Page 1

"To us this book is like a beautiful stone, gracefully thrown in the water, a multinational effort to bring the power of creativity and innovation to people who will take it everywhere they like." Willem Stortelder, Anne Heleen Bijl, Mike van der Vijver Amsterdam/Venice/Budapest/TimiĹ&#x;oara/Palermo April 2011

CREATIVITY TODAY... DRIVING INNOVATION FOR THE FUTURE

www.leonardonext.eu


CREATIVITY TODAY... DRIVING INNOVATION FOR THE FUTURE


This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

LLP-LDV-TOI-09-IT-0469

PART 1 – Creativity methodologies and tecniques: Extract from “Creativity Today” – ISBN 978-90-6369-146-2 with the kind permission of the auhors. Copyright © 2002 Original edition Lannoo Publishers, Creativiteit HOE?ZO! Copyright © 2002 Igor Byttebier Authors: Igor Byttebier, Ramon Vullings, Godelieve Spaas Design: Vanessa Paterson Illustrations: Dennis Luijer Photos: Kathleen Steegmans Copyright © 2007 new shoes today All rights reserved. No part may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owners. Editorial project: Confindustria Veneto SIAV Authors: the partners of Leonardo NEXT Project “Creativity and innovation for industry” Design: Francesca Cremonese Illustrations / Photography: the partners, Francesca Cremonese Print: Grafiche Antiga S.p.A. - Crocetta del Montello (Treviso) - Italy First printed in April 2011 Special thanks to Willem Stortelder, Anne Heleen Bijl, Mike van der Vijver and all the partners of Leonardo NEXT Project: Anodica Trevigiana S.p.A. - Italy Camera De Comert, Industrie si Agricultura Timis - Romania Confindustria Veneto SIAV S.p.A - Italy Confindustria Sicilia - Italy FederlegnoArredo - Italy Kopernikusz Association For Innovation - Hungary Mindmeeting b.v. - The Netherlands new shoes today b.v. - The Netherlands S.D.I. Soluzioni D’impresa Srl - Italy Rezonance - Switzerland

ITY V I T A E CR ! TODAY!


TABLE OF CONTENTS Chairmans’ Introductions

4

Certificate of our inner child

6

1.6 • The Converging Phase

8

1.1 • Understanding Creativity

9

9 10

1.7 • Exercises and Answers

Creativity methodologies and tecniques Five Misconceptions about Creativity Creativity Test

1.2 • A Creative Mind

Human Thought Basic Creative Skills Practicing Your Creative Skills

11 11 14 15

1.3 • The Creative Process

22

22 22 22

Starting Phase Diverging Phase Converging Phase

Choosing Selection – Techniques The COCD Box Activation The Nearling

The NEXT Project: creating to innovate - The NEXT project: creativity and innovation for industry - What do your shoes look like? The Transfer of a Method for Creative Working and Innovation and the Role of Culture

The training activity Creativity in action

39 40 42 42 45 47

48

50 51 52

60 62

Mindmapping

24

1.4 • The Starting Phase

25

25 30

- Green economy and creativity - Confindustria Sicilia – creativity and management of change - Anodica & green - SDI (Soluzioni D’Impresa) challenge - Age Management - CCIAT: Efficient Economic Relation Department’s management - ITL Group: creative communication - ABGO: a tasty challenge

31

The lake of knowledge

78

Creativity people

80

Partnership and contacts

82

Bibliography

84

Starting and Getting Started Starting Phase

1.5 • The Diverging Phase

Generating Ideas Diverging Techniques Presuppositions Direct Analogy Superhero Free Incubation

31 33 33 35 36 38

62 64 66 68 70 72 74 76


Chairmans’ Introductions As founder of a consulting company I am always looking for new ideas and new services to launch. I believe that creative thinking is one of the most important managerial skill and especially in today’s turbulent economy, building a creatively agile company will not only help us to survive but will provide a powerful competitive advantage. Leonardo NEXT has been a very valid support on this road.

Alessandro Farina Chairman of Kopernikusz Association Managing Director of ITL Group

The growth of our enterprises depends on how we will be able to look at and face what surrounds us, triggering off change with the ingredients of creativity: vision, passion, persistence.

Ivan Lo Bello Chairman of Confindustria Sicilia

Quality and innovation: these are the pillars where the strength of our enterprises lies on. Our manufacturing sector masters a capital composed by genius, creativity and design, not easily imitated: a genius generating aesthetics, dexterity and attention to the smallest detail. The acknowledgement of the Italian design excellence is awarded directly by people, because talking about “furniture made in Italy” evokes pictures of style, uniqueness, fantasy and, namely, creativity.

1st March 2011 Cav. Lav. Rosario Messina Chairman of FederlegnoArredo

Efficiency and competitiveness are no longer the key-elements for a company to be successful on the market. Besides those, the flexibility, the originality, the innovation spirit, the “ability to generate ideas”- are elements of the most importance.

Georgică CORNU Chairman of Timiș CCIA


CREATIVITY TODAY... DRIVING INNOVATION FOR THE FUTURE

Innovating means finding answers to the problems, both in terms of launching a new product or modifying it (technological sphere), and in terms of solving a situation (social sphere). It basically means interacting within reality by changing it. Innovation concerns all aspects of our life and aims at improving it. At the basis of innovation lies creativity, everybody is keen on innovating: as Erich Fromm stated, the vital process must constantly generate new birth; “Many people die without completely being born. Creativity means having completed one’s birth before dying”. Art and creativity are generally associated and their origin is indeed coupled with a sort of madness (Plato makes Socrates suggest it in Phaedrus), but a “positive” one: when Hamlet pretends to be mad, Shakespeare lets us notice that “there is method in his madness”. How much “positive madness” inspired Veneto small entrepreneurship in generating the economic development in the North-East of Italy in the 1960s and 1970s? How much creativity inspired those factory workers who left their medium and large industry employers to start their own business by relying on their entrepreneurship and courage? This confirms Marc Piaget’s statement that “If you want to be creative, stay in part a child, with the creativity and invention that characterize children before they are deformed by adult society”, because creativity is mostly to be found in our daily lives, as there are always problems requiring original solutions in order to be tackled successfully. Nowadays, the socioeconomic situation is quite different, so the question arises whether creativity can be “rationalised”. This is one of the challenges that the new millennium poses, i.e. “organizing” creativity in such a way that its typical emotional component characterizing it can be transformed into (and associated with) planning abilities leading the company to implement constant innovation dynamics. Thus, the relationship between Creativity and Innovation will be the fundamental driver for economic recovery and development.

Francesco Peghin Deputy Chairman of Confindustria Veneto In charge of Research and Innovation

Growth and development constantly need new ideas, i.e. constantly increasing creativity. Creating is a mental, as well as a physical activity, it is an expression of a vital spirit which enables to implement an idea and a project with positive, original features. From a psychological, sociological and pedagogical point of view, creativity includes three aspects: the intellectual aspect (I can produce new ideas), the emotional one (I think in a new way), and the motivational one (I can come up with different ideas in my mind). According to psychologist Vittorio Rubini, creativity is in each person, but there are those who highly develop it, and those who don’t. It depends on the circumstances: creativity develops in the child if he/she grows being encouraged to reach independence, it develops in life if the cultural environment is open towards, and enhances innovation, it often developed in the past in the craftsman’s workshop just as in the artists’ meeting place; today for example it can be stimulated in a high-tech laboratory. Creativity is often linked to knowledge, organization and the availability of financial resources: these are necessary factors, but they are not sufficient: clearly defined goals are also necessary, as well as the person’s strong motivation, in order for the “emotional” dimension to turn into projects and for the “emotional strategy” to prevail over bureaucratic planning schemes. In 2004, Sedgely and Elmslie found a positive relationship between density of population and innovation. With his creative capital theory, Florida currently states that density does not only concern the “human capital”, but also those whose activities have a strong creative component leading to innovation and growth. He also stresses the importance of collaboration and interaction: “High density of creative capital leads to and makes frequent face-to-face interaction… facilitating ‘creative’ spillovers, and subsequently innovations”. It is, indeed, the contribution of the individual within a friendly organization which favours the development of creativity and the generation of innovative ideas, when this person is provided with the necessary skills and the most suitable tools.

Sergio Trevisanato Chairman of ISFOL


Certificate of our inner child This certificate gives right to: Walk under the rain Jump into mud puddles Seize the rainbow Smell flowers Do bubbles Play a bad trick Change your mind Build sand castles Admire the moon and the stars Greet everyone met in the street Sing in the bathroom Be cheerful Read children’s books Flip out Dance with grandma Buy a new pair of training shoes Walk hand in hand Share kisses and hugs Laugh and cry alone Be wanderer Pretend to sleep Feel strange Stop to feel guilty Don’t be ashamed Don’t stay innocent Do two thousands mistakes To atone Say “I’m sorry” Think to somebody or something stupid Say yes and no at the same time Shout “endive” Evoke all the gnomes


Ask stupid questions Walk alone along a narrow wall Sing just to sing Speak with animals Have a imaginary friend Throw something Climb the trees Take a nap Feel like doing nothing Daydreaming Play with toys Have dirty feet Eat and talk at the same time Learn new things Disassemble objects Invent new rules Cry for every single thing Read a book under the blanket with a torch Save the world Get pimples Become friend of somebody Forget what your name is Order the biggest ice cream And behave as you were the first inventor of everything on earth It is never too late for an happy childhood!

Willem Stortelder Lochem – The Netherlands 29 September 2010


CREATIVITY METHODOLOGIES AND TECNIQUES

Today: w Don’t think this is only a beer coas

ter. This product has proved itself to comfort human bein gs in their daily struggle for a better life. It has alrea dy been used as:

table equalizer message board love letter beamer lifter badge

stress reduction tool calculator noise protection system idea thrower

...


CREATIVITY TODAY... Methodologies and tecniques

1.1 UNDERSTANDING CREATIVITY THE FIVE MOST IMPORTANT MISCONCEPTIONS Misconception 4: ‘I don’t have the time for creativity.’ Thinking up new ideas doesn’t take a lot of time but it requires focus. The moment you start questioning, creativity starts on the subject. When you are trained to work creatively, the best ideas will occur to you when you least expect them. Being able to pay close attention to a problem is much more important than having a lot of time.

Why is it that after so many years of research and application in the field of creativity, the most crucial insights still haven’t reached the greater part of the population? One of the reasons could be that there was no urgency in using all creative potential from yourself or your organization. Times have changed now, all creative capacity is needed facing the challenges of this era. Misconception 1: ‘You’re either creative or you’re not! You can’t learn it.’ Creativity can be learned. Creativity is a skill. Like any skill, some people are endowed with a greater natural talent than others. This is the case with languages or mathematics, balance, memory, etc. It also applies to creativity. Just as you can improve your basic level in all these skills by actively working on them, so can you improve your creative skills. This book will help you.

Misconception 5: ‘We already do brainstorming sessions.’ A little learning is a dangerous thing. In many companies people meet for a so-called ‘brainstorm’. Often these brainstorming sessions are organised in an unprofessional manner and even the most elementary rules such as ‘postponing judgement’ are overlooked. Such performances usually result in a frustrated ‘problem owner’ as well as frustrated participants. These sessions are killing a creative and innovative environment. Creativity Today explains how to do better.

Misconception 2: ‘Creativity is batik work or flower arranging. It’s for softies.’ Creativity has become one of the most important developmental aspects for individuals and organizations. The current trend of accelerated innovation proves it: creativity and result-oriented management go hand in hand. And this is anything but soft.

1

Misconception 3: ‘My boss keeps me from being creative.’ YOU are the only one who decides how to use and develop your creative potential. Obviously, one environment is more stimulating than another but acting the victim has never helped anyone. Consider the obstacles in your environment as a challenge.

3 2

9

5 4


CREATIVITY TODAY...

Methodologies and tecniques VIT

CR

TI EA

CREATIVITY TESTS

Y

TO

Y DA

... CR

CR

CR

E

VI TI A E

T EA

T IVI

Y

TY T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR

T EA

CR CR

T IVI

VI TI EA

TI EA

VI

Y

TY

TY

T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

...

CR CR

TI EA

Y VIT CR

CR

T EA

T EA

T IVI

T IVI

Y

Y T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR CR

T EA

T EA C

T IVI

T IVI

AT RE

Y

IVI

Y T

AY OD

TY

T

...

AY OD

CR ...

T EA E CR

AT

CR VI TI EA

T IVI

Y

VI TI A E

TY

TY

Y DA O T

Y DA O T ...

CR 2. Caesar and Cleopatra: An exercise in imagination

1. Squares: An Exercise in Perception How many squares do you see here?

In a book written by a successful crime novelist we found the following passage: ‘I entered the room and immediately I saw the open window, the broken glass and the water on the floor. The curtains in front of the window were moving, but what struck me most were Caesar and Cleopatra. They were both lying on their sides on the floor, in the midst of water and broken glass. It was obvious – they were dead!’ Our question to you: What could be the cause of death? Play the role of the detective and imagine as many causes of death as possible. Use your imagination. When finished, go to page 49 and read the comment.

I open my eyes, I accept the world. I see opportunities and situations I’m willing to change. I create joyfully and instantly. I act in connection with the world. I create my life here and now. We create our world today. Igor Byttebier

Have a close look. Spend two minutes counting the squares, then write down the total. When you have finished, try to double the number and go to page 48 and read the comment.

10

C

...

I AT E R

C

V


CR

E

VIT

Y

C CR

AT RE

T IVI

IVI T EA

TY

Y T

AY OD CR

...

TI EA

CR VIT

E

Y

T

CR

...

AY OD

CR E CR

TI EA

AT

1.2 A CREATIVE MIND

T IVI

E VIT

Y

Y

T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR

T EA

CR CR

T IVI

TI EA

TI EA

VI

VIT

Y

TY Y

T

TO

AY OD

Y DA

CR

...

...

E CR

Y

CR E CR

VI TI EA

AT

T IVI

TY

Y

T

Y DA TO

...

... CR CR

T EA

T IVI

VI TI A E CR

TY

TI EA

Y Y DA O T

VIT

Y

TO

...

Y DA

CR ...

T EA E CR

AT

CR

CR

HUMAN THOUGHT

VI TI A E

T IVI

Y

VI TI A E

TY

TO

TY

Y DA

Y DA O T ...

success. In a comparable situation, we can quickly retrieve these patterns and apply them again. Eventually, this occurs automatically so that we can focus our attention on new or more important problems. Thought patterns are the habits of our thinking.

During the course of evolution, man developed a remarkable thought system with an incredibly fine and diverse structure. We will come to the physical aspect (hardware) of the brain in a minute. First let’s take a look at the functionality (software). To start with, let’s look at some definitions. This is worthwhile because it indicates perfectly why creative thinking is not as simple as we might wish it to be.

Experience is the sum of all the patterns and habits we have acquired in the past that make us able to act efficiently and effectively in a certain context.

What is thinking? Out of many possible definitions, we chose this one:

AT

T IVI

AY OD

A simple example clarifies this. Anna, a Dutch girl, is taking driving lessons: a very complex activity. She already knows how to handle the steering wheel, but now she also has to consider the other traffic, the road signs, the pedals, the gear lever, all of the dashboard instruments and on top of that a thunderstorm spoils her first lesson! But Anna likes driving and she practises a lot. After a few months she recognises the different road signs, she feels exactly when to shift into a higher gear, she intuitively estimates the right distance between her own car and others and almost subconsciously keeps an eye on the rear view mirror to check the traffic behind her. She is now able to have conversations, listen to the radio or concentrate on an audio language course. She even solves marketing problems and she has noticed that her best ideas often occur while she is driving on the motorway.

Thinking = Processing Information

We are constantly surrounded by all kinds of stimuli and our perception system (the senses) makes it possible to capture these stimuli. Our thought system enables us to process very simple but also very complex information. Simple things might be: making a cup of coffee, lacing up your shoes, listening to the weather forecast and choosing suitable clothing. It becomes more complex when we consider the working environment where tasks might be accountancy, political decision making, developing an educational programme, solving a mathematical problem, repairing an engine, and so on. An efficient thought system is able to process this complex information quickly and correctly. How do we manage this? By being champions in recognising, using and, if necessary, adapting our thought patterns.

So you’re the owner of this fantastic thinking system that enables you to learn fast due to the stability of these rapidly acquired patterns. As a child you learned very simple things first: how to walk, how to sit on a chair without falling off. You learned to read and write letters of the alphabet and consequently you learned how to turn these into words and sentences.

What are thought patterns? Thought patterns are clusters of data that we recognise as clusters and that we will store if and when they generate

11

CR

... TI EA

C VI


CREATIVITY TODAY...

Methodologies and tecniques VIT

CR

TI EA

Y

TO

Y DA

... CR

CR

CR

E

VI TI A E

T EA

T IVI

Y

TY T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR

T EA

CR CR

T IVI

VI TI EA

TI EA

VI

Y

TY

TY

T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

...

CR CR

TI EA

Y VIT CR

CR

T EA

T EA

T IVI

T IVI

Y

T

Y T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR CR

T EA

T EA C

T IVI

T IVI

AT RE

Y

IVI

Y T

AY OD

TY

T

...

AY OD

CR ...

T EA E CR

AT

CR

T IVI

Y

VI TI A E

TY

Y DA O T

Y DA O T ...

Y VIT I T EA a pattern building and using brain is great, but it is C Ra handicap once you have to innovate your manners and odds, once you need new ideas.

But you also learned how to cross the street in a safe way. When something is not working you’ll try another way. If after a while it does work, you will remember and apply it again and again until it becomes a habit. It happens ‘automatically’. That gives you the opportunity to focus your attention on new things you are learning.

Let’s first see if these patterns can also be found in the physical structure of our brain.

Creativity is athletics of the mind

The Human Brain

You build up experience with a number of successful patterns of thought and action that you have made your own.

Our brain consists of 100 to 125 billion neurons and an even larger number of supporting cells (gliacells). A neuron has a fascinating form. Think of it as a little ball (the cellular body) with antennae forming entrances and exits. The entrances are thin, cordlike branches called dendrites. One neuron can have up to 10,000 dendrites. The exit cord, of which there is only one, is called an axon. The dendrites receive information from neighbouring cells and pass them on to the cellular body. A new signal can be initiated from the cellular body and passed on to other cells through the axon. Axons vary in length. The shortest ones only reach a neighbouring cell; the longest ones go from the brain into the spinal marrow and are 20,000 times longer than the cellular body itself. At its end, the axon splits into smaller antennae that pass the signal to the dendrites of other cells.

