement (10)
- Fun and innovation (2)
- Hierarchy vs. Innovation (4)
- How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci (7)
- Innovation & the Economy (1)
- Innovation in Government (2)
- Innovation in History (5)
- Integrity; Following own drummer (7)
- Langdon Morris (6)
- Leadership & Management Best Practices (15)
- Learning from Mistakes (8)
- Lifelong Learning and innovation (3)
- Mentoring and innovation (4)
- Model Innovative Organizations (9)
- Podcasts on innovation (2)
- Processes and Structures for Innovation (5)
- Redefining Innovation (8)
- Scenario Planning (2)
- Six Sigma and LEAN vs. innovation (2)
- Social Change and Innovation (2)
- Spirituality in Workplace and innovation (2)
- Trust and Respect in Engagement and Innovation (8)
- Types of Innovation (6)
- Weirdness and Creativity (2)
- What-iffing (5)
- Whole Brain Thinking (6)
- YouTube Videos (3)
Breaking Creative & Innovative Thinking Out of Their Boxes Through Creative Problem-Solving
Happy Leap Day, all! May we all make great use of this "extra day" we get every four years on the 29th of February! EnJoy!
The new combined Kowabunga! & Riding the Wave Training & Development website is still in the final stages of getting its bugs worked out, but will be returning soon with new musings and resources. In the meantime, inspired by a recent conversation and having missed being in touch, I wanted to say "Aloha!" and share a few thoughts from my Sabbatical perch (Oh, that it were from the beach…).
Creative Thinking as Solution Finding:
In August 2011, I wrote a post on the different forms of innovation, “What Does Innovation Mean? Many Things.” http://ridingthewave.net/2011/08/.
In brief, creative, divergent, or “out of the box” thinking, as it is so often called, has been relegated in the minds of many as "what marketing/ advertising, or maybe some R&D folks do," versus what it actually is, which is:
- The partner of critical thinking.
- The gears for creative problem-solving.
- The foundation of continuous improvement.
- It also is a key component forthe scenario planning that all organizations should be practicing as precursors to their strategic planning processes.
- And yes, of course, creative thinking also results in more obvious innovations in product, service, and market development.
- Creative thinking is also inextricably linked with cultivating an engaged workforce. In a September 2011 post, “A Creative Look at Employee Engagement by Explania,” http://ridingthewave.net/2011/09/ *
This last point is one that remains especially difficult for many in leadership and management roles to see. It is highly improbable that one will find employees willing to give 110% unless they feel they have a voice and input into the creative problem solving, solutions, and continuous improvement processes.
Why would this be? Simply put, when management doesn’t demonstrate genuine interest in the input and ideas of employees by creating mechanisms to capture, vet, and implement the viable ones, staff:
a) do not feel respected, and
b) feel frustrated when they see ways that processes and services could be improved and feel unable to make a difference.
Having no ownership in the process, they do not feel inspired to proactively go above and beyond in their duties and may simply be biding their time until they can work elsewhere. Most of us have either witnessed the dynamics of an apathetic workforce or know this from personal experience having worked in companies where we were told, either directly, or indirectly, that we were “not being paid to think beyond our pay grades.”
And everyone loses out, from customers to shareholders, from benefiting from their frontline problem-solving and continuous process improvement ideas, even before they make their exits from their respective organizations.
So, the next time someone says, “We don’t have time for creative and innovative thinking" — try to help him or her to think beyond the box s/he may have placed around those forms of cognition. Insert terms like: “creative problem solving,” “continuous process improvement,” “comprehensive, lasting solutions,” and “engaged workforce,”… — And then ask them whether there is time for that. ???
I look forward to further exploration with you on the links between creative thinking, innovation, best management practices, and organizational success when Kowabunga! returns soon on a regular basis. And in the meantime, "Aloha!"
*Check out the great short educational video on that post: http://www.explania.com/en/animations/detail/how-to-use-employee-engagement-to-boost-your-business.
You can also catch the delightful one-minute video depicted in these photos on "Thinking Outside the Box" at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJ_7gUP42Bk&feature=related.
Other short, brilliant videos on creative and innovative thinking can be viewed on Kowabunga's post from February 24, 2011: http://ridingthewave.net/2011/02/.
The next couple of posts will contain more words on the forms of leadership needed to champion innovation, and on collaboration, which is lifeblood for innovation. But first, here are some additional videos hosted through YouTube exploring creative thinking that will be sure to inspire and tickle:
- Think Again (ABC Training Video) (4:09): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3NPL2f0WVEM&playnext=1&list=PL16FEE0B9133286CC
- Be infectious (3:05): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63onoo6JURg
- Using the stairs (1:48): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FRmifpeZO18
And finally, as much as I am an evangelist on behalf of creative thinking and innovation, I’ve got to hand it to IBM which hired some very creative talent to produce these lovable videos poking fun at the innovation movement. Well done!
- IBM Innovation Man (:31): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MudaxA80eI4&NR=1
- Innovation Man Drill Sergeant (:29): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xXrIoF-sVi8&feature=related
- Buzzword Bingo (:31): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgeLY7CL5IE&feature=related
- IBM Innovation Station (:33): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wqclq0dx3U&feature=related
- Ideating (:29): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ziOG_GHNVq0&feature=related
For a break away from talking about creativity, I'm passing along the links below to some wonderful videos on the subject. They're all just 1-2 minutes (time noted in parentheses). They've been grouped into what I see as a natural progression:
The problem with limited, fixed thinking; a look at what inspired creativity and innovation can cause in our world; some delightful applied examples; and a few interesting tips for cultivating your creative thinking, a couple of which I'd not heard before.
I hope you enjoy them as much as I have. As always, please share: with me, with others following this blog, and with friends! Cheers!
- The Creativity Company – Create your own box (:57)
OCAD – What Can Creativity Do (2:53)
Think different (1:07)
- Think Outside The Box (1:02)
Think Outside the Box – (1:29)
A few suggestions:
How To Stimulate the Creative Process (1:46)
Subscribe to receive new blogposts below
- Adapting to Change & overcoming Fear
- Ambiguity and embracing the Unknown
- Apple and/or Steve Jobs
- Business Reports: 2010 IBM CEO & 2010 BCG
- Changing Cultures to become Innovative
- Collaboration vs. Silos
- Continuous Improvement or Process Improvement
- Creative Arts & Innovation
- Creative Genius among Staff
- Creative Problem Solving
- Creative Thinking Practices & Exercises
- Critical Thinking
- Curiosity & Asking Questions
- Divergent vs. Convergent thinking
- Employee Engagement
- Fun and innovation
- Hierarchy vs. Innovation
- How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci
- Innovation & the Economy
- Innovation in Government
- Innovation in History
- Integrity; Following own drummer
- Langdon Morris
- Leadership & Management Best Practices
- Learning from Mistakes
- Lifelong Learning and innovation
- Mentoring and innovation
- Model Innovative Organizations
- Podcasts on innovation
- Processes and Structures for Innovation
- Redefining Innovation
- Scenario Planning
- Six Sigma and LEAN vs. innovation
- Social Change and Innovation
- Spirituality in Workplace and innovation
- Trust and Respect in Engagement and Innovation
- Types of Innovation
- Weirdness and Creativity
- Whole Brain Thinking
- YouTube Videos