“I’m always thinking about creating. My future starts when I wake up every morning. Every day I find something creative to do with my life.”
- Most organizations have no idea what nurtures and/or inhibits creativity and innovation in the culture
- There is often a difference of opinion between management and employees about the degree to which the culture supports creative action
- Much is spoken about needing creativity, less is done to help it along
The Audit develops organizational awareness about its culture by:
Assessing the organizational climate for nurturing and inhibiting innovation and creativity. We take multiple snapshots of the organization to look at what employees see and say about its culture.
Analyzing data to identify strengths and weaknesses. We use the audit data to analyze what is/is not working, how to institutionalize strengths and remediate weaknesses.
Examining differences in perception between management and other employees.
It is imperative to align goals around creative output so that ideas flow freely throughout the entire organization at every level and in every function.
Meeting with representative groups to discuss findings and plan next steps. While understanding the results of the audit is crucial, developing a prioritized plan to achieve desired results is as important. We work with the organization to devise a step-wise path to the future.
The objectives of The Audit are:
- Establish a baseline for the state of creativity and innovation in the organization
- Capture data from a cross-section of the organization to reveal alignment about the climate for innovation and creativity
- Analyze data and share findings
- Develop plan to align organizational goals for creativity and innovation with daily practice
THINK TANK: The Game of Creative Problem Solving ®
“Make it a point to keep a lookout for novel and interesting ideas that others have used successfully. Your idea has to be original only in its adaptation to the problem you are currently working on.”
Thomas Alva Edison
- When people play a game they tend to participate naturally.
- Game playing enables observers to see how a team solves problems, interacts with one another, accommodates individual styles, and innovates.
- Structure supports creativity, control stifles it.
THINK TANK develops group creative collaboration through:
Using a board game to guide the creative thinking process. THINK TANK is actually a board game with rules and playing pieces. We find that most players immediately let go of their adult assumptions about problem solving when they realize they’re about to play a game. The change in attitude gives a head start on being creative.
Examining the integral parts of a problem. Many problems are so complex and huge that it is hard to know where to start to solve them. There are nine essential problem-solving questions on the game board that help a team plan their approach to a given problem.
Sharing the combined knowledge and experience of the group. Everyone in the group adds to the collective responses to the nine questions.
Diverging first on ideas, then converging on their usefulness. Problem solvers often want to rush to solution without first considering possibilities. The structure of the game guides players to first generate ideas, and then evaluate them.
Determining how to move forward with the most robust ideas. It is crucial that the ideas that are surfaced in the workshop see the light of day. Participants develop a project plan for next steps.
The objectives of Think Tank are:
- Learn a methodology and tools for problem solving
- Apply both idea generation and ideal evaluation tools
- Engage in innovative thinking about an actual work problem
- Assess problem solving styles to determine how they impact performance
- Observe individual contributions as well as team dynamics
- Increase collaboration skills
Targeted Breakthrough Thinking (TBT)
- Everyone is creative, although the process and results vary according to thinking styles and context.
- Ideas flow when the mind is stimulated. Few people innovate on demand.
- The culture in which we operate greatly influences output.
TBT stretches people’s minds through:
Developing self-awareness of brain dominance styles and how they impact approaches to problems and people.
Being exposed to and practicing Breakthrough Thinking tools. Or life beyond brainstorming. We build a toolbox of up to15 idea generation and 15 idea evaluation tools correlated to thinking style preferences and problem requirements.
Pushing ideas to breakthrough. The Obvious is not Breakthrough. We generate ideas until participants break mach speed.
Differentiating between problems and dilemmas. A problem can be solved; however, a dilemma has no “right” answer and requires creative and/both thinking to surface the most satisfactory and viable alternatives. We develop unique approaches to cracking chronic and current dilemmas.
Creating a safe laboratory for experimentation. We establish a climate that’s open, energetic, engaging and fun.
The objectives for TBT are:
- Become grounded in the theories of creativity and innovation
- Gain self-awareness about individual thinking styles and their influences on problem solving
- Learn and use idea generation and evaluation tools in situations of growing complexity
- Apply a problem-solving methodology to a work-problem
- Establish a community of innovators