Experience helps you in your job, in solving difficult problems like tuning a machine, in continuing to teach a class of restless teenagers in a fascinating way, in analysing figures and statistics, in quickly finishing a pile of household chores. You can do all of this so quickly and efficiently because your thought system recognises successful patterns, remembers them and offers them up ready to use at the right moment. What a wonderful instrument, this thinking machine! However, there is also an important flip side. Anna is travelling in Scotland with friends. They have hired a local car that has its steering wheel on the wrong side (Anna is used to Dutch cars where the steering wheel is on the left side). When she’s driving and wants to shift gears, she grabs for the door handle instead. The indicators are also on the other side of the wheel so that every once in a while she sets the windscreen wipers in action. Not all the acquired patterns from home are useful in Scotland.

The signals (each a combination of an electric and a chemical signal) are transmitted through the neurons which form a jungle of thousands of antennae interconnected in thousands of ways. Someone has calculated that there are 100 billion connections in our brain. This is 100,000,000,000,000 connections. The speed of these signals can reach up to 400 km per hour. • Thinking is about Following Connections and Creating New Ones

Not all the acquired patterns from home are useful in Scotland. So having

12

C

...

I AT E R

C

V


CR

E

VIT

Y

C CR

AT RE

T IVI

IVI T EA

TY

Y T

AY OD CR

...

TI EA

CR VIT

E

Y

T

CR

...

AY OD

CR E CR

TI EA

AT

T IVI

E VIT

Y

Y

T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR

T EA

CR CR

T IVI

TI EA

TI EA

VI

VIT

Y

TY Y

T

TO

AY OD

Y DA

CR

...

...

E CR

AT

T IVI

Y

CR E CR

VI TI EA

AT

T IVI

TY

Y

T

Y DA TO

Creative Thinking

Thinking takes place essentially through the transmission of signals between different brain cells and parts of the brain. These signals choose a differentiated path through certain ‘circuits’. On one hand, they follow existing tracks, but on the other, they create new connections. Recent research has revealed that only a limited number of new brain cells are added to our brain after birth. However, throughout our entire lives new connections are realised between existing cells in the actively used parts of the brain.

AY OD ...

... CR CR

T EA

T IVI

VI TI A E CR

TY

TI EA

Y Y DA O T

VIT

Y

TO

...

Y DA

CR ...

T EA E CR

AT

CR

CR

VI TI A E

T IVI

Y

VI TI A E

TY

TO

TY

Y DA

Y DA O T ...

Now that you’ve read about the ‘hardware’ of patterns and pattern breaking, you’ll also understand that pattern breaking occurs by thinking differently. So, thinking differently (use of software) influences the physical structure of the brain (the hardware). How does this going-against-the-pattern thinking work? Let’s examine the ‘software’ of pattern breaking.

Creative thinking is made up of different attitudes, thinking skills and techniques, and thought processes that increase the probability of pattern breaking and the creation of new connections in our brain. Simply by doing it, by practising. As you know, this is the main subject of Creativity Today. Just as you can improve your physical fitness by being active and practising sports, you can improve your thinking ability by practising your creative skills. A few basic creative skills will help you to begin. By training these, you will notice that you already will have improved your ability to think up new solutions, to see different lines of approach, to discover new opportunities. You will also get better at recognising when and where creative thinking will be useful in your job, for your personal development, or in your daily life.

13

CR

... TI EA

C VI


CREATIVITY TODAY...

Methodologies and tecniques VIT

CR

TI EA

Y

TO

Y DA

... CR

CR

BASIC CREATIVE SKILLS

CR

E

VI TI A E

T EA

T IVI

Y

TY T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR

T EA

CR CR

T IVI

VI TI EA

TI EA

VI

Y

TY

TY

T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

...

CR CR

TI EA

Y VIT CR

CR

T EA

T EA

T IVI

T IVI

Y

Y T

T

...

AY OD

AY OD

CR

...

CR

T EA

T EA

T IVI

T IVI

AT RE

Y

IVI

Y T

AY OD

TY

T

CR

...

AY OD

...

T EA E CR

AT

CR

T IVI

Y

VI TI A E

Y DA O T

TY

Y DA O T

...

IDEA KILLERS... C

CR

A number of very elementary skills that constitute the foundation for creative thinking can be distinguished. You already apply each of these skills consciously or unconsciously when you think, act, solve problems, or relax. By improving these basic skills, you will dramatically increase your creative potential. You will also notice that your confidence and motivation will increase as well.

Yes, but...

The five basic skills are: • Creative perception • Postponing judgement • Flexible association • Diverging • Developing imagination

It already exists!

WE DON’T HAVE TIME...

VI TI EA

TY

Our customers won’t like that!

NO!

It’s not possible...

Let’s be realistic... That’s not logical... We need to do more research... THERE’S NO BUDGET... It’s too expensive!

I’m not creative... We don’t want to make mistakes...

Each basic skill contributes its own added value to creative thinking and thus to thinking in general. The skills have elements in common and they are interrelated but they can also be distinguished from one another. We have made this distinction for clarity and above all for practise purposes.

The management won’t agree...

Let’s start with the skill at the origin of all of our knowledge: perception.

T H AT ’ S T O O B I G A C H A N G E . . .

It’s not my responsibility...

GET REAL...

It’s too difficult to master...

The market is not ready yet... Let’s keep it under consideration...

It is just like…The older generation will not use it... W E

A R E

T O O

S M A L L

F O R

T H A T . . .

It might work in other places but not here... SINCE WHEN ARE YOU THE EXPERT?... That’s for the future... There are no staff members available...

14

IT IS NOT SUITABLE FOR OUR CLIENTS...

C

...

I AT E R

C

V


CR

E

VIT

Y

C CR

AT RE

T IVI

IVI T EA

TY

Y T

AY OD CR

...

TI EA

CR VIT

E

Y

T

CR

...

AY OD

CR E CR

TI EA

AT

T IVI

E VIT

Y

Y

T

T

AY OD

AY OD

PRACTICING YOUR CREATIVE SKILLS

...

... CR

T EA

CR CR

T IVI

TI EA

TI EA

VI

VIT

Y

TY Y

T

TO

AY OD

Y DA

CR

...

...

E CR

AT

T IVI

Y

CR E CR

VI TI EA

AT

T IVI

TY

Y

T

AY OD

Y DA TO

...

... CR CR

T EA

T IVI

VI TI A E CR

TY

TI EA

Y Y DA O T

VIT

Y

TO

...

Y DA

CR ...

T EA E CR

AT

CR VI TI A E

T IVI

Y

VI TI A E

TY

TO

TY

Y DA

Y DA O T ...

CR Exercises !!! take you to an Olympic level. They dig deeper and require more time. They take you into real life situations. These exercises require more commitment but the greater rewards will undoubtedly compensate for the investment. The Exercises !!! show how creative thinking works for real.

Athletes know that they perform better when their basic fitness is optimal. Basic fitness is a preliminary requirement but how about heartbeat, flexibility and reflexes? All athletes use a set of basic training exercises to reach and maintain their level. The same can be applied to creative thinking. A top-level creative thinker regularly trains the basic fitness of his brain. He can do this by practising a number of basic skills – elementary thought processes which could be considered the raw materials of more complex thinking.

The universal rule for all of the exercises is take them at your own pace and continue only as long as you are enjoying it. You can invite friends or colleagues to practice with you and this can provide extra motivation.

Exercises have the same effect on the mind as stretching does on the body. They let your brain know that you are on the case. You can either do the exercises now or try them later on. Don’t forget that top creativity is not only about talent and technique but also about practise.

Creative Perception Why? When you observe, you see what is there. Fortunately! But others also see what is there. Observing ‘differently’ can be the first step towards the creation of something new.

You are probably already good at some of these skills; others may be buried under a layer of dust and some are probably new to you. The different skills influence and strengthen each other. You might be more attracted to the skills you already excel in but you stand to gain the most by developing the skills you find more difficult.

How? You can learn to question your own perceptions (and those of others) while you are observing. You become conscious of your own thought patterns, of the thought patterns of others, but also of the patterns in the way objects (in reality) show themselves to us. The purpose of creative perception is to let go of the dominant perception and become proficient in shifts in perception.

The training section offers exercises on two different levels: Exercises ! are intended to check if you have understood the exercise, if you execute it in the right manner, and to test your level. The exercises ask you to generate ideas. Once you’ve done the exercise and come up with an x number of ideas you are at a good basic level. If you then double (!) the number of ideas (you will find out how hard it is at first) then you are on the advanced level.

This is not an easy task: just try to see a glass as something other than a glass, a magazine as different from a magazine, a company, a consumer, a market, a book…

15

CR

... TI EA

C VI


Why? When you observe, you see what is there. Fortunately! But others. also E .. C Rfirst step towards Y see what is there. Observing ‘differently’ can be the the creA OD ... ation of something new. T Y

T EA

T IVI

Y

AY OD

...

CR

Y VIT

the chair you’re sitting something thatAappeals to you, T . . . in, this book. Choose Y Try to develop another R E vision of this Y and familiar object. preferably a simple T I Y A C V or differences D IT object through TI VWhat I TO changes in Eperception . . . in interpretation. A T Y this be used forR or turned into? AY elseI T could EA C

...

C

Y A Y DA TI OD T O A CR D VIT R T I T IV YWhen was the last R E C T (and those of. . others) How? You can learn to questionY your own perceptions Question: . TO ... C I T did AT EofA your own thought .your other senses;V I T Y Methodologies and tecniques Y V you time something for the . E I R Y . V Y V I Tbecome conscious while you are observing. You patterns, Perception is not just visual. Start concentrating now on . R I T A .. TI C DA Y ATfirst time? Dthe V I information you TI I much A ATof others, but also C A O E O A Y E of the thought patterns of the patterns in way objects you will be astonished by how can take in. Put Creativity D T E R T T E A R O C DA CR C R one by one: R E and concentrateY onTthe following senses Today (in reality) showC themselves to us. The purpose of I creative T Y aside for a moment T Y perception is to TO I C . . V V T . let go of the dominant perception and become T I Hearing – Try to listen to everything TY T I proficient in shifts in percepI V I that you can hear and make a list. AY Tmany EA E Aa glass as something other than T I V I D A R It is interesting to notice how sounds you normally spontaneously tion. This is not an easy task: just try to see R C A C TO RE filter away, which you C will notice now when concentrating. a glass, a magazine as different from a magazine, a company, a consumer,RaE Y C T Smell – Take a short walk and focus on smell until you have market, a book… I V Iclearly recogAT nised five different scents. E R Exercises ! Choose an object within hand’s reach: a pen forCinstance, the bedside Exercises ! Touch – Pick up Creativity Today again, close your eyes and feel each lamp, the chair you’re sitting in, this book. Choose something that appeals Look at the figure below. What could be represented here? Find as many difplane of the book until you have perceived something new about it. Look at the figure below. What could be represented here? Find as many to you, preferably a simple and familiar object. Try to develop another vision ferent interpretations of the image as possible. different interpretations of the image as possible. of this object through in perception or differences in interpretation. Exerciseschanges !!! Lookthis for a be room that you completely What else could used forcan ormake turned into?dark, pitch-black. You will find this just is morevisual. difficult than you might expect. The best place on is probably Perception isthat not Start concentrating now your aother cellar or some kind of storeroom. Invite some people to explore the room in senses; you will be astonished by how much information you can take in. the dark with you. Discuss this experience together. Of course you can do this Put Creativity exercise Todayalone aside for a moment and concentrate on the following as well. senses one by one:

CREATIVITY TODAY...

Select one particular customer or group of customers. Conjure up this cus-

Hearing tomer in your imagination and write down their distinguishing characteristics. think some that more and outhear their less Try to listen toNow, everything youseek can andobvious makefeatures a list.until some surprising new visions if these new perceptions help you to disIt is interesting to notice howsurface. manySee sounds you normally spontaneously cover new opportunities in your co-operation with this (group of) customer(s). filter away, which you will notice now when concentrating. Postponing Judgement Smell Why? When you judge, the exploratory thought stage is brought to an end. Take a short walk andare focus on smell have By clearly recognised five New ideas no longer given a until chanceyou to surface. regularly practising postponement of judgement, you will become more open to new ideas, difdifferent scents. ferent viewpoints, surprising angles of approach.

Touch How? Postponing judgement is a skill which you can only learn by practice. Pick up Creativity Today again, close your eyes and feel each page of the You have to turn a switch in your head, so to speak, the switch which allows book until youyou have perceived something new Aabout it. efficiently in posito postpone your judgement in position and judge tion B. A trained creative thinker is able to switch easily from one attitude to the other.

When was the last time you did something for the first time?

16


CR

E

VIT

Y

C CR

AT RE

T IVI

IVI T EA

TY

Y T

AY OD CR

...

TI EA

CR VIT

E

Y

T

CR

...

AY OD

CR E CR

TI EA

AT

T IVI

E VIT

Y

Y

T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR

T EA

CR CR

T IVI

TI EA

TI EA

VI

VIT

Y

TY Y

T

TO

AY OD

Y DA

CR

...

...

E CR

AT

T IVI

Y

CR E CR

VI TI EA

AT

T IVI

TY

Y

T

AY OD

Y DA TO

...

... CR CR

T EA

T IVI

VI TI A E CR

TY

TI EA

Y Y DA O T

VIT

Y

TO

...

Y DA

CR ...

T EA E CR

AT

CR VI TI A E

T IVI

Y

VI TI A E

TY

TO

TY

Y DA

Y DA O T ...

Postponing Judgement

Exercises !!!

Why? When you judge, the exploratory thought stage is brought to an end. New ideas are no longer given a chance to surface. By regularly practising postponement of judgement, you will become more open to new ideas, different viewpoints, surprising angles of approach.

Listen to the news on the radio and concentrate on the various news items. Choose one and try to look at this subject from the viewpoint of at least 3 different parties involved.

CR

How? Postponing judgment is a skill which you can only learn by practice. You have to turn a switch in your head, so to speak, the switch which allows you to postpone your judgment in position A and judge efficiently in position B. A trained creative thinker is able to switch easily from one attitude to the other.

Choose a concrete product or person that irritates you for one reason or another in certain situations (for instance, the lawn mower that makes too much noise; your partner who is almost always later home from work than he/she promised). Think of some positive aspects (advantages) that result from this situation or imagine the way you could turn the situation to your advantage. Choose your favourite product, your favourite TV programme, or something you like very much. Now think negative thoughts about this product and write down as many disadvantages to it as possible. Go beyond logic. Use each of these disadvantages to create an improvement to your product. This technique, called ‘Inverted Brainstorm’, is often used for product development.

17

CR

... TI EA

C VI


CREATIVITY TODAY...

Methodologies and tecniques VIT

CR

TI EA

Y

TO

Y DA

... CR

CR

CR

E

VI TI A E

T EA

T IVI

Y

TY T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR

T EA

CR CR

T IVI

VI TI EA

TI EA

VI

Y

TY

TY

T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

...

CR CR

TI EA

Y VIT CR

CR

T EA

T EA

T IVI

T IVI

Y

Y T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR CR

T EA

T EA C

T IVI

T IVI

AT RE

Y

IVI

Y T

AY OD

TY

T

CR

...

AY OD

...

T EA E CR

AT

CR VI TI EA

T IVI

Y

VI TI A E

TY

TY

Y DA O T

Y DA O T ...

Flexible Association

Exercise in Speed

Why? Fast and flexible associative thinking is useful during brainstorming. Association exercises can act as a warm-up and get the brain ‘in the mood for creativity’. You can do these exercises individually or in a group.

Use a blank page and start a chain beginning with ‘mushroom’. Let your mind wander and do this for 1 minute. Then count the number of associations.

CR

Repeat the exercise. Take a word at random from page 42 and write down another associative chain for 1 minute. Try to increase your total of associations by 50% compared to the previous attempt.

How? Associations arise spontaneously but you can improve your performance by:

Toppling (chain associations with an extra assignment)

• increasing your speed • toppling (disociation) • linking back (resociation) • connecting

‘Toppling’ during associative thinking means switching contexts as much as possible. A ‘bank’ can be a financial company, but it can also be a riverside or a data bank.

An associative chain is a series of associations where you start with one term and freely associate, always postponing judgement as you move from one association to the next.

An example of switching contexts during an associative chain: Water – drowning – drunk – pink elephants – circus – artist – Warhol – New York – apple…

Example water – drinking – soft drink – summer – beach – sailing – surfing…

Start again with ‘mushroom’, but try to switch the context as much as you can in your chain. Do the same exercise, but make associations inspired by all 5 senses.

18

C

...

I AT E R

C

V


CR

E

VIT

Y

C CR

AT RE

T IVI

IVI T EA

TY

Y T

AY OD CR

...

TI EA

CR VIT

E

Y

T

CR

...

AY OD

CR E CR

TI EA

AT

T IVI

E VIT

Y

Y

T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR

T EA

CR CR

T IVI

TI EA

TI EA

VI

VIT

Y

TY Y

T

TO

AY OD

Y DA

CR

...

...

E CR

AT

T IVI

Y

CR E CR

VI TI EA

AT

T IVI

TY

Y

T

...

AY OD

Y DA TO

...

CR CR

T EA

T IVI

VI TI A E CR

TY

TI EA

Y Y DA O T

VIT

Y

TO

...

Y DA

CR ...

T EA E CR

AT

CR

CR

VI TI A E

T IVI

Y

VI TI A E

TY

TO

TY

Y DA

Y DA O T ...

Linking Back

Diverging

Start with the word ‘Japan’ and make a chain that ends with ‘mushroom’. Try to make another 5 chains between Japan and mushroom.

Why? The first ideas you think of are generally the most obvious ones. When you continue to diverge (find alternatives), you automatically come up against your own thought barriers. Beyond these barriers lies originality.

Connecting

How? See how many answers you can find spontaneously to a question or a problem. Try to double this number. It may look like a lot but be confident. With some effort and by using creative thinking techniques, this will turn out to be a piece of cake. Important: of course you must postpone judgement while diverging. Otherwise the following exercises would be impossible!

