September 25th, 2014 By Jack Morton
Have been lucky enough to be at the Spikes Festival of Creativity in Singapore. I’ve been involved in the forum sessions about creative talent and I presented on this:
Does your business value creative thinking? Of course it does, and you are almost certainly one of the 91% that believes it impacts directly on your company’s success. But are you one of only 26% of employees who strongly believe their working culture encourages creative thought? And where does this leave the future success of our businesses?
While we all know it’s important, one of the fundamental challenges organisations have is in developing a culture of innovation and inspiration. Jack Morton conducted research among employees across the globe which suggests the lack of understanding and consequent support for creative thinking could be hampering effective creative output and the ability of business to attract and retain talent.
This Forum discusses to what degree business across the globe is actively encouraging a culture and environment conducive to creative thinking and consider the success stories of those organisations that hold the nurturing and promotion of creative thinking close to their hearts.
I think that the case for change for our industry and for Enterprise is quite well-known. We know why we need to change (disruption) and we know we need to change (creativity and innovation be that digital, integration or whatever) the challenge is away going to be how.
In Andrew Ho’s session he spoke about a better marriage of strategy and creative and how the tools, perspective and approaches of each discipline works better in combination rather than pass (or parse) the parcel, and a question ‘will we ever run out of insight?’ really stimulated some reflection on the experience of presenting and facilitating my own session.
The questions around how we deliver great ideas, how we can innovate our process, how we can support people through this journey are tough to answer.
And here’s the journey to my refection. Jack’s creativity research puts forward 6 recommendations to help build more creative cultures: collaboration, play, freedom to fail, space to think, ego support and idea collection. The best kind of cultures have all of these aspects and I wanted to create an experience of what those six principles in action might look like. I love the haikugami tool
- as of freedom to fail I show a haiku written about my own work culture and attempt to demonstrate how to fold a paper plane- giving permission to people to make their version as imperfect and human as they like
- I tell them a story of collaboration, how I’ve sought out their participation by putting a sheet under each of their seats. I tell them about the goal- let’s make a hundred co-created wishes for creative culture fly. I want their thoughts and expression, but I want us to share and build on our thoughts
- I ask for playfulness a thought articulated in only 5 or 7 syllables, and line by line I ask them to stand up and let their thoughts fly across the room, and to jump and catch someone else s thought as it flies past
- ego support is about making the rewards of creativity real, fun and transparent, hopefully a room full of heads down and the energy of sharing reflects this notion
- the conference and the session itself is place to think, a context that is designed to open up different parts of the brain
- and I collect ideas and celebrate participation at the end. The photo above is just some of what I was given back from the audience
What did I learn? What thing did I see, what human truth did I observe, from delivering this experience to room full of punters wanting creativity, believing in creativity and eve working in creative fields?
It’s really award and uncomfortable to move from a passive state to one of participation.
It’s hard to know what’s the right thing to say when you’re asked to express your feelings.
And that’s the point- creativity feels chaotic and a bit weird if you’re not used to it. It’s the reason why there’s such a gap between the desire for these kinds of cultures and them grit it takes to deliver them. But the results! I have a hundred poems: inspiring, playful and brave that tell the story of what can happen in a room when you start to do things differently.
Peak insight? I think I’ve only just started to learn about the power and potential of human creativity.