Example What do a sunflower and a fried egg have in common? sunflower

-

fried egg

yellow colour each has a particular smell Sunday decoration sunny side up sunny colour and shape cheerfulness a round centre and surrounding material both taste delicious nice for kids the farm…

Exercises ! Which of the following letters is different from the others and why?

AEIFU Do you achieve the results you would like? Go to page 48 to read the comment.

Find as many similarities (or connecting associations) as possible between:

What is 8 divided by 2 (8/2=)? Give as many answers as you can to this question. We don’t provide answers but you can find a helpful technique to try out on page 33, the technique of presuppositions.

arena and chips tea cup and train wagon

19

CR

... TI EA

C VI


CREATIVITY TODAY...

Methodologies and tecniques VIT

CR

TI EA

Y

TO

Y DA

... CR

CR

CR

E

VI TI A E

T EA

T IVI

Y

TY T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR

T EA

CR CR

T IVI

VI TI EA

TI EA

VI

Y

TY

TY

T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

...

CR CR

TI EA

Y VIT CR

CR

T EA

T EA

T IVI

T IVI

Y

Y T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR CR

T EA

T EA C

T IVI

T IVI

AT RE

Y

IVI

Y T

AY OD

TY

T

CR

...

AY OD

...

T EA E CR

AT

CR VI TI EA

T IVI

Y

VI TI A E

TY

TY

Y DA O T

Y DA O T ...

Exercises !!!

Exercises !!!

For each of the following exercises, it is essential to imagine a very concrete situation!

Let’s see if you can take a better look at your working environment just by using your imagination. Close your eyes and imagine your workplace. Look at the details, walk around, touch the furniture. What do you see? What do you hear?

You want to convince your boss of a brilliant idea although you suspect that he/she will not easily agree. How will you go about this?

CR

Now ask yourself the question, what disturbs or irritates you? Look around in your imagination and take mental note of it. Then in your imagination adapt what you would like to change. Change everything you want, postponing your judgement, and be surprised at the results.

If your boss always appreciates your ideas (you’re in a minority!), then do the exercise above with a particular customer in mind.

Choose a product (or service) that you have to deal with in your own work and that you are quite pleased with. Imagine this product (or service).

Developing Your Imagination

Now try to change a number of elements in your imagination. Change the colour, enlarge or reduce parts, change their positioning or order. Give them a new use. Delete some elements and see what happens...

Why? Images are very powerful constructions that are not easily transformed. Yet you can’t achieve anything new without creating a new supporting image for it (even unconsciously). Imagining involves making new images as well as letting go of existing ones.

Do this without a specific goal in mind, just as an imagination exercise. This technique is called ‘SCAMPER’.

How? Paying close attention and doing simple exercises will help you to become aware of the gold mine of images you have acquired since birth. With a little concentration you can easily access them and start playing with the images you have retrieved.

People will accept your ideas much more readily if you tell them

Benjamin Franklin said it first David H. Comins

20

C

...

I AT E R

C

V


CR

E

VIT

Y

C CR

AT RE

T IVI

IVI T EA

Y T

TY

AY OD CR

CR

...

TI EA

VIT

E

Y

T

CR

...

AY OD

CR E CR

TI EA

AT

T IVI

E VIT

Y

Y

T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR

T EA

CR CR

T IVI

TI EA

TI EA

VI

VIT

Y

TY Y

T

TO

AY OD

Y DA

CR

...

...

E CR

AT

T IVI

Y

CR E CR

VI TI EA

AT

T IVI

TY

Y

T

AY OD

Y DA TO

...

... CR CR

T EA

T IVI

VI TI A E CR

TY

TI EA

Y Y DA O T

VIT

Y

TO

CR

...

...

Y DA

E CR

VI TI A E

POSTPONING JUDGEMENT MARC: Well, I know that our company has grown thanks to our transport business. But if you take a close look at the cost structure, most of our capital is going to these trucks while our profit margins continue to drop. If we didn’t own the trucks, we could use that money for other activities that would allow larger profit margins.

NOT... MARC: Eric, what would you think about selling all our trucks and just concentrating on the rest of our business?

ERIC: Yes, I think I understand what you mean. What activities are you thinking of?

ERIC: Haha, you must be kidding, a haulier without trucks! Never heard of it. You’d better not tell this to our boss. Forget about it, lad. Can’t you think of anything better?

MARC: I don’t know exactly. Maybe we could help customers to find the best way of transport or routing, or we could help other hauliers optimise the costs, or maybe there are other possibilities. I’m sure we can think of more ideas.

BUT MAYBE...

ERIC: We could think of opportunities in other branches, for instance increasing the safety of transport, optimising environmental costs, the training of truck drivers… It seems worthwhile to think about this further and have a look at the figures.

MARC: Eric, what would you think about selling all our trucks and just concentrating on the rest of our business?

MARC: Yes, and if it proves to have potential, we can propose it to the boss.

ERIC: What do you mean, Marc? I don’t get it. Can you explain it to me?

ERIC: We’ll have to think about how to propose this, you know he’s very sensitive when it comes to his trucks.

21

AT

CR

CR

T EA

T IVI

Y

VI TI A E

TY

TO

TY

Y DA

Y DA O T ...

CR

... TI EA

C VI


CREATIVITY TODAY...

Methodologies and tecniques VIT

CR

TI EA

Y

TO

Y DA

... CR

CR

CR

E

VI TI A E

T EA

T IVI

Y

TY T

T

AY OD

AY OD

1.3 THE CREATIVE PROCESS

...

... CR

T EA

CR CR

T IVI

VI TI EA

TI EA

VI

Y

TY

TY

T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

...

CR CR

TI EA

Y VIT CR

CR

T EA

T EA

T IVI

T IVI

Y

T

Y T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR CR

T EA

T EA C

T IVI

T IVI

AT RE

Y

IVI

Y T

AY OD

TY

T

CR

...

AY OD

...

CR

Models or diagrams help us to get a grip on reality which is often too complex for our comprehension. This book offers a very simple general model that will hopefully inspire you by its simplicity. Models help you to direct your thinking and to concentrate on those elements of the creative process where you can make a difference. It works as long as we don’t take the models for reality.

T EA E CR

AT

CR VI TI EA

T IVI

Y

VI TI A E

TY

TY

Y DA O T

Y DA O T ...

Diverging Phase The idea-generating phase. Creative techniques will help you to generate new ideas beyond your wildest expectations. Some techniques are closely related to logical thinking and use a reasoning technique to break patterns. Some require the use of associative and imaginative skills. A third type will teach you how to trust your intuition and show that you are always surrounded with solutions to your problem once you have found the right state of mind.

The most simple form of the creative process consists of three phases: • Starting phase • Diverging phase • Converging phase

Converging Phase In the third stage an abundance of ideas forces you to make choices. Many people who are already familiar with creative thinking have noticed that once you can successfully apply diverging techniques, the biggest challenge in the creative process is not generating new ideas but the next step: the converging phase. How do you transform an abundance of ideas into the best solution?

CREAT IVIT Y

Starting Phase The starting phase – as you have already guessed – indicates that the process starts one way or another. Perhaps there is a problem to solve or you are confronted with some kind of assignment or task. Perhaps you have discovered an opportunity, or something in your work or private life irritates you. Or you might just be trying to make changes.

seems

to be a rather pompous word for the work I have to do between now and next Tuesday David Ogilvy

22

C

...

I AT E R

C

V


CR

E

VIT

Y

C CR

AT RE

T IVI

IVI T EA

TY

Y T

AY OD CR

...

TI EA

CR VIT

E

Y

T

CR

...

AY OD

CR E CR

TI EA

AT

T IVI

E VIT

Y

Y

T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR

T EA

CR CR

T IVI

TI EA

TI EA

VI

VIT

Y

TY Y

T

TO

AY OD

Y DA

CR

...

...

E CR

AT

T IVI

Y

CR E CR

VI TI EA

AT

T IVI

TY

Y

T

AY OD

Y DA TO

...

... CR CR

T EA

T IVI

VI TI A E CR

TY

TI EA

Y Y DA O T

VIT

Y

TO

CR

...

...

Y DA

TIPS FOR THE COACH 1

VI TI A E

Problem Is the problem clear enough and is it a problem to which creativity can provide a solution? Does the formulation need to be reworked before the brainstorming session? Problem Owner Have you located the right problem owner? Does he really want to solve the problem and is he capable of doing so? Can he give a good briefing? Composition of the Group How many people do you invite and who do you choose? Does your group consist not only of specialists but also some ‘wild geese’? Environment Is the space for the brainstorming session suitable? Does it have enough daylight and fresh air? Can you concentrate easily? Is it an inspiring place? Do you have a flip chart? Can you stick sheets of paper on the walls? Timing Did you plan enough time, but not too much? Have you written a script including all the different steps? Is there someone to help you to keep time?

Techniques How do you get the group ‘in the mood’? Do you have some warming-up exercises to start with? Which diverging techniques are you going to use and how much time do they require? In what manner do you plan to converge? Closing How will you conclude the brainstorm and how can you increase the odds that the ideas generated will be realised? Will you keep the group informed of the results?

23

E CR

AT

CR

CR

Coach Who will lead the session? Have you appointed a particular person? Hopefully not the problem owner?

T EA

T IVI

Y

VI TI A E

TY

TO

TY

Y DA

Y DA O T ...

CR

... TI EA

C VI


CREATIVITY TODAY...

Methodologies and tecniques VIT

CR

TI EA

Y

TO

Y DA

CR CR

MINDMAPPING

...

CR

E

VI TI A E

T EA

T IVI

Y

TY T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR

T EA

CR CR

T IVI

VI TI EA

TI EA

VI

Y

TY

TY

T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

...

CR CR

TI EA

Y VIT CR

CR

T EA

T EA

T IVI

T IVI

Y

Y T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR CR

T EA

T EA C

T IVI

T IVI

AT RE

Y

IVI

Y T

AY OD

TY

T

CR

...

AY OD

...

CR

What is a mindmap? A mindmap is an ultimate organizational thinking tool. It is an easy way to put information into the brain and take it out again when you need it. A very creative and effective and means of note taking. The main subject, the topic, is put in the centre and the main branches leading from the middle represent the main thoughts and aspects, and the smaller ones represent the details. We can use it to organize our note - taking, but especially for brainstorming and solving problems. A mindmap can give in a compact way, a lot of information to other people. Remembering information becomes much easier and more reliable than in the traditional way. You can show for instance, to promote your company, what are your products, the benefits of it, your future plans etc. When you make a mindmap you work with drawings, colours and words at the same time, which activates both of your hemispheres, stimulating creative thinking. Use keywords, curved lines, colours and small, easy drawings! Mindmapping helps you to concentrate, to solve problems, plan, study, present, communicate and be more creative. You can draw it by hand or make them with a computermindmapping program.

24

T EA E CR

AT

CR VI TI EA

T IVI

Y

VI TI A E

TY

TY

Y DA O T

Y DA O T ...

C

...

I AT E R

C

V


CR

E

VIT

Y

C CR

AT RE

T IVI

IVI T EA

TY

Y T

AY OD CR

...

TI EA

CR VIT

E

Y

T

CR

...

AY OD

CR E CR

TI EA

AT

T IVI

E VIT

Y

Y

T

T

AY OD

AY OD

1.4 THE STARTING PHASE

...

... CR

T EA

CR CR

T IVI

TI EA

TI EA

VI

VIT

Y

TY Y

T

TO

AY OD

Y DA

CR

...

...

E CR

AT

T IVI

Y

CR E CR

VI TI EA

AT

T IVI

TY

Y

T

AY OD

Y DA TO

...

... CR CR

T EA

T IVI

VI TI A E CR

TY

TI EA

Y Y DA O T

VIT

Y

TO

...

Y DA

CR ...

E CR

AT

CR

CR

STARTING AND GETTING STARTED

T EA

VI TI A E

T IVI

Y

VI TI A E

TY

TO

TY

Y DA

Y DA O T ...

A Suitable Subject for Creativity?

When does the creative process start? Well, there is starting and getting started. Sometimes you have already taken off before you actually realise it. In fact you are constantly thinking up solutions and putting them into practice. You get stuck in a traffic jam so you find an alternative route to your destination. The dog ate your daughter’s doll and you try to find a way to comfort her. You quite like this new young lady or young man you meet at the company party and you’re thinking about a ‘suitable’ opening line. The starting phase can be a very natural process without much deliberate thought. On other occasions you are positively determined to find new solutions to a specific problem or you need to find new ways to deal with a situation. The stimulus to come up with new ideas can originate from yourself. You’re doing something new or you have new targets, or perhaps you are dissatisfied with the way things are going at the moment. Sometimes your environment can trigger a creative process. Your husband, your wife or your children, your boss, your customers want something different. And you’re the one who has to come up with the ideas. You might be confronted with something that catches your attention. It appeals to you. The thought ‘Why isn’t this different?’ occurs to you or you think, ‘I could do this better.’ A detail catches your eye and you want to do something about it.

Creativity is a fashionable word which managers and politicians like to use. A common belief is that creativity is able to solve any problem but this is simply not the case. Some problems require different kinds of solutions, not creative ones. Disappointment is the logical consequence of situations where creative processes are not correctly applied and unrealistic expectations are built up. It isn’t very easy to judge whether or not creativity can make the difference. The following questions may help to distinguish appropriate subjects. Do we need new ideas for this subject? Will new ideas make a difference here, or do we need a different kind of approach? In order to avoid misuderstandings, we want to make it clear that creativity can at least contribute to finding solutions, but not always to the same extent. New ideas do not make a difference: • If we don’t fully understand the subject (through a lack of crucial information, or if it is too complex) • If we estimate that the subject is not important enough, or we don’t really want to tackle it (lack of motivation) • If the ideas already exist but we are unable to make a choice (insufficient information) • If the ideas already exist but we are not in a position to make a choice (lack of authority)

25

CR

... TI EA

C VI


CREATIVITY TODAY...

Methodologies and tecniques VIT

CR

TI EA

Y

TO

Y DA

... CR

CR

CR

E

VI TI A E

T EA

T IVI

Y

TY T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR

T EA

CR CR

T IVI

VI TI EA

TI EA

VI

Y

TY

TY

T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

...

CR CR

TI EA

Y VIT CR

CR

T EA

T EA

T IVI

T IVI

Y

Y T

T

AY OD

AY OD

Analytical Questions

• If the ideas already exist but we don’t dare to make a choice (lack of leadership)

...

... CR CR

T EA

T EA C

T IVI

T IVI

AT RE

Y

IVI

Y T

AY OD

TY

T

CR

...

AY OD

...

CR

T EA E CR

AT

CR VI TI EA

T IVI

Y

VI TI A E

TY

TY

Y DA O T

Y DA O T ...

Which are the most logical, and yet often forgotten, analytical questions you should ask during the starting phase of the creative process?

• If the path to a solution is already clear, but we don’t want to suffer the consequences yet (lack of vision and/or motivation)

Is the Subject Clear? Have We Asked the Right Question(s)? By reformulating the problem you can find out how clear the issue is and if the problem really is the problem.

• If the solution is already obvious, but we are not able to realise it (lack of competence and/or authority) Persistent problems usually combine some of the above elements. Take the problem of traffic jams, for instance. A simple analysis will show you that this is not a creativity problem (as is nevertheless often claimed). Hundreds of ideas exist already but a real solution requires the political courage and competence to take the necessary decisions, as well as the social motivation to go through the inevitable difficult period of implementation.

Do We Have Access to the Relevant Data? Valuable time is lost when important information is not or not immediately available when analysing the issue. This has two negative effects: • Due to the lack of information, the wrong problem might be tackled • After the diverging phase it will be difficult to make choices because it is not possible to decide which ideas will really solve the problem

Therefore what is sometimes missing is not new ideas but the necessary: Vision to explore future possibilities and ‘imagine’ the improved reality. Information to understand the circumstances or to make concrete choices. Motivation to tackle the problem. Courage to make necessary but unpleasant decisions. Competence to lead a complex process to a satisfactory result.

Who is the Problem Owner? Creative processes often go wrong (even in well-known companies and at higher management levels) for the simple reason that it is not clear who the owner of the problem is. A real problem owner is concerned, committed, competent and capable (4C’s).

In all of these situations, creativity can only solve part of the problem and other instruments are required for the rest.

Concerned: He is (emotionally) involved with the problem. It means something to him. Committed: This is a step further than concerned. He is willing to tackle and solve the problem. He will take action as soon as good ideas surface. Competent: He is authorised to tackle the problem, he can formally and informally deal with this problem, he is qualified to make decisions and act accordingly. Capable: He has the necessary capacities and skills to tackle the problem (decisiveness, personal authority, budget, etc.).

26

C

...

I AT E R

C

V


CR

E

VIT

Y

C CR

AT RE

T IVI

IVI T EA

Y

TY

T

AY OD CR

...

TI EA

CR VIT

E

Y

T

CR

...

AY OD

CR E CR

TI EA

AT

T IVI

E VIT

Y

Y

T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR

T EA

CR CR

T IVI

TI EA

TI EA

VI

VIT

Y

TY Y

T

TO

AY OD

Y DA

CR

...

...

E CR

AT

T IVI

Y

CR E CR

VI TI EA

AT

T IVI

TY

Y

T

AY OD

Y DA TO

... CR

...

CR

The Starting Formulation

Before you organise a creative session where the problem owner will brief everyone about their problem, it is always useful to check that you have located the right problem owner.

T EA

T IVI

VI TI A E CR

TY

TI EA

Y Y DA O T

VIT

Y

TO

...

Y DA

CR ...

T EA E CR

AT

CR

CR

VI TI A E

T IVI

Y

VI TI A E

TY

TO

TY

Y DA

Y DA O T ...

You should end this phase with the starting formulation for the diverging phase. After having checked your feelings about the matter at hand, analysed the issue, and considered your motivation, you are ready to think up new ideas. What is the best way to formulate your goal?

Example During a three day creativity course in a company that produces building materials we came across an interesting production problem. In the final stage of a coating process, small latent flaws would occur on some coated roofing tiles that had just emerged from the coating machines. Two engineers had been searching for an elegant and inexpensive solution to this problem for several weeks. The two engineers briefed the creativity group. We thought of dozens of possible solutions, some of which were very useful. After the brainstorming session, to our astonishment, the problem owners considered none of the solutions to be promising. We discovered later that something else was at stake here. Imagine a creative group finding a solution in just two hours to a problem that the two of you had spent weeks on without result. This doesn’t look good, does it? The two engineers were definitely concerned, competent and capable but not committed to implement our solutions.

- State the goal in one sentence - Don’t formulate in broad or general terms but maintain a concrete focus to avoid general and uninspiring solutions. - If necessary a problem should be divided into partial problems to make them more striking and focusing Example How can one increase the profit margin on product X? It can be divided into: • How can we buy in more cheaply? • How can we reduce the costs of selling? • How can we increase the output of the production process? • How can we create added value for product X for this particular target group? • How can we create an alternative distribution system?

Do We Have Enough Time to Deal with This Problem? On the one hand this might seem an obvious remark. On the other hand we notice that companies still tend to consider creativity and innovation as something that can be done in between ‘normal’ activities: brainstorms during lunchtime, concept development after hours. Besides, if you think creativity is important on the subject, plan the session on primetime to make sure everybody understands the importance of it.

- Mention the problem owner in the formulation - a question that starts with ‘HOW’ or ‘CREATE’ invites new ideas the interrogatives Who, What, Where, When, Why invite the gathering of information. They should be answered during the briefing. - Find a challenging and attractive formulation for your goal

27

CR

... TI EA

C VI


CREATIVITY TODAY...

Methodologies and tecniques VIT

CR

TI EA

Y

TO

Y DA

... CR

CR

CR

E

VI TI A E

T EA

T IVI

Y

TY T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR

T EA

CR CR

T IVI

VI TI EA

TI EA

VI

Y

TY

TY

T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

...

CR CR

CR

CR

LET'S START !! ? . . . o h W Where

TI EA

Y VIT

...??

What ... ?

. . . e t rea

C o T

28

T EA

T EA

T IVI

T IVI

Y

Y T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR CR

T EA

T EA C

T IVI

T IVI

AT RE

Y

IVI

Y T

AY OD

TY

T

CR

...

AY OD

...

CR

When ...?

T EA E CR

AT

CR VI TI EA

T IVI

Y

VI TI A E

TY

TY

Y DA O T

.? . . w Ho

Y DA O T ...

C

...

I AT E R

C

V


CR

E

VIT

Y

C CR

AT RE

T IVI

IVI T EA

TY

Y T

AY OD CR

...

TI EA

CR VIT

E

Y

T

CR

...

AY OD

CR E CR

TI EA

AT

T IVI

E VIT

Y

Y

T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR

T EA

CR CR

T IVI

TI EA

TI EA

VI

VIT

Y

TY Y

T

TO

AY OD

Y DA

CR

...

...

E CR

AT

T IVI

Y

CR E CR

VI TI EA

AT

T IVI

TY

Y

T

AY OD

Y DA TO

...

... CR CR

T EA

T IVI

VI TI A E CR

TY

TI EA

Y Y DA O T

VIT

Y

TO

...

Y DA

TIPS FOR THE COACH 2

CR ...

Creative Session Go through the briefing with the problem owner. Invite the creative group and organise a room and a time slot. Group Composition A creative group should consist of 4 to 12 participants. A diverse composition is very important. An ideal creative group consists of: 1/3 specialists on the problem 1/3 generalists 1/3 wild geese (they know little or nothing about the subject, so no patterns on the subject) Creative Room A good environment for a creative session is spacious, uncluttered and has both daylight and fresh air, preferably outside the working environment.

Creative Session, Starting Phase • Welcome • Refresher on the brainstorming rules and warming-up exercises • Briefing: The problem owner explains the problem • The group asks questions, if necessary using the circle of exploration • Reformulation: Each participant establishes his own starting formulation • This is discussed in the group • Choice of one starting formulation as a kick-off for the diverging phase • Start of the diverging phase

29

E CR

AT

CR

CR

Timing Time can vary from a few hours to several sessions on the same subject during a longer period, using incubation time. Never hurry, participants should feel comfortable to place and time.

T EA

VI TI A E

T IVI

Y

VI TI A E

TY

TO

TY

Y DA

Y DA O T ...

CR

... TI EA

C VI


CREATIVITY TODAY...

Methodologies and tecniques VIT

CR

TI EA

STARTING PHASE

Y

TO

...

Y DA

CR CR

CR

E

VI TI A E

T EA

T IVI

Y

TY T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR

T EA

CR CR

T IVI

VI TI EA

TI EA

VI

Y

TY

TY

T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

...

CR CR

TI EA

Y VIT CR

CR

T EA

T EA

T IVI

T IVI

Y

Y T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR CR

T EA

T EA C

T IVI

T IVI

AT RE

Y

IVI

Y T

AY OD

TY

T

...

AY OD

CR ...

T EA E CR

AT

CR VI TI EA

T IVI

Y

VI TI A E

TY

TY

Y DA O T

Y DA O T ...

CR • You ask the group to stand up and get into a circle. Send a gesture around the circle. The person who starts makes a specific physical movement, the second person copies the movement, changes something and passes it on to the next person, and so on. Speed up if possible. • Ask people to tell the group who their hero is, and why.

The Starter’s Frame of Mind What? You let go of everything you were doing before and start to focus your attention on the here and now. This preparation time will result in better results later on.

Of course it is even better to come up with your own warm-up exercises. Adapt them to your own style and to the subject the creative session is about.

How? There are no general rules. Everyone has his own way. Exercises ! Find out how you like to get started. Either consciously or subconsciously you will have developed some methods for this. For example making your own CD with music that puts you in a creative mood.

Scouting for Opportunities Problems arise. You don’t have to make any special effort to find them. You will have to look for opportunities yourself. Once you have started you will notice you are surrounded by opportunities; they are out there just waiting to be recognized. Look at your environment with an open, fresh mind as if you are seeing it for the first time.

Exercises !!! You will find a number of warm-up exercises below which can help to set up a creative mood in a group: remember its about playing, one can never be wrong! • Do some association exercises with the group; What doesn’t belong in this triple: spoon, turtle, football. Find at least 5 reasons one doesn’t belong here. • Let them form a line-up, the youngest left, the oldest right, on the question ‘what is your age’, let them do so without talking. As alternatives, now with talking; darkest eyes left, brightest eyes right, creativity vs control, “size” of the salary (if you dare), number of years employed, the number of clothes wearing at the moment, etc.

Are you stupid enough to solve the problem?

(Creativity doesn’t come from knowledge,

judgment does) Willem Stortelder

30

C

...

I AT E R

C

V


CR

E

VIT

Y

C CR

AT RE

T IVI

IVI T EA

TY

Y T

AY OD CR

...

TI EA

CR VIT

E

Y

T

CR

...

AY OD

CR E CR

TI EA

AT

T IVI

E VIT

Y

1.5 THE DIVERGING PHASE

Y

T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR

T EA

CR CR

T IVI

TI EA

TI EA

VI

VIT

Y

TY Y

T

TO

AY OD

Y DA

CR

...

...

E CR

AT

T IVI

Y

CR E CR

VI TI EA

AT

T IVI

TY

Y

T

AY OD

Y DA TO

...

... CR CR

T EA

T IVI

VI TI A E CR

TY

TI EA

Y Y DA O T

VIT

Y

TO

...

Y DA

CR ...

From the starting phase and a well determined correct starting formulation, you now need to generate new ideas. You move on to the diverging stage; this means trying to find as many new ideas as possible for a given problem or objective. If this is your first introduction to creative thinking, this module will undoubtedly have some surprises in store for you. You will discover powerful diverging techniques that guarantee you will never be at a loss for new ideas. Postponing judgment is crucial in any case. Remember one can not come up with bad ideas, you only can judge them once born. So speak out whatever pops up in your mind, techniques will help you find many. There are two diverging rounds. In the first round you should express all the ideas you spontaneously come up with. These may be simple, common sense ideas but crazy ideas are also welcome. In the second round techniques will bring you to unexpected new areas, out of any pattern.

31

E CR

AT

CR

CR

GENERATING IDEAS

T EA

VI TI A E

T IVI

Y

VI TI A E

TY

TO

TY

Y DA

Y DA O T ...

CR

... TI EA

C VI


CREATIVITY TODAY...

Methodologies and tecniques VIT

CR

TI EA

Y

TO

Y DA

... CR

CR

CR

E

VI TI A E

T EA

T IVI

Y

TY T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR

T EA

CR CR

T IVI

VI TI EA

TI EA

VI

Y

TY

TY

T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

...

CR CR

TI EA

Y VIT CR

CR

T EA

T EA

T IVI

T IVI

Y

Y T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR CR

T EA

T EA C

T IVI

T IVI

AT RE

Y

IVI

Y T

AY OD

TY

T

CR

...

AY OD

TIP FOR THE COACH 3

...

CR

T EA E CR

CR VI TI EA

‘Rules of the Game’ for Creative Sessions Postpone judgment All ideas are welcome. This is the Golden Rule of creativity! Any kind of judgment – including self-criticism – has a paralysing effect on divergence. Remarks such as ‘we have already tried this’, ‘this is technically impossible’ or ‘too expensive’ act as a plug on the creative volcano and mean that some ideas will never be uttered. Remember, this is a temporary attitude: there will be judgment, but later in the creative process. In other words, generating new ideas and judging them are strictly separated during the creative process. Foster openness within the creative group, but respect privacy in the outside world. This creates a greater openness within the group; participants dare to express more and dig deeper. . Pay extra attention to naive ideas. By definition, a new idea doesn’t fit with our established thought patterns. No hierarchy, no arrogance. Everybody is equal in a creative session, everybody can have brilliant ideas. Hitchhike on others’ ideas. An idea can serve as a stepping stone for other ideas. And accept at the same time that others can develop your favourite idea. Keep on looking for alternatives. Quantity breeds quality. The result is everyones result. All participants together create an environment and flow where new ideas get born easily, don't make it an inner competition. Besides, this connects everyone to the result, which means support for next steps of idea-developement and implementation.

Next you can start the second round which increases the quantity and innovative power of your ideas. Using one or more techniques you will try to break conscious and unconscious thought barriers and discover new perspectives.

32

AT

T IVI

Y

VI TI A E

TY

TY

Y DA O T

Y DA O T ...

C

...

I AT E R

C

V


CR

E

VIT

Y

C CR

AT RE

T IVI

IVI T EA

TY

Y T

AY OD CR

...

TI EA

CR VIT

E

Y

T

CR

...

AY OD

CR E CR

TI EA

AT

T IVI

E VIT

Y

Y

T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR

T EA

CR CR

T IVI

TI EA

TI EA

VI

VIT

Y

TY Y

T

TO

AY OD

Y DA

CR

...

...

E CR

AT

T IVI

Y

CR E CR

VI TI EA

AT

T IVI

TY

Y

T

AY OD

Y DA TO

...

... CR CR

T EA

T IVI

VI TI A E CR

TY

TI EA

Y Y DA O T

VIT

Y

TO

...

Y DA

CR ...

T EA E CR

AT

CR

T IVI

Y

VI TI A E TO

TY

Y DA

Y DA O T ...

Y VIT I AT R E to eliminate them of (conscious and unconscious) presuppositions inCorder temporarily afterwards, while remembering to postpone judgment. There are two basic methods with which to identify presuppositions.

DIVERGING TECHNIQUES • Presuppositions • Direct analogy • Superhero • Free incubation

First Method

All diverging techniques make use of two important thinking activities: estrangement and resociation. Estrangement means that your conscious attention is no longer focused on the problem or the objective, but you direct your attention towards an element or situation unrelated to the problem. Resociating is a conscious thought activity which forces a return from that element or situation towards the problem or objective.

A. You consider a few crucial terms in the starting formulation. For example: Crucial terms in the question ‘How can we reduce the queues at the checkout in the supermarket?’ are queue, cash desk, reduce. B. Then you trace the presuppositions that are connected with these words or their context. Let’s take ‘QUEUE’. What are the presuppositions related to this word and to our perception of it? 1. The customers queue up one behind the other thus forming a line 2. They have their trolleys with them 3. The first one in line is served first, then the second one and so on 4. They are ‘waiting’ etc.

PRESUPPOSITIONS What are they? Presuppositions are thought patterns that arise automatically when a person reflects on a specific issue. Presuppositions are a natural part of the thought process. They are generally very valuable and positive since they regulate our daily lives. They simplify communication and decisionmaking; when booking an airline ticket for instance, you suppose that an airplane is the faster way to travel, that it has been well maintained and has enough fuel. You also suppose that the pilots will respect the security rules in the air. But presuppositions also set limits to divergence. They contain the existing definitions on the issue, and you like to get out of that.

C. After that, you take each presupposition and ask the question: What if this presupposition didn’t apply here, or what if we inverted the presupposition? What kind of new ideas would arise? 1. Customers don’t need to stand one behind the other. This can lead to the system of numbered tickets where the customer is called when it’s their turn. Or the people don’t need to stand in a straight line (but a snaking queue like you have in amusement parks or airports). This reduces frustration. 2. Customers don’t have to wait with their trolleys. They could put the trolleys in the queue, walk around a little longer and return when it’s their turn. The only thing that remains to be done is to find someone

How does the technique work? The technique consists of allotting time in the diverging phase to the detection

33

CR

... TI EA

C VI


CREATIVITY TODAY...

Methodologies and tecniques VIT

CR

TI EA

Y

TO

Y DA

... CR

CR

CR

E

VI TI A E

T EA

T IVI

Y

TY T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR

T EA

CR CR

T IVI

VI TI EA

TI EA

VI

Y

TY

TY

T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

...

CR CR

TI EA

Y VIT CR

CR

T EA

T EA

T IVI

T IVI

Y

Y T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR CR

T EA

T EA C

T IVI

T IVI

AT RE

Y

IVI

Y T

AY OD

TY

T

...

AY OD

CR

T EA

...

E CR

AT

CR

T IVI

Y

VI TI A E

TY

Y DA O T

Y DA O T ...

Y VIT I T EA 5. For each presupposition, ask the question: ‘What C R if we eliminate or reverse the presupposition?’ 6. Resociate (think of new ideas)

to push the trolleys forwards. 3. There could be a ‘surprise line’ where the order of service is determined by drawing lots. 4. You could ask the customers to help the people in front of them. This would speed up the process. Etc.

Second Method 1. Starting formulation 2. First round 3. Write down the common characteristics of the first ideas. These indicate presuppositions 4. For each presupposition, ask the question: ‘What if we eliminate or reverse the presupposition?’ 5. Resociate (think of new ideas)

Second Method A. You start with the ideas from the first round. B. You look at the solutions, detect common characteristics in these ideas and write them down. These common features are the presuppositions. C. Then you do exactly as described above, in C. Your turn

TIP FOR THE COACH 4

Suppose you’re asked to design new table concepts for a modern interior. You want to do this using the second presupposition method. A. Start to draw several tables B. Search the presuppositions all these designs have in common; all with legs, all with desktops, all visible, all.. List them C. Break them down one by one and think of new concepts

This technique is very suitable for organisational and technical problems. Because of the emotional involvement, this technique is more difficult to apply when person-oriented or psychological topics are being tackled.

Ideas are like rabbits,

Presuppositions

You get a couple and learn how to handle them

First Method 1. Starting formulation 2. First round 3. Select crucial terms in the starting formulation 4. Determine the presuppositions included in each term

and pretty soon you have a dozen ... John Steinbeck

34

C

...

I AT E R

C

V


CR

E

VIT

Y

C CR

AT RE

T IVI

IVI T EA

TY

Y T

AY OD CR

CR

...

TI EA

VIT

E

Y

T

CR

...

AY OD

CR E CR

TI EA

AT

T IVI

E VIT

Y

Y

T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR

T EA

CR CR

T IVI

TI EA

TI EA

VI

VIT

Y

TY Y

T

TO

AY OD

Y DA

CR

...

...

E CR

AT

T IVI

Y

CR E CR

VI TI EA

AT

T IVI

TY

Y

T

AY OD

Y DA TO

...

... CR CR

T EA

T IVI

VI TI A E CR

TY

TI EA

Y Y DA O T

VIT

Y

TO

...

Y DA

CR ...

E CR

AT

CR

CR

DIRECT ANALOGY

T EA

VI TI A E

T IVI

Y

VI TI A E

TY

TO

TY

Y DA

Y DA O T ...

Recognising analogies is a basic quality of the human mind. It is part of the associative thought we use to build up general knowledge. Remember the first time you saw a ‘sitting ball’. It might have taken you a few seconds to make the connection ball – chair. This link (analogy base) is realised by means of the function of the objects: ‘sitting’. But there are also important differences, for instance in stability. With the technique of direct analogy, we try to make surprising connections between an element within the problem context (the subject) and an element outside of the problem context (the ‘analogon’). Then we resociate towards new ideas.

What is it? When can you say that two things are analogous? Two elements seem analogous if they have (from our brain’s perspective) similar characteristics. These similar characteristics are called ‘the analogy base’. We can say that a mug and a glass are analogous because they have a large analogy base, but there are differences too.

How does the technique work? When using direct analogy, you look for inspiration in a theme (or analogue) that is not at all related to the problem. You use this analogon as a starting point from which to resociate towards your starting formulation. How does this work in practice? Mug

Glass

Not transparent Has a handle Generally for hot drinks Usually a more bulky shape Strong association with coffee, milk, tea and other hot drink

Transparent No handle Generally for cold drinks Usually a finer shape Association with water and refreshments

You choose an analogon that will serve as source of inspiration. The analogon should meet the following conditions: • Be a concrete term • Be far removed from the subject • Be inspiring Examples of analogons: countries (China), animals (woodpecker, squid), sports and hobbies (fishing), vehicles (Ferrari), etc.

Both Used to drink from Are hollow Open on top Can’t leak Usually have a round shape Leave rings on the tabletop Are hand-held

Direct Analogy 1. Starting formulation 2. First round

35

CR

... TI EA

C VI


CREATIVITY TODAY...

Methodologies and tecniques VIT

CR

TI EA

Y

TO

Y DA

... CR

CR

CR

E

VI TI A E

T EA

T IVI

Y

TY T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR

T EA

CR CR

T IVI

VI TI EA

TI EA

VI

Y

TY

TY

T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

...

CR

T EA

T EA

T IVI

T IVI

Y

Y T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR CR

T EA

T EA C

T IVI

T IVI

AT RE

Y

IVI

Y T

AY OD

TY

SUPERHERO

T

CR

...

AY OD

...

CR

T EA E CR

AT

CR VI TI EA

T IVI

Y

VI TI A E

TY

TY

Y DA O T

Y DA O T ...

What is it? ‘Superhero’ is an example of a fantastical analogy. The fantastical analogy is related to the former technique although, unlike like direct analogy, it isn’t limited to reality. We can let our imagination go wild when choosing an analogon. This creates another angle from which to view the problem and from there, new ideas can be generated.

TIP FOR THE COACH 5

How does the technique work? Think of a hero or a heroine whom you are in awe of, in a positive or negative way. Fairytales, comics, cartoons or science fiction can be a valuable source of inspiration. Always choose a hero or heroine with whom you are well acquainted. It’s preferable not to choose stereotypical heroes. Your hero may also be a real or historical person but for the sake of the exercise you will need to raise this person to a mythical status. Now bring the chosen hero or heroine to life in your thoughts. What does he or she look like? How does she move? What does she feel? What is she capable of? Once you have your heroine in mind, ask yourself how she would react when confronted with the actual problem. How would she tackle this problem? You then transform every solution you find into concrete suggestions for solving the problem.

DIRECT ANALOGY IS A HIGHLY ACCESSIBLE TECHNIQUE WITH A BROAD RANGE OF APPLICATIONS AND MOST GROUPS EXPERIENCE IT AS VERY REWARDING. A FEW PRACTICAL TIPS: THE ANALOGON SHOULD BE INSPIRING AND SUFFICIENTLY KNOWN IN ORDER TO GENERATE A NUMBER OF PARTICULAR CHARACTERISTICS THAT CAN LEAD TO A FLUENT AND VARIED FLOW OF IDEAS. FROM WHAT IS EXPLAINED ABOVE, WE SEE THAT AN ANALOGON CHOSEN FROM NATURE CAN PROVE TO BE VERY INSPIRING FOR MANY PEOPLE.

Examples of heroes or heroines might be: Batman, Leonardo da Vinci, Gandhi, Frodo, Madonna, Lara Croft, Monsieur Poirot, your grandmother, Harry Potter, Philippe Starck, Inspector Morse, David Copperfield, Flipper the dolphin, Andy Warhol, Nelson Mandela, your white blood cells...

Creativity is the power to connect

IMAGINATION IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN KNOWLEDGE

the seemingly unconnected

CR

TI EA

Y VIT

CR

3. Choose an analogon 4. What is specific to this analogon? Write down its characteristics and associations 5. Make every feature a starting point in the search for new ideas. Resociate

CR

William Plomer

36

Albert Einstein

C

...

I AT E R

C

V


CR

E

VIT

Y

C CR

AT RE

T IVI

IVI T EA

TY

Y T

AY OD CR

...

TI EA

CR VIT

E

Y

T

CR

...

AY OD

CR E CR

TI EA

AT

T IVI

E VIT

Y

Y

T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR

T EA

CR CR

T IVI

TI EA

TI EA

VI

VIT

Y

TY Y

T

TO

AY OD

Y DA

CR

...

...

E CR

AT

T IVI

Y

CR E CR

VI TI EA

AT

T IVI

TY

Y

T

AY OD

Y DA TO

...

... CR CR

T EA

T IVI

VI TI A E CR

TY

TI EA

Y Y DA O T

VIT

Y

TO

Superhero 1. Starting formulation 2. First round 3. Think of a hero or a heroine 4. Bring the hero or the heroine to life Which characteristics could you attribute to him or her? 5. How would the hero or the heroine tackle your problem? 6. Transform the suggestions into concrete solutions for the problem. Resociate

...

Y DA

CR ...

T EA E CR

AT

CR

CR

VI TI A E

T IVI

VI TI A E

TY

TO

TIP FOR THE COACH 6 GENERALLY PEOPLE LIKE THIS TECHNIQUE VERY MUCH. IT IS OBVIOUSLY VERY PLAYFUL AND BRINGS OUT THE CHILD IN US. WHEN APPLYING THIS TECHNIQUE IN A GROUP, LET EVERY PARTICIPANT CHOOSE A DIFFERENT HERO. THIS BRINGS MORE DIVERSITY TO THE FLOW OF IDEAS.

37

Y TY

Y DA

Y DA O T ...

CR

... TI EA

C VI


CREATIVITY TODAY...

Methodologies and tecniques VIT

CR

TI EA

Y

TO

Y DA

... CR

CR

CR

E

VI TI A E

T EA

T IVI

Y

TY T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR

T EA

CR CR

T IVI

VI TI EA

TI EA

VI

Y

TY

TY

T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

...

CR CR

TI EA

Y VIT CR

CR

FREE INCUBATION

T EA

T EA

T IVI

T IVI

Y

Y T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR CR

T EA

T EA C

T IVI

T IVI

AT RE

Y

IVI

Y T

AY OD

TY

T

...

AY OD

CR ...

T EA E CR

AT

CR VI TI EA

T IVI

Y

VI TI A E

TY

TY

Y DA O T

Y DA O T ...

CR tough problems and to introduce incubation periods, rather than trying to come up with a solution in one go.

What is it? Incubation is similar to taking distance from the logical context of the problem. The distance can be mental but also physical. ‘Incubation’ refers to a period during the creative process in which your attention is not focused on the problem and in which you let your mind wander. Your brain, however, will be unconsciously occupied with the problem and lets the information simmer and mature in your subconscious. This may suddenly lead to an Eureka moment, when the brain offers a solution to a problem that you were not consciously exploring right then.

Many famous people have had important breakthroughs which came about during incubation. Who doesn’t remember the story of Archimedes who experienced his Eureka moment when he stepped into his bath? He saw the water rise and instantly understood that he could measure the volume of any given object by immersion in water. How does the technique work? Free incubation is best applied after a strenuous diverging phase. Some degree of frustration through exhaustion of ideas during the first and the second round can even be helpful. This feeling of dissatisfaction signals to the brain that the problem is important. It stimulates the mind ‘not to forget’ this problem. Free incubation is a very easy technique to organise but no one can explain how it actually works. You should try to discover the best way of personally putting a problem ‘out of your mind’. One disadvantage of this technique is that you seem to have little impact on the process. Yet every creative thinker will find out sooner or later which incubation strategies work best for him or her. Free Incubation

During the process of free incubation you should let incubation do its work without forcing anything. The only thing you deliberately do is to create distance. Sensibly inserting incubation time into your creative session can vastly improve the quality of the creative process. It is generally advisable to take a break from conscious effort from time to time when dealing with

1. Starting formulation 2. First round 3. Possible second round 4. Lay the problem aside. Take distance (mental, physical) 5. Wait and see

38

C

...

I AT E R

C

V


CR

E

VIT

Y

C CR

AT RE

T IVI

IVI T EA

TY

Y T

AY OD CR

...

TI EA

CR VIT

E

Y

T

CR

...

AY OD

CR E CR

TI EA

AT

T IVI

E VIT

Y

Y

T

T

AY OD

AY OD

1.6 THE CONVERGING PHASE

...

... CR

T EA

CR CR

T IVI

TI EA

TI EA

VI

VIT

Y

TY Y

T

TO

AY OD

Y DA

CR

...

...

E CR

AT

T IVI

Y

CR E CR

VI TI EA

AT

T IVI

TY

Y

T

AY OD

Y DA TO

...

... CR CR

T EA

T IVI

VI TI A E CR

TY

TI EA

Y Y DA O T

VIT

Y

TO

...

Y DA

CR ...

Wrong! You are only halfway through the creative process. Of course the diverging phase generates innovative ideas but this is only part of the story. The converging work starts now. You will select, develop, refine, check, correct, and execute. This will require all your creative focus, perhaps even more than the previous stages. Furthermore, diverging can have a number of disadvantages, especially for groups. The freedom of thought can lead to a loss of focus on your target. As you let go of reality, you might forget that the ideas have to be achieved at some point. Some ideas look terrific but they remain very vague. You can mistake ideas for reality because you see them so clearly that you seriously underestimate the efforts needed to realise these ideas. Or you can enjoy the diverging phase so much that you don’t feel like returning to earth. Flying high is much more fun. These are several of the reasons people remain stuck in the diverging phase.

39

E CR

AT

CR

CR

In the previous chapter you experienced the pleasure, possibly even the excitement, of diverging. Setting yourself free from fixed thought patterns gives you a liberating feeling. Anything seems possible, everything can be done in a different way! Consequently, it is not surprising that many people identify creativity with this phase. People incorrectly presume that the creative energy can be put away after the diverging phase and that all you need to do now is put the ideas into practice.

T EA

VI TI A E

T IVI

Y

VI TI A E

TY

TO

TY

Y DA

Y DA O T ...

CR

... TI EA

C VI


CREATIVITY TODAY...

Methodologies and tecniques VIT

CR

TI EA

Y

TO

Y DA

... CR

CR

CR

E

VI TI A E

T EA

T IVI

Y

TY T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR

T EA

CR CR

T IVI

VI TI EA

TI EA

VI

Y

TY

TY

T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

...

CR CR

TI EA

Y VIT CR

CR

T EA

T EA

T IVI

T IVI

Y

Y T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR CR

T EA

T EA C

T IVI

T IVI

AT RE

Y T

Y

IVI

AY OD

TY

T

CR

...

AY OD

E CR

AT

CR

CR

CHOOSING

Danger! If you stop the process after diverging, nothing will change. In fact, the ideas don’t even really exist yet. They are nothing more than ‘new software’ in the brain of the conceiver. Quite quickly you will realise that generating ideas is the easiest part of the process. Next comes another kind of creativity, something we call ‘converging’ creativity and without which nothing new would ever be created.

...

T EA

VI TI EA

T IVI

Y

VI TI A E

TY

TY

Y DA O T C

Y DA O T

...

The diverging phase will have left you with a multitude of ideas. The number can vary from a few for a tough problem to several hundreds if you have organised a creative session with a group. Of course you are not able to put all the ideas into practice. In fact you want to dedicate most of your attention to the ideas with potential and very little to those with only minor possibilities. You need to select which to develop and which to leave behind. The most important question is, of course, what to choose and how?

What is converging all about? Converging is about recognising which ideas have the most potential, developing them into promising concepts, imagining how they will be executed, being able to transmit this image to other people and doing the necessary things to accomplish them. This part of the process uses a different type of creativity. Converging skills include focusing, making intuitive choices, building up concepts, ‘syntegrating’, activating...

Focusing Comes First Before you start choosing you should refocus on your target and ask yourself if the initial question is still relevant, considering the insights now gained? Are you still as motivated? Are your criteria the same as when you started the creative process? Sure? Then we can start the real process of choosing.

Choosing, Developing, Activating This theoretical part explains the different steps of the converging phase. This phase is divided into 3 stages: choosing, developing and activating. From an abundance of ideas you will need to choose the ideas with the most potential. You will develop these ideas, strengthen them and build up concepts. Finally you will devise ways to put these new concepts into practice.

TE

DA

IN RF

E NEV ’LL E W IF WE DON’T GET LOST W E’LL NEV ER F

In the training part you will find converging skills that will help you in your personal development. Those who find divergence easy are likely to have more difficulty converging. The training material will guide you through the different skills used, for example, focusing, dealing with abundance, letting go, syntegrating, being decisive, innovating and using your intuition. See what you can learn and apply it!

IND

40

OU WR

ood

ttlew

Li oan

-J

NE

AN

EW

ROU

TE

- Jo

an L

ittle

woo

d

...

I AT E R

C

V


CR

E

VIT

Y

C CR

AT RE

T IVI

IVI T EA

TY

Y T

AY OD CR

...

TI EA

CR VIT

E

Y

T

CR

...

AY OD

CR E CR

TI EA

AT

T IVI

E VIT

Y

Y

T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR

T EA

CR CR

T IVI

TI EA

TI EA

VI

VIT

Y

TY Y

T

TO

AY OD

Y DA

CR

...

...

E CR

AT

T IVI

Y

CR E CR

VI TI EA

AT

T IVI

TY

Y

T

AY OD

Y DA TO

...

... CR CR

T EA

T IVI

VI TI A E CR

TY

TI EA

Y Y DA O T

VIT

Y

TO

...

Y DA

CR ...

E CR

AT

CR

CR

Rationality and Feeling Choosing has its rational as well as its emotional aspects. Both are important. In your private life as well as in a work context, your rational mind will come up with limitations such as time and money, difficulty of implementation, and so on. Feeling, however, stays in touch with the less tangible aspects that could be important for really innovative cases. Do I like it, does it give me energy, will the customer like this?

T EA

VI TI A E

T IVI

Y

VI TI A E

TY

TO

TY

Y DA

Y DA O T ...

Letting Go Choosing also means letting go of other ideas that won’t be developed any further. As you move on within the converging process, the choice can become more difficult and weighty. Sometimes you have to let go of concepts that have taken a lot of time and effort to come up with, in order to dedicate your attention to more promising concepts. Efficiency of choice combined with letting go is an important skill which the creative thinker will need in order to succeed in the converging phase. The training area will offer tools to reinforce this skill.

It is important to be aware that the more radically innovative the ideas are, the more emotions will play a decisive part in your choice. The reason for this is simple: when we are dealing with radical innovation, there are few or no objective facts available for our minds to work with.

Focusing on the Differences During the evaluation and selection of ideas we often hear, ’Oh, that idea is the same as this other idea on the list.’ Both consciously and unconsciously, this expression is one of the killers of new ideas. People are rather inclined to seek out similarities because they always want to fit the new in with what they already know. The expression ’this idea looks like the other one’ suggests that if it looks like the old one, it cannot be an innovative idea. Even worse, if they compare it to an old idea that didn’t work, the new idea will have no chance of survival.

The Creadox! A surprising phenomenon takes place when the problem owner is suddenly confronted with a wide variety of ideas after the diverging phase. He will be tempted to play the safe card and to choose the ideas that seem feasible. What he actually does, is choose the ideas that fit within his thought patterns!

Intuition Since management guru Mintzberg emphasised the importance of intuition it has been more thoroughly studied and described as a management skill. One could define intuition as an immediate form of ‘knowing’ in which experience and the sixth sense are connected. It is ‘choosing from the heart’ and results in concentrated inspiration. Intuition ability will grow as a person gains more experience. It is important to acknowledge this, to become conscious of it and be able to recognise when and how your intuition manifests itself.

The creadox (paradox of creativity) goes like this: You want something new. You come up with new ideas, but you select the most familiar! Due to this creadox, creative groups and problem owners are often disillusioned. The mistake they make is to think the only criterion is feasibility, and this blocks the way to real innovation. In order to solve the creadox, we have developed the COCD box (see Tecnique 1: The COCD box on page 42).

41

CR

... TI EA

C VI


CREATIVITY TODAY...

Methodologies and tecniques VIT

CR

TI EA

Y

TO

Y DA

... CR

CR

CR

E

VI TI A E

T EA

T IVI

Y

TY T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR

T EA

CR CR

T IVI

VI TI EA

TI EA

VI

Y

TY

TY

T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

...

CR CR

TI EA

Y VIT CR

CR

T EA

T IVI

Y

Y T

T

AY OD

...

... CR CR

T EA

T EA C

Technique 1: The COCD Box®

EASY TO IMPLEMENT

The COCD box was created by a Dutch-Flemish organisation for the development of creative thinking – the abbreviation COCD stands for Centre of Development of Creative Thinking. The COCD box is one of the best techniques to have been developed in recent years to manage the start of the convergence phase. You can apply it to all kinds of problems and in all kinds of groups. By using the COCD box to make a selection of the most promising ideas, you can focus on real innovation and you will increase the group’s emotional commitment towards the selection that has been made. When selecting ideas according to the COCD box method, you consider two basic criteria. On the one hand, degree of innovativeness – is the idea old hat or new? On the other hand, feasibility: is the idea easy or difficult to realise? Feasibility should take into account costs, legality, technical feasibility, strategy, etc – in short, everything that could make you think an idea might be difficult to achieve.

T IVI

T IVI

AT RE

Y

IVI

Y T

AY OD

TY

T

CR

...

...

AY OD

T EA E CR

AT

CR

CR

IMPOSSIBLE TO IMPLEMENT

SELECTION - TECHNIQUES

T EA

T IVI

AY OD

VI TI EA

T IVI

Y

VI TI A E

TY

TY

Y DA O T

Y DA O T ...

YELLOW IDEAS

ideas for the future dreams, challenges mental booster red ideas for tomorrow

HOW? BLUE IDEAS

RED IDEAS

easy to implement low risk high acceptability existing examples

innovative ideas breakthrough exciting ideas can be implemented

NOW! NORMAL IDEAS

WOW! ORIGINAL IDEAS

Based on these two criteria – originality and ease of implementation – we get a diagram with three interesting boxes. On the top right there is a category of ideas that normally get lost at the end of almost every creative session: the yellow ideas. You know that these ideas are not feasible, but you find them exceptional. In a fantasy world you would go for the yellow ideas. But you have to face it, in their actual form, they cannot be achieved.

In the bottom left box we find the blue ideas. These are common and feasible ideas. They are very useful, there’s nothing wrong with them. These ideas would probably have resulted from an ordinary meeting. The bottom right box shows the red ideas. In fact, a creative session is meant to generate red ideas. The red ideas are exciting and innovative, and yet, your intuition tells you that these ideas could be realised without too much trouble.

Nevertheless, this does not mean that the yellow ideas should simply be ignored. Perhaps they have just come too early. Perhaps there is no budget available now, but there could be in the future. You might not achieve them

42

C

...

I AT E R

C

V


CR

E

VIT

Y

C CR

AT RE

T IVI

IVI T EA

TY

Y T

AY OD CR

...

TI EA

CR VIT

E

Y

T

CR

...

AY OD

CR E CR

TI EA

AT

T IVI

E VIT

Y

Y

T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR

T EA

CR CR

T IVI

TI EA

TI EA

VI

VIT

Y

TY Y

T

TO

AY OD

Y DA

CR

...

...

E CR

AT

T IVI

Y

CR E CR

VI TI EA

AT

T IVI

TY

Y

T

AY OD

Y DA TO

...

... CR CR

T EA

T IVI

VI TI A E CR

TY

TI EA

Y Y DA O T

VIT

Y

TO

CR

...

...

Y DA

Using the PMD development technique (explained later) you can find out if it is possible to transform your yellow idea into a red one.

Good taste is the

VI TI A E

AT

TIP FOR THE COACH 7 Creative Session How do you apply the COCD box in a creative session with a group? The COCD box should be the first thing you use after the diverging phase. The group can use the COCD box to make a first selection from the list of ideas. It is a good idea if the ideas are written on a flip board and each one is numbered. 1. Each participant receives 7 blue, 7 red and 7 yellow dot stickers, or less if there are fewer than 100 ideas. 2. Each participant views the list of ideas and silently chooses the ones that seem best to him or her... 3. …then writes the numbers of the chosen ideas onto the (B, R, Y) stickers. 4. When everyone has done this, they place the stickers next to the appropriate ideas on the board. 5. The coach draws a large COCD box on a new sheet. 6. The best 6 to 20 ideas (for example, the ones with a minimum of 3 dots) are transferred to the appropriate quadrants according to their dominant colour. 7. Each participant has the possibility to argue for one idea that has not been chosen according to the democratic method. If there is one other person who supports him/her, the idea will be added to the others in the COCD box. 8. From now you will only consider the ideas in the COCD box and move on to the development phase.

T IVI

Y

VI TI A E

TY

enemy of creativity

Pablo Picasso

43

E CR

CR

CR

yourself but someone else might. It is worth saving these ideas for the future.

T EA

TO

TY

Y DA

Y DA O T ...

CR

... TI EA

C VI


CREATIVITY TODAY...

Methodologies and tecniques VIT

CR

TI EA

Y

TO

Y DA

... CR

CR

CR

E

VI TI A E

T EA

T IVI

Y

TY T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR

T EA

CR CR

T IVI

VI TI EA

TI EA

VI

Y

TY

TY

T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

...

CR CR

TI EA

Y VIT CR

CR

T EA

T EA

T IVI

T IVI

Y

Y T

T

AY OD

AY OD

CR CR

T EA

T EA C

Technique 2: Dr. Love

T IVI

T IVI

AT RE

Y

IVI

Y T

AY OD

TY

T

CR

...

AY OD

...

CR

T EA E CR

AT

CR VI TI EA

T IVI

Y

VI TI A E

TY

TY

Y DA O T

Y DA O T ...

What is it? Each team-member chooses the one idea on the list that he/she is instantly attracted to. In effect, this means indicating which ideas they want to put their energy into. This choice is the starting point for the development phase in which you let people develop and realise the ideas they like the best.

TIP FOR THE COACH 8

When do you use it? It can be used during different phases in the process but especially when you’re approaching the realisation phase. Of course, you can also combine Dr. Love with other techniques.

1. CHOOSING SILENTLY PREVENTS PARTICULAR PARTICIPANTS TAKING CONTROL. 2.SEVERAL PARTICIPANTS MAY GIVE DIFFERENT COLOURS TO THE SAME IDEA. WHERE SHOULD YOU PUT IT IN THE COCD BOX?

Technique 3: PMID (Plus, Minus, Interesting, Develop) What is it? The PMID method allows you to judge and enrich a large number of ideas quickly. Speed is an important factor in PMID, you stick to the most important points for each aspect. PMID stands for Plus, Minus, Interesting points, Develop.

− THE DOMINANT COLOUR WINS − WITH AN EVEN NUMBER OF DOTS: BLUE TAKES PRECEDENCE OVER RED, RED OVER YELLOW − IN THE CASE OF

...

...

1 BLUE, 1 RED AND 1 YELLOW DOT, THIS IS

Plus: Minus: Interesting points: Develop:

A RED IDEA BECAUSE 2 PARTICIPANTS THINK IT IS FEASIBLE AND 2 THINK IT IS ORIGINAL

take 3 minutes for the plus points of this idea take 3 minutes for the minus points of this idea take 3 minutes for the interesting points, what could be interesting about the idea? what could make the idea stronger, and deal with the minuses?

When do you use it? When you want to do a quick (ten minutes per idea) enrichment exercise with a lot of ideas and/or a limited amount of time. This can lead to a second selection.

44

C

...

I AT E R

C

V


CR

E

VIT

Y

C CR

AT RE

T IVI

IVI T EA

TY

Y T

AY OD CR

...

TI EA

CR VIT

E

Y

T

CR

...

AY OD

CR E CR

TI EA

AT

T IVI

SELECTION - TECHNIQUES

E VIT

Y

Y

T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR

T EA

CR CR

T IVI

TI EA

TI EA

VI

VIT

Y

TY Y

T

TO

AY OD

Y DA

CR

...

...

E CR

Y

CR E CR

VI TI EA

AT

T IVI

TY

Y

T

Y DA TO

...

... CR CR

T EA

T IVI

VI TI A E CR

TY

TI EA

Y Y DA O T

VIT

Y

TO

...

Y DA

CR ...

T EA E CR

AT

CR VI TI A E

T IVI

Y

VI TI A E

TY

TO

TY

Y DA

Y DA O T ...

CR Only once the idea is finally realised (literally: has become reality) will you be able to rest, and not before then.

‘We have enough ideas, we need to realise them!’ Tens of thousands of ideas remain hidden in drawers, jotted on post-it notes or beer coasters, end up in action plans (or worse: on rolled-up flipcharts) after meetings, are discussed in canteens and pubs, but will never see the light of day. Only a fraction of all these beautiful, promising ideas are eventually achieved. Perhaps this is just as well. Imagine if everything anyone ever came up with was realised! Bear in mind that Darwin’s law, ‘the survival of the fittest’, also applies to ideas.

‘Activating’ means preparing for action. Activating requires: • feeling well and thinking well • judging the potential reactions • determining a strategy • assessing motivation, and if necessary increasing it • finding helping hands • thinking of arguments to convince colleagues, bosses, customers • and finally, going into action: doing, running, talking, selling, phoning, motivating, convincing, moving, going…

Passion is the key An idea itself amounts to very little. Why is it that some ideas get realised and others just seen to disappear? Passion is the key! Only if someone really truly wants it will he realise an idea. The ratio of 10% inspiration to 90% transpiration applies here. Many ideas management systems fail. The reason is that we tend to disconnect the idea and the person (passion) and make it, in many cases, a combined responsibility. Talking about realising ideas equals talking about initiatives An idea in itself is nothing, yet combined with action it becomes an initiative. An initiative can be seen, measured and implemented.

AT

T IVI

AY OD

IDEA + ACTION = INITIATIVE

You will need to convince people and motivate them to join you in realising your idea. Newness or innovation is not always welcomed with open arms. Your colleagues have their own things on their minds and some might like to keep the upper hand. The fact that you (once again) propose a new idea, might be threatening to them.

45

CR

... TI EA

C VI


CREATIVITY TODAY...

Methodologies and tecniques VIT

CR

TI EA

Y

TO

Y DA

... CR

CR

CR

E

VI TI A E

T EA

T IVI

Y

TY T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR

T EA

CR CR

T IVI

VI TI EA

TI EA

VI

Y

TY

TY

T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

...

CR CR

TI EA

Y VIT CR

CR

T EA

T EA

T IVI

T IVI

Y

Y T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR CR

T EA

T EA C

T IVI

T IVI

AT RE

Y

IVI

Y T

AY OD

TY

T

CR

...

AY OD

...

CR

DOMINICAN MONKS EXERCISE

T EA E CR

AT

CR VI TI EA

T IVI

Y

VI TI A E

TY

TY

Y DA O T

used to explore a new idea, solve differences of opinion, creating shared vision In the event of people having different points of view or disagreeing about a subject or a new idea, you can always propose to do the exercise of the Dominican monks. It dates from the 13th century and is very effective for creating mutual understanding in a respectful way, mostly producing cooperation and solutions. It goes like this: a. The two parties stand at a distance of about 3 meters from each other. b. The first person to talk holds an object (the size of a big ball or box). This object is meant to be thrown to the other party when the first person has finished speaking. It is a sign that it is now the other person’s turn to speak. c. Party 1 gives his opinion, then he/she throws the object to the other person and takes a step forward towards the other. d. Party 2 summarizes what has been said until Party 1 really feels understood and then Party 2 says with which part of Party 1’s statement he/she agrees. After that he/she says with which part he/she disagrees, and only then he/she gives his/her own opinion. e. Party 2 moves one step forward and throws the object to Party 1. f. Party 1 summarizes and follows the same procedure . This procedure is repeated as often as seems necessary, (usually about 4 to 5 times max). Result: both parties have listened very carefully to each other; they give credit by agreeing (usually) on a significant part of the other’s opinion; the essence of the difference in opinion is located very quickly and thus can be solved. Different angles of perspective are heard. Weak and strong points of an idea are explored, so it can be enriched. Both parties feel recognized in their views and respected, which creates a cooperative atmosphere, possibilities of synergy and constructive thinking.

46

Y DA O T ...

C

...

I AT E R

C

V


CR

E

VIT

Y

C CR

AT RE

T IVI

IVI T EA

TY

Y T

AY OD CR

...

TI EA

CR VIT

THE NEARLING...

E

Y

T

CR

...

AY OD

CR E CR

TI EA

AT

T IVI

E VIT

Y

Y

T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR

T EA

CR CR

T IVI

TI EA

TI EA

VI

VIT

Y

TY Y

T

TO

AY OD

Y DA

CR

...

...

E CR

AT

T IVI

Y

CR E CR

VI TI EA

AT

T IVI

TY

Y

T

AY OD

Y DA TO

...

... CR CR

T EA

T IVI

VI TI A E CR

TY

TI EA

Y Y DA O T

VIT

Y

TO

...

Y DA

CR ...

T EA E CR

AT

CR VI TI A E

T IVI

Y

VI TI A E

TY

TO

TY

Y DA

Y DA O T ...

CR 3. Maybe it led you to something that was successful 4. You need many nearlings, for a few successes 5. You learned from it 6. ... The nearling emphasises that initiatives are almost ALWAYS valuable, even if they don’t lead to the right result.

is a new word for something new, undertaken with the right intentions but which has not (yet) led to the desired result. Every time you are creating something new, you need to try, test, gamble, check, and challenge. In many cases you don’t succeed (right away). You have to go through all this to gain the experience and determination to keep doing it until it works.

The nearling fills a gap in the language of international innovation. Let’s use this word. Be inspired by others and share your own nearlings at www.nearling.com

You’re using creativity to go from ‘Best Practices’ to ‘Next Practices’. Best practices work very well when you’re transferring existing successful products, services or processes into another situation. Yet when you really want to innovate you need to go where no one has gone before and where you can’t ‘copy & paste’ best practices. That’s when the journey starts for ‘Next Practices’. Looking for totally new ways of doing things will generate a lot of non-successes; these are not failures as long as you recognise them and you learn from them. The nearling sits right between failure and success. The reasons for nearlings not to succeed can be very diverse. Perhaps the circumstances changed – a better option was chosen – you made a mistake – fate decided differently – the technology wasn’t suitable yet – people weren’t used to the idea yet – other priorities arose – the time wasn’t right yet... You only recognise a nearling when you look back, and you can always learn from a nearling.

I HAVEN’T FAILED, I’VE FOUND 10,000 WAYS THAT DON’T WORK

You can be proud of nearlings because:

Thomas A. Edison

1. You started an initiative 2. You may have moved others

47

CR

... TI EA

C VI


CREATIVITY TODAY...

Methodologies and tecniques VIT

CR

TI EA

Y

TO

Y DA

... CR

CR

CR

E

VI TI A E

T EA

T IVI

Y

TY T

T

AY OD

AY OD

1.7 EXERCISES AND ANSWERS

...

... CR

T EA

CR CR

T IVI

VI TI EA

TI EA

VI

Y

TY

TY

T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

...

CR CR

TI EA

Y VIT CR

CR

T EA

T EA

T IVI

T IVI

Y

Y T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR CR

T EA

T EA C

T IVI

T IVI

AT RE

Y

IVI

Y T

AY OD

TY

T

CR

...

AY OD

...

CR

Perception Exercise: Squares

T EA E CR

AT

CR VI TI EA

T IVI

Y

VI TI A E

TY

TY

Y DA O T

Y DA O T ...

Caesar and Cleopatra – Presuppositions

Perhaps you found 17, 26 or 30 squares? For the time being, this is not important. What if we were to ask you to double the number you found? Does this seem impossible? Would you take the risk? We’ll allow a few more minutes for this.

What did you come up with? Suicide, or murder by poisoning? Shot through the window? Slipped and fell on the freshly washed wet floor? Actors in a heroic scene? You have undoubtedly thought of still other alternatives. What happens in our brain when we are asked to solve this kind of question? We think associatively and we use our imagination. Inevitably we let words guide us in this process, words that are used in a certain context. These words help us further but they also force us into patterns. Sometimes it is useful to look for the ‘presuppositions’ on which the thinking patterns are built.

Tip. You will only succeed in this exercise if you are able to drop your thinking patterns. Try to realise which patterns guide your observation. Let go of them and search for a different kind of solution. For instance: How do you see and define ‘square’ now? Is there another way to see this? How many squares do you dare to count here? When you are ready, read the comment on p. 49.

Ask yourself what patterns you are thinking in now. These are influenced by the key words in this story, like: Crime author – glass – water – Caesar and Cleopatra Try to put these words in another context. So? Have you come up with new ideas about the possible causes of death? Go to page 49 and read the comment.

Which of These Letters Does not Fit in?

AEIFU Very often the answer is ‘F’, because it is the only consonant. Then of course we find ourselves in the grammar lesson. But when you postpone your judgement, you will see that all kinds of answers are possible: A: has a closed space; is the only first letter of the alphabet; you have to

48

C

...

I AT E R

C

V


CR

E

VIT

Y

C CR

AT RE

T IVI

IVI T EA

TY

Y T

AY OD CR

...

TI EA

CR VIT

E

Y

T

CR

...

AY OD

CR E CR

TI EA

AT

T IVI

E VIT

Y

Y

T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR

T EA

CR CR

T IVI

TI EA

TI EA

VI

VIT

Y

TY Y

T

TO

AY OD

Y DA

CR

...

...

E CR

AT

T IVI

Y

CR E CR

VI TI EA

AT

T IVI

TY

Y

T

AY OD

Y DA TO

...

... CR CR

T EA

T IVI

VI TI A E CR

TY

TI EA

Y Y DA O T

VIT

Y

TO

...

Y DA

CR ...

T EA E CR

AT

CR VI TI A E

T IVI

Y

VI TI A E

TY

TO

TY

Y DA

Y DA O T ...

CR • Can you find some depth in this square? Then every square hides more squares behind it, endlessly perhaps. • And if you don’t look at the picture, but at the text above it, you will find the word ‘square’, even ‘squares’, which add to the others.

open your mouth completely to pronounce it well; it has two legs on the ground; if you put it on its head it will topple ... E: has three horizontal lines; E on its side becomes an M or a W; it is open on the right side; it can be the left half of the figure 8; ... I: is the only one with a dot (lower case letters); is too early in the line if you look at alphabetical order; is the thinnest letter; is the only letter in the middle; is not found in the word UEFA ... F: has the most irregular shape; is very unstable; the only one that makes us think of the ‘F-word’; is too far in the line in terms of alphabetical order; you need to put a vowel in front to be able to pronounce it well; you can blow out a candle with it (got this one?) ... U: is the only round shape; if it rains, it gets filled with water; is not found in the word facilitate; the only one found in the second half of the alphabet...

Possibly you have come up with some more! Maybe your reaction will be ‘but that was not the question’, or ‘if this is allowed, then I can imagine more of these!’ That’s exactly the point. Are you able to recognise your own thinking patterns and let go of them to find new points of view? You can develop this attitude (see p. 17, Postponing Judgement). The use of creative thinking techniques will help you conceive more new ideas faster and also to generate different kinds of ideas. You will always be able to double the number of ideas when you apply these techniques.

Perception Exercise: Squares

Caesar and Cleopatra

Were you able to double your number of solutions? You can only succeed if you are willing to look for the thinking patterns that are guiding you now and let them go temporarily. We will give some solutions. You may have come up with others. How many squares do you see here?

There is a good chance that we will think of Caesar and Cleopatra as historical figures, and certainly as people. In this particular case, Caesar and Cleopatra were goldfish belonging to the author’s aunt. She hadn’t closed the window properly before going out shopping. The wind blew it open, causing the aquarium with the two goldfish to fall to the ground. Caesar and Cleopatra didn’t survive; they died after only a few minutes. Other solutions are also possible. There is no such thing as one correct answer. It is, however, interesting to ask yourself what thinking patterns are framing your thoughts. The ‘Presuppositions’ technique on p. 85 will teach you how to become conscious of these patterns and how you can step out of them more easily.

• Of course you can see the big square and the 16 small ones. • You can also see the squares made of 4 squares. There are 9 of them, if you don’t forget the one in the middle. • You can also see the squares made of 9 squares. There are 4 of these. • But can you also see the little black squares (between 4 white angles) on every crossing? There are 9 in the middle and if you want, another 16 on the borders.

49

CR

... TI EA

C VI


THE NEXT PROJECT: CREATING TO INNOVATE

Leona rdo grace Next is a A mu fully throw beautiful s tone n in powe ltinationa l effo the water. r of c r t to b rea organ ring th isatio tivity and e n s a nd inv innovatio take it eve n id to uals rywhe re the who will We o y like. r keyno ganize me e t works es, develo tings, deliv know hops, train p courses, er le g e advic dge, share xperts, sp ive r e, writ e e ad x perie e artic nce, le g s , ive conn ect p build brid ges, eople . www .leona rdone xt.eu


CREATIVITY TODAY... Th e NEX T P roje c t

LEONARDO NEXT PROJECT: creativity and Innovation for industry LifeLong Learning Programme 2007-2013 Sectoral Programme Leonardo da Vinci – Transfer of Innovation

three other EU member countries, namely Italy, Hungary and Romania. The following is a detailed list of the group members: service companies for enterprises (Confindustria Veneto SIAV and Confindustria Sicilia in Italy, Kopernikusz in Hungary), the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture of Timişoara in Romania, and two SMEs: Anodica Trevigiana and SDI-Soluzioni d’Impresa (both based in Italy), as well as Federlegno-Arredo, the Italian Wood and Furniture Association.

LLP-LDV-TOI-09-IT-0469

Districts, territorial systems, small and medium enterprises have determined the extraordinary development of Italy’s economy and, in particular, that in the North-East and in Veneto over the last quarter of the past century. Today, Italy’s economic structure has to face hard competition worldwide. Many SMEs are strengthening their position on the markets by focusing on their export activities, they increase their international profile through mergers, acquisitions, joint-ventures and successfully face global competition by rightly stating that their borders are no longer Italy, not even Europe, but the whole world. Their efforts must be supported by spreading a culture of innovation and creativity, in order to provide their organizational structures with ever more advanced and effective tools to increase their competitive levels.

Results of initiatives and actions undertaken within the Project included tangible and intangible activities. Tangible results included: • The development and implementation of Action Plans for creativity and innovative development within enterprises. These plans were developed by the participants in the training sessions and were evaluated by the partnership as the first step to foster open-mindedness towards creativity among enterprises. This will therefore support and enhance the long-term impact of the Project, thus consolidating a “concept-based” economy within a market of innovative products and services; • Intangible activities included steps in the transfer strategy, which was outlined in order to spread concepts, methods and tools among the beneficiaries. A multicultural approach specifically developed for this intervention was particularly significant. Finally, among the intangible successful results, special mention must be made of the ability to generate and spread an outstanding open-mindedness towards change and innovation, concerning HR experts and developers.

This was the target set by the Leonardo NEXT project, by adapting, transferring and implementing concepts, methodologies and tools developed by the Dutch organization New Shoes Today into Italian SMEs, in order to supply them with a systemic approach to creativity. The development and results of the NEXT project have been achieved by a transnational partnership, first of all with the support of the Dutch organization New Shoes Today, which has made its experience available and encouraged learning among the participants to the Project initiatives, by resorting to real cases and examples to show what lies at the basis of developing innovation and creativity. The other participants were organizations from

51


CREATIVITY TODAY...

The NEXT Proje ctI V I T T EA CR

Y

TO

Y DA

... CR

CR

E

VI TI A E T IVI

Y

TY T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR

T EA

CR

T IVI

VI TI EA

Y

TY

TY

T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

...

CR CR

TI EA

Y VIT CR

T EA

T IVI

T IVI

Y

Y T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR CR

T EA

T EA

T IVI

T IVI

Y

IVI

Y T

AY OD

TY

T

...

AY OD

CR ...

T EA E CR

AT

CR

T IVI

Y

VI TI A E

TY

Y DA O T ...

T Y AT VI EA DA AT RE TI O E C A CR T E CR C R OF A METHOD FOR CREATIVE WORKING AND INNOVATION AND THE ROLE OF WHAT DO YOUR SHOES LOOK LIKE? THE TRANSFER T YCULTURE I V TI EA R C values and convictions of groups of people, which are transmitted across Introduction time and space. Since the publication of Geert Hofstede’s ground-breaThe reason for creating the Leonardo Next Project was to transfer a successful king work1, it has been widely recognized that culture and the behavior of methodology to solve business issues from one EU country to several others, people in organisations are strongly linked. Clearly, people’s shared values in this case, the specific method for creativity developed by new shoes today and convictions – in addition to their personal preferences and characteristi(NST) and transfer it from the Netherlands to Italy (North and South), Hungary cs – exert a strong influence on what is considered, appropriate, normal and and Romania. effective in any kind of context or situation. This also applies to how people think (and feel!) about the creative and innovative power of organisations in In this chapter, we will focus on the transfer process from the point of view connection with their goals and how they respond to acquiring methods to of culture. We will define culture and establish its impact on organizational improve that power. So, the challenge in the Leonardo Next Project was: processes, and, more precisely of course, on the process that has been the transfer the NST methodology from the Netherlands to countries and orgasubject of the Leonardo Next Project: working with creativity in organisations. nisations elsewhere in Europe, and adapt it so that it would be suitable, for We will provide some guidelines we have developed in these other places. The method had to fit in order to stick. the experimental practice of the project that helped us to optimise the transfer of the NST methodology. However, this consideration caused an immediate paradox. For, the core of the NST methodology - and indeed one of the main reasons for its success - is that, in making cultures more effective when dealing with creativity and Paradox innovation, it changes them. So, in order to make the transfer effective, Transferring a way of working from one place to on the one hand, it is necessary to push cultures into a desired direction, another is not an obvious exercise. Many EU-funded See the unexpected breaking through existing patterns, while on the other, it is necessary to projects involve the transfer of all kinds of successful methods, best adapt the methodology to existing preferences in countries and organisapractices and approaches developed in one member state to others. tions to have any kind of acceptance of the methodology at all. Essentially, However, since the context in different places differs, the impact of such this paradox is about stretch: it is easy to recognise that people can stretch methods, best practices and approaches in the target environment is not only so far. Overstretching them, causes them to withdraw. the same as in their original environment. The above paradox turned the work within the Leonardo Next Project We use the relatively vague term ‘environment’ here for a reason. Our into a constant and delicate balancing act. Essentially, this balancing act experience in the Leonardo Next Project has been that a whole range is similar to the one that always occurs when working with people and of characteristics of the (work) environment influence the effectiveness organisations that are asked to stretch. The difference is that within an of the transfer. We can capture these characteristics of both the original international project, for the people who are transferring their know-how and the target environment with the term ‘culture.’ Cultures can express and experience, one of the directions of stretch becomes less predictable: themselves at various levels: national culture, organizational culture, prothe direction that coincides with national cultural differences. Differences fessional culture, departmental culture, etc. Cultures consist of the shared between individuals and organisations in any country are complex but 52

C

...

I AT E R

C

V


CR

E

VIT

Y

C CR

AT RE

T IVI

IVI T EA

TY

Y T

AY OD CR

...

TI EA

CR VIT

E

Y

T

CR

...

AY OD

CR E CR

TI EA

AT

T IVI

E VIT

Y

Y

T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR

T EA

CR CR

T IVI

TI EA

TI EA

VI

VIT

Y

TY Y

T

TO

AY OD

Y DA

CR

...

...

E CR

AT

T IVI

Y

CR E CR

VI TI EA

AT

T IVI

TY

Y

T

AY OD

Y DA TO

...

... CR CR

T EA

T IVI

VI TI A E CR

TY

TI EA

Y Y DA O T

VIT

Y

TO

...

Y DA

CR ...

E CR

AT

CR

CR

predictable in many respects; differences between national cultures add an extra layer of complexity.

T EA

VI TI A E

T IVI

Y

VI TI A E

TY

TO

TY

Y DA

Y DA O T ...

case studies (and many more). So how did we detect the assumptions that could imply cultural challenges? Simple: by carefully offsetting the NST methodology against predictable cultural differences between the Netherlands and the other three countries involved. It is important to add that many of the assumptions identified could be relevant equally well in some Dutch organisations, while some assumptions would prove almost irrelevant in some organisations in target countries. Organisational cultures can, to some extent, override national cultures. However, in the majority of cases, these assumptions provided a helpful starting point for establishing the extremes of the balancing we needed to perform.

Assumptions In order to make the project work, therefore, it was necessary, at its outset, to acknowledge the assumptions in the methodology and estimate to what extent these would be acceptable, logical and agreeable in the target cultures. Wherever there would be discrepancies, we would need to adapt the method, while maintaining its freshness and impact on the desired change. Since Leonardo Next was an experimental project, the project staff gave itself significant leeway to try out all manner of solutions. At the same time, we did not operate entirely on hunches. There were two anchor points: (a) we used a well-tested model for the description of cultural differences as a frame of reference for our analysis and solutions (based on the 5-dimensional model resulting from Hofstede’s research, see note 1); and (b) we transferred this frame of reference to the participants in the training sessions in the programme, thus increasing their awareness of the impact of culture in their own environments. The thing to underline here is that the outcomes of the project proved that it is possible to find solutions for the differences in expectations about creative processes in organisations. It was a balancing act, and fortunately, the participants rewarded our tight-rope-walking skills with the kind of results which are described in the section on Assumptions

Thoughts on working with creativity Let us now have a look at these assumptions. Their relevance lies in the fact that they have a bearing on the way people in organisations will relate to the notion of increasing creative and innovative power. As a consequence, this will have a prevailing influence on how people actually behave when dealing with creative and innovative power. We will describe these assumptions below as statements about organizations, with follow-up questions on their organizational culture, related to national cultures. First of all, the NST approach contains a number of assumptions about organizational life and creativity in general: • Using creativity is something people can learn as a result of a conscious decision. To what degree do people feel that creativity is something anybody can deploy? • The organization and its members accept that there is a challenge, a problem or a desire. Is there an authentic willingness to recognise that the organization can improve on the things it is doing?

53

CR

... TI EA

C VI


CREATIVITY TODAY...

The NEXT Proje ctI V I T T EA CR

Y

TO

Y DA

... CR

CR

CR

E

VI TI A E

T EA

T IVI

Y

TY T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR

T EA

CR CR

T IVI

VI TI EA

TI EA

VI

Y

TY

TY

T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

...

CR CR

TI EA

Y VIT CR

CR

T EA

T EA

T IVI

T IVI

Y

Y T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR CR

T EA

T EA C

T IVI

T IVI

AT RE

Y

IVI

Y T

AY OD

TY

T

...

AY OD

CR ...

T EA E CR

AT

CR

T IVI

Y

VI TI A E

TY

Y DA O T

Y DA O T ...

Y VIT I AT • Creative sessions and idea generation require aC safe R E environment that invites people to open up. Frank Zappa said: “A creative mind is like a parachute. It only works when open.” How does the organization deal with mistakes? Are they punished or regarded as useful learning moments (nearlings)?

•The organization is able and willing to act on the outcome of the creative process. Is the organization capable of sustainable change in unexpected directions? As outlined elsewhere, a creative idea has no value if no-one acts upon it.

• Participants need to accept the process role of the facilitator. Do participants trust outside people who have no specialist knowledge about the organisation’s activities? Are they willing to have such a person guide them?

•People are not afraid to break patterns. Is it acceptable to think differently and express Do we have a challenge? thoughts that go counter-current? Does the organization allow people to feel comfortable with new ideas that spring up and does it welcome those new ideas?

• Participants are willing to go along with a series of rules and instructions about the session process, without trying to undercut these. Is it easy or difficult for people to work in an environment with a couple of strict rules on process and no rules on content? • Participants accept the separation between idea generation and idea selection. In other words: can they go along with a process that involves postponed effectiveness? Or are people anxious about the need to achieve quick and clear results?

Another series of assumptions relate to how creative sessions, such as brain storms, work in practice: • Participants in creative sessions are equal in respect of the contributions they provide. How does the organization deal with status differences in terms of hierarchy, junior/senior, male/female employees, and other kinds of judgments related to diversity? Can people have the feeling that the creative contribution of each of them counts?

• The speed and pace of the creative session fits participants’ expectations. Timing is very culturally sensitive. So: do participants want the session to be fast-paced and high energy, or do they prefer something more laid back, cosy or thoughtful?

• Participants are willing to act as individuals and express their ideas in public. To what extent do people feel that – at least temporarily – the locus of control is within themselves? To what extent are they afraid of losing face when sitting together in a group and having to come up with something – anything? Are they pro-active or re-active?

• Participants are comfortable with the reactions to success or failure in or after the creative session. What is the attitude of management, colleagues and participants themselves to the outcomes of the session? Will some individuals be singled out because they seem to have been more effective? Do individuals themselves have the idea that they should be singled out because they were more effective? Or is everybody’s contribution to the success acknowledged?

54

C

...

I AT E R

C

V


CR

E

VIT

Y

C CR

AT RE

T IVI

IVI T EA

TY

Y T

AY OD CR

...

TI EA

CR VIT

E

Y

T

CR

...

AY OD

CR E CR

TI EA

AT

T IVI

E VIT

Y

Y

T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR

T EA

CR CR

T IVI

TI EA

TI EA

VI

VIT

Y

TY Y

T

TO

AY OD

Y DA

CR

...

...

E CR

AT

T IVI

Y

CR E CR

VI TI EA

AT

T IVI

TY

Y

T

AY OD

Y DA TO

...

... CR CR

T EA

T IVI

VI TI A E CR

TY

TI EA

Y Y DA O T

VIT

Y

TO

...

Y DA

CR ...

T EA E CR

AT

CR VI TI A E

T IVI

Y

VI TI A E

TY

TO

TY

Y DA

Y DA O T ...

3. A third dimension is about CR differences in the motivation to act. Some organisations are keen on competition, clear targets, achievement, performance; people who are successful attain high status; the pace is high. Others favour consensus, quality of life expressed in non-material ways, pleasant relationships rather than success, and the pace Each individual is unique is slower. This dimension has an impact on everything that relates to achieving success, to the status of the creative process and the choice of participants, to the goals of the creative process, but also on the role of competition and the potential for conflict.

Connections with Culture in General The next step in our analysis is to establish how these assumptions relate to known differences between cultures. Naturally, it is impossible to do this for each culture existing on the planet. Rather, it is useful to make use of a model that describes general , overall differences between cultures in so-called dimensions. The Hofstede model – already mentioned – is such a model that proves extremely valuable in this kind of situation. We will, therefore, give you a very brief overview of these general dimensions and indicate their connection with the assumptions outlined in the previous section. We will then proceed to provide some practical consequences on how to work with the NST methodology in organisations for whose culture the assumptions represent a stretch. 1. Organisations typically differ in how important hierarchy is. Some organisations are flat and people feel there is no essential difference between superiors and subordinates; some organisations have steeper organizational pyramids, people feel that executives are a unique group and the various levels in the organization need to have clearly marked decisionmaking power. This dimension of culture has an impact on everything that relates to decision-making, mandates, status, information flows, internal politics; in other words: power.

4. Probably the most important dimension of culture relates to how organisations and people deal with uncertainty, ambiguity and unpredictability. Some cultures are comfortable with unpredictability, change, unstructured situations, open-ended processes and ‘strangeness’ in general. Others feel the need for structures, institutions, rules, beliefs, rituals and people (such as subject matter experts) who can take away the anxiety that comes with unpredictability. This dimension has an impact on everything related to ‘fear for the unknown’, diversity, processes and their structuring, amounts of information and instructions people feel they need before acting, the relationship between expertise and the willingness to act.

2. Organisations, and the people who populate them, differ in how they balance individual needs and drives with the greater good of collective interests and the harmony of in-group relations. Some organisations provide many opportunities for individuals to realise and express themselves; others offer high levels of protection and a lifelong sense of belonging. This dimension has an impact on everything that relates to individual drive, directness of communications, group feelings and groupthink, feelings of harmony and safety with known or unknown others, losing face, value of outcomes for individuals or groups.

5. There is a fifth dimension that relates to short- or long-term horizons and being pragmatic or normative. However, this dimension is mainly relevant in dealings with Asian countries and the differences between

55

CR

... TI EA

C VI


CREATIVITY TODAY...

The NEXT P roje c tI V I T T EA CR

Y

TO

Y DA

... CR

CR

CR

E

VI TI A E

T EA

T IVI

Y

TY T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR

T EA

CR CR

T IVI

VI TI EA

TI EA

VI

Y

TY

TY

T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

CR CR

...

TI EA

Y VIT CR

CR

T EA

T EA

T IVI

T IVI

Y

Y T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR CR

T EA

T EA C

T IVI

T IVI

AT RE

Y

IVI

Y T

AY OD

TY

T

...

AY OD

CR ...

T EA E CR

AT

CR

T IVI

Y

VI TI A E

TY

Y DA O T

Y DA O T ...

Y VIT I T EA respect). Stress that everybody is expected to make C R a contribution; - make sure changes proposed are not considered a “Revolution,” but some sort of ‘fight’ over what is going to happen with outcomes of creative interventions is likely as internal politics dominate the organizational landscape; - be mindful about what information is given to whom. Information is power; - not everybody has to agree; the important people need to. People with less decision-making power do not necessarily expect to be consulted on many decisions.

European countries are small. We see little reason to discuss it here, as that would be a paper exercise with no practical value. Consequences We have now provided you with the analytical framework we employed. Of course, though, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. So let us continue with a number of practical suggestions on how to actually modify the creative process when the methodology is transferred to organisations in the countries that participated in the project. Naturally, we will use the dimensions described above as our framework, specifying the direction of transfer, i.e. starting from the country of origin of the methodology, the Netherlands, and giving the adjustments required, depending on the preferences of the target country or organisation.

2. In the second dimension of culture, many assumptions of the nst methodology stem from an individualistic outlook on life, with ample space for the expression of ideas and opinions by individuals, with a minimum of restraint – just enough to steer the creative process. In fact, the Netherlands is a highly individualistic country 3. Here are some issues that need to be managed differently when transferring to environments with the opposite preferences:

1. The nst methodology is based on assumptions that fit organisations which are very low2 on hierarchy. As could be expected, the Netherlands is also relativey low. When transferring - as in this project - to environments where hierarchies play a more important role, it is necessary to pay attention to the following:

- find ways that help you get rid of groupthink or capitalise on groupthink as a powerful process for generating ideas, for instance inviting people to quickly build on the good ideas of group members; - stress the beneficial outcomes of the creative process for in-groups, the company as a whole, etc., rather than for single group members; - stress the importance of the group process and underline its power in the creative process; - provide a safe environment. In practice this means: make sure individuals feel that their ideas do not upset group harmony;

- find out who the powerholder is in any context and make sure there is a clear mandate and support for the intervention related to creativity and innovation; - ensure a strong fit between the creative work and the leader’s or powerholder’s vision; - use the influence of the powerholder to strengthen your position and getting things done; - don’t mix hierarchical levels for group work. When hierarchies are important, people with less decision-making power will not speak up in the presence of more important people (especially their own boss); - beware of the influence of thought leaders (e.g. elderly people with

Creativity is teamwork!

56

C

...

I AT E R

C

V


CR

E

VIT

Y

C CR

AT RE

T IVI

IVI T EA

TY

Y T

AY OD CR

...

TI EA

CR VIT

E

Y

T

CR

...

AY OD

CR E CR

TI EA

AT

T IVI

E VIT

Y

Y

T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR

T EA

CR CR

T IVI

TI EA

TI EA

VI

VIT

Y

TY Y

T

TO

AY OD

Y DA

CR

...

...

E CR

AT

T IVI

Y

CR E CR

VI TI EA

AT

T IVI

TY

Y

T

AY OD

Y DA TO

...

... CR CR

T EA

T IVI

VI TI A E CR

TY

TI EA

Y Y DA O T

VIT

Y

TO

...

Y DA

CR ...

T EA E CR

AT

CR

T IVI

Y

VI TI A E TO

TY

Y DA

Y DA O T ...

CR

Y VIT I AT - agree on clear rules and strictly enforce these CtoR Eavoid conflict. When people are highly competitive, they may wish to run the process with rules that work best for them; - create space for intuition and make sure that decisiveness does not become a limit to group processes. People who are strongly targetdriven may have difficulty accepting seemingly useless, intuitive divergence. However, if you already know where you want the creative process to end up, you will not find the best unexpected ideas. The feeling that results should be reached as quickly as possible needs to be curbed.

- don’t mix groups that don’t feel connected as it will be difficult to establish trust and harmony between unfamiliar group members on an ad hoc basis (while this is relatively easy in individualistic cultures); - use a well-trusted and familiar facilitator, not just any outsider; - find ways (for instance specific exercises) that help to overcome the fact that there is less of an individual drive to come up with things and stand out; - solve the tension between keeping face and discarding poor ideas: the idea selection phase must never be competitive or confrontational. If it is, someone is bound to lose face. Often, that risk is enough to get the entire creative process bogged down. - use a father figure to prompt the creative process.

4. The fourth dimension, which technically is called ‘Uncertainty Avoidance,’ is different from the other three. In the previous ones, each end of the cultural dimension may represent advantages over the other. The transfer of the methodology is a matter of capturing the advantages of the each end. In the case of this dimension, on the other hand, it is simply better to have low than high Uncertainty Avoidance for creativity. People and organisations who have difficulty dealing with diversity, unpredictability, ambiguity, weird ideas, open-ended situations and processes, etc. are less inclined to Unexpected solutions feel comfortable with creative interventions and the creative method to achieve innovation. The feeling in such cultures is that what is different might be dangerous; therefore, it inspires distrust, not curiosity. One of the modules of the nst methodology is actually called uncertainty reduction and this is no coincidence. The

3. What motivates people strongly impacts how they rate the attraction of the creative process and their willingness to take part in it. Nst comes from a national cultural background with no great thrust towards goals, targets and outcomes. So when transferring from this kind of cultural background, the following issues require solutions: - give high status to participation in the creative intervention in the organization. This will motivate people to take part and give it their best; - stress the opportunities that will arise from the creative intervention, either for individuals or for groups, depending on the preferences for dimension number 2; - set exciting targets – people in these cultures and organisations are ok with a tough challenge; - give sessions high energy and a quick pace; - give people the chance to perform and excel; - provide rewards for good achievement; - guide the tendency towards competition between session participants and more generally between members of the organization and transform the energy competition generates into something positive;

57

... TI EA

C VI


CREATIVITY TODAY...

Th e N EXT Proje ctI V I T T EA CR

Y

TO

Y DA

... CR

CR

CR

E

VI TI A E

T EA

T IVI

Y

TY T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR

T EA

CR CR

T IVI

VI TI EA

TI EA

VI

Y

TY

TY

T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

CR CR

...

TI EA

Y VIT CR

CR

home culture of nst on this dimension is medium. Perhaps this is the reason that the methodology already catered for the need to work on cultural shifts related to this cultural obstacle. Adaptations for higher Uncertainty Avoidance compared to the Netherlands include:

T EA

T EA

T IVI

T IVI

Y

Y T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

It is important to underline once again and explicitly that, with the exception of the fourth dimension Uncertainty Avoidance, each extreme of the cultural dimensions can have a positive impact on the power of creativity. The above guidelines apply merely to the transfer of the NST methodology as experienced in the Leonardo Project.

- provide an extremely safe environment so that people really trust that deviant ideas are OK - loosen things up, without losing structure; - use emotions to trigger people into the creative process. Showing emotions in public is much more acceptable in high uncertainty avoidance cultures, and this characteristic can be utilised; - use rituals to make the process work smoothly. Rituals provide predictability, generally without interfering with content; - provide very clear instructions on process and tasks. This caters for people’s need to feel safe all the way through the process; - give participants the trust that they are all competent enough to provide a contribution, not just the experts. People in these cultures have the sense that they should not be involved in things that are not their specific competence. We now know that not being knowledgeable about things is often an advantage in the creative process; - be strict in enforcing rules that are crucial to the creative process as people may try to undercut rules. The creativity people in these cultures employ to undercut rules is a great source of inspiration; - make sure no one can fail; - keep people away from the desire to change the environment, rather than things they can influence. People in these cultures tend to put the locus of control outside themselves; - prevent possible conflicts in the idea selection process. When people feel their ideas are easily discarded, they may become upset and withdraw from the creative intervention. Also, conflict is often felt as threatening, so it is necessary to find non-conflictual ways of choosing between ideas.

... CR CR

T EA

T EA C

T IVI

T IVI

AT RE

Y

IVI

Y T

AY OD

TY

T

CR

...

AY OD

...

T EA E CR

AT

CR

CR

VI TI EA

T IVI

Y

VI TI A E

TY

TY

Y DA O T

Y DA O T ...

How important are experts?

Conclusions Methods for working with creativity can travel from one country to another. The practical experience gained in the Leonardo Next Project proves it. That does not mean, however, that it is easy. In order to be effective, the transfer requires a careful analysis of the cultural preferences in the countries and organizations concerned and, subsequently, a series of targeted adaptations of the methodology on the basis of these preferences. At the same time, these adaptations must be conceived in such a way that the original creative methodology maintains its capacity of stirring up and ‘disrupting’ the target organization to the extent necessary for creativity, innovation and change to actually work. In situations of cultural differences, this requires a careful balance between the expectations about deliverables on both sides: in this case the sending and the receiving end of the transfer. As always when cultural differences need to be managed, the effective approach is not to force a compromise on either party, but

58

C

...

I AT E R

C

V


CR

E

VIT

Y

C CR

AT RE

T IVI

IVI T EA

TY

Y T

AY OD CR

...

TI EA

CR VIT

E

Y

T

CR

...

AY OD

CR E CR

TI EA

AT

T IVI

E VIT

Y

Y

T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR

T EA

CR CR

T IVI

TI EA

TI EA

VI

VIT

Y

TY Y

T

TO

AY OD

Y DA

CR

...

...

E CR

AT

T IVI

Y

CR E CR

VI TI EA

AT

T IVI

TY

Y

T

AY OD

Y DA TO

...

... CR CR

T EA

T IVI

VI TI A E CR

TY

TI EA

Y Y DA O T

VIT

Y

TO

CR

...

...

Y DA

E CR

AT

CR

CR

to find a ’third way,’ a reconciliation of the differences. In practice, this reconciliation proves to be the result of a creative process enacted by the people involved in the transfer: both senders and receivers. It is marvelous to witness that creative power is actually capable of solving the problems it itself creates. If - as the saying goes - humour does not travel well, fortunately creativity does!

T EA

VI TI A E

T IVI

Y

VI TI A E

TY

TO

TY

Y DA

Y DA O T ...

Mike van der Vijver, 2011

Who said puzzles need an image?

1 Hofstede G, Culture’s Consequences, Sage, London, 1980. Revised and expanded edition, 2003. 2 Indications on the relative positions on each of the dimensions we treat can be found in the literature on intercultural management, and especially in the work by Hofstede cited earlier. It is our experience that most people have a pretty reliable gut feeling about the position of their home country and other countries they know relatively well for the culture dimensions we have described. But we also find significant exceptions. Therefore, in actual work situations or instances of transfer, our advice is to study the relevant models in the literature. Providing detailed information on such data is beyond the scope of this chapter and book. 3 Individualism should not be understood as egotism, but in its neutral, sociological or anthropological definition as described in this chapter.

59

CR

... TI EA

C VI


CREATIVITY TODAY... The training activ i t y

THE TRAINING ACTIVITY – STORY BOARD

Acting as the expert managers:

1 Acting as the trainers: Anne Heleen Bijl Willem Stortelder Mike van der Vijver

2

The crucial transition from sharing the methodology to implementing concrete actions in the relevant local contexts occurred following intense and accurate creative training sessions. Six days were devoted to training in the period between March and October 2010,

Rachele Benvenuti Federico Celoria Paolo Finozzi Piero Rizzon Massimo Sainati Franco Tadiotto

Acting as the companies using the services: Angela Brisotto - Anodica Trevigiana; Marco Cunial - Industrie Cotto Possagno; Elena Cerutti e Nicole Dalbec Royal Cambridge Business School; Massimo Plescia e Giorgia Petrotta Soluzioni d’impresa; Oana Savulescu - Tartaruga Servizi

Acting as the service companies for enterprises: Silvana Adamovici Camara de Comert Timis; Agota Medgyesi e Gabor Kuna Kopernikusz; Giada Platania - Confindustria Sicilia; Flavio Tomaello - Federlegno Arredo; Gabriella Bettiol, Ferruccio Cavallin, Chiara Salatin, Antonio Marchi e Alberto Spinella - Confindustria Veneto SIAV

The learning process was based on the book “Creativity Today”, the participants were subdivided into three main teams: experts, service companies for enterprises and enterprises themselves.

guiding 16 participants towards the acquisition of the necessary concepts for a conscious and consistent methodological implementation of creative techniques, by using a mix of theory, exercises, practical implementation and - why not? - jokes and smiling.

60

At the beginning, a joint session was shared with all the participants on the concept of mental schemes, on how they originate and are developed. From then onwards, participants became aware of the real opportunities offered by creativity within modern


CR

E

VIT

Y

C CR

AT RE

T IVI

IVI T EA

TY

Y T

AY OD CR

...

TI EA

CR VIT

E

Y

T

CR

...

AY OD

CR E CR

TI EA

AT

T IVI

E VIT

Y

Y

T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR

T EA

CR CR

T IVI

TI EA

TI EA

VI

VIT

Y

TY Y

T

TO

AY OD

Y DA

CR

...

...

E CR

AT

T IVI

Y

CR E CR

VI TI EA

AT

T IVI

TY

Y

T

AY OD

Y DA TO

...

... CR CR

T EA

T IVI

VI TI A E CR

TY

TI EA

Y Y DA O T

VIT

Y

TO

...

Y DA

CR ...

3

Between one training session and another, each participant carefully read the book and did the exercises. The method also proved very useful in involving and training other colleagues in each relevant

E CR

AT

CR

CR

organizations. This new experience also led us to perform some “traditional” complex task, i.e. identifying real challenges to be dealt with in the company and in the professional environment, also by using tools such as Mindmapping and the COCD box®.

T EA

VI TI A E

T IVI

Y

VI TI A E

TY

TO

Y DA O T

TY

Y DA

...

local organization concerned. The three phases of the creative process (starting phase, diverging phase, converging phase) were analysed through practical examples applied to the actions defined by each participant. A few of these were then selected to

A B-RIGHT experience… shall I say so?

4

be shared with a wider audience, as will be explained in the following chapter. The final step was an examination, a real one! Each participant led a creative session by involving other colleagues and new participants being the “pupils”. At the end, an

evaluation committee organized a brief monitoring and analysis session , then proceeded with awarding the first level of certification as “Master of Creativity”. The new experts are now ready to start a new demanding and rewarding professional experience!

Do what you like with the people you like, freely, Open to the WORLD OF POSSIBILITIES. Do, what you can do best, leaving a trace, UNIQUE AND IRREPLICABLE (why? Because it is mine, it is ours and that’s enough, right here, right now). Joyfully drawing from the deep well of MOTIVATION and DESIRE. Wrapped in a divergence exercise with Friendly and well-disposed people, Recently met, coming from different countries, but certainly Leaving their mark. To remember how you can work and laugh, Without exhausting and hammering The brain to get BRILLIANT results. This is what a deadly serious expert and Executive coach brought back home! Barbara Parmeggiani

61

CR

... TI EA

C VI


CREATIVITY TODAY... Creativity in action

GREEN ECONOMY AND CREATIVITY to application within companies through coaching and other active methodologies.

Confindustria Veneto SIAV and FederlegnoArredo support regional companies in their development, growth and innovation, and aim to boost the Veneto region growth and overcome the financial and economic crisis effects. SIAV proposes an integration between services and methods to support Industrial Innovation as well as Social Innovation. The experience and the observation of the enterprises and their needs, as well as the objectives at European and global level suggest to focus on Innovation in Manufacturing industries and in new sectors, in particular in Knowledge Intensive Business Services (KIBS). Two main themes such as Ideas and Business Generation and Innovation Management shall ideally lead to generate and support the attractiveness of our social and economic layout. Moreover, to re-generate experiences and competences through networking and intergenerational cooperation shall ensure the equal development of economy, people and territory.

The first workshop “Innovation and Creativity management�, focused on energy issues was organized the 15th of February 2011 and involved 22 persons. The workshop was coordinated by an Energy expert of CEFRIEL– engineering and innovation society of the Polytechnic of Milan and two Masters of Creativity trained during NEXT project. The morning was dedicated to: - Energy scenarios; - The Efficiency problem: a systemic approach; - Practices and opportunities of innovation fro products and services related to energy consumption. The afternoon session, coordinated by Ferruccio Cavallin and Antonio Marchi, applied to the issue. A number of diverging and converging techniques, adapted to the local context, were used directly by the companies, namely: random stimulation, visual mapping, P.A.S.T.A. method (to define and analyse a problem or an opportunity, develop select

The organization recognized how creativity can foster and widen the front end of innovation. Therefore, with the support of the regional European Social Fund at regional level, SIAV in cooperation with FederlegnoArredo is coordinating a project dedicated to Innovation and Creativity Management and Product & Process Innovation Development, involving 7 companies associated with FederlegnoArredo. Those companies need to be provided with methodologies and tools to generate new ideas and develop new products, as well as revise operational processes and manage innovation. The main themes and strategic guidelines identified concern energy, renewable sources and technology. The challenge became then how to introduce in SMEs such concepts and methodologies, and support the human resources in their application. A first activity foreseen the organization of active workshops and will be followed by the support

62


T EA

E

T IVI

Y

E CR CR

AT

T EA

T IVI

T IVI

Y

Y T

AY OD CR

...

T EA

CR T IVI

E

Y

T

AY OD

... C

CR

CR

AT RE

TI EA

VI

E

IVI

TY

TY T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... C

AT RE

CR E CR

T IVI

T EA AT

Y

T IVI

T IVI

Y

Y

Y DA TO

Y DA TO

...

...

CR CR

VI TI EA

TY

C CR

I AT RE

TI EA

VI

VI

T

TY

TY

T

...

AY OD

AY OD

...

E CR E CR

AT

I AT

CR

T IVI

Y T

Y VIT

VI TI A E

AY OD

TY

...

Y DA TO

CR ...

T EA CR

VI TI EA

E CR T IVI

TY

AT

Y

T

T IVI

Y

AY OD

T E A the ground issues introduced by the energy expert, providing therefore CR for concepts development. The lateral thinking techniques offered the opportunity to associate and multiply new themes in relationship with concepts quite often considered as too different and not connected. The matrix applied for the solution mapping is:

and apply solutions), the Angel’s advocate (adapted from the Dominican Monks technique) and Innovative Solution mapping, developed from the COCD® box. At the end of the creative session, the most interesting activity was dedicated to involve all the participants to revise and map the ideas within a matrix identifying the innovative and feasibility level. Afterward a discussion was stimulated for each idea, in relationship with the energy

highly innovative, highly feasible idea

high

innovation

...

CR

low

low

high

feasibility

Each participant worked in groups, in couples and individually, equally contributing to the workshop. A number of ideas for new products were shared: it is worth to underline how the mix of different manufacturing fields, even within the same sector seemed to produce the creation of solutions and products not achievable by a single company. Therefore, the activity showed the possibilities and the opportunities of an active cooperation among SMEs. Surely the diverging phase helped a quick production of an high number of breakthrough ideas, which would have required more time to emerge. Creativity was used as accelerator in the diverging phase, associating the theme ”energy” with different and seemingly incompatible issues in order to obtain opportunities and possible developments.

63

T ...

AY OD CR

..

EA


CREATIVITY TODAY...

Creativity in action VIT TI A E CR

Y

TO

Y DA

... CR

CR

E

VI TI A E

AT

T IVI

Y

TY T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR

T EA

CR

T IVI

VI TI EA I

Y

TY

TY

T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

...

IV CONFINDUSTRIA SICILIA – CREATIVITY AND MANAGEMENT RE AT OF CHANGE C

CR

E

CR CR

TI EA

Y VIT CR

CR

T EA

T EA

T IVI

T IVI

Y

Y T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR CR

T EA

T EA C

T IVI

T IVI

AT RE

Y

IVI

Y T

AY OD

TY

T

...

AY OD

CR ...

T EA E CR

AT

CR

T IVI

Y

VI TI A E

TY

Y DA O T

Y DA O T ...

Y VIT I AT This challenge was inspired by the expectation of doing R E something really C useful for the Federation, getting a double opportunity: • acquire an added value and transfer the methodology, in a next stage, to our “clients” (associated companies) and our stakeholders (other organisations, institutions, etc.); • reach a higher recognition from the outside world.

Let’s not pretend that things will change if we keep doing the same things Albert Einstein Established in 1944, Confindustria Sicilia is the oldest regional Federation of the Confindustria Confederation. It represents in Sicily more than 3000 manufacturing and service enterprises (40% of the regional turnover). Confindustria Sicilia operates in a context deeply bound to social, economical and cultural patterns, which are characterised by a strong resistance to change, a high level of risk avoidance and undersized human and material resources. These elements often tend to generate within an organization a kind of “lazy” routine management, that flattens work and motivation. People get absorbed by static, maybe even comfortable situations, but the reverse side of the coin shows that people feel stuck in a condition from where it is difficult to get out. Nevertheless, in the meanwhile, the current times require a different thrust, a higher effort towards a radical change, able to accept the challenges, produce new ideas and create value in order to face in a competitive way the dynamics of the global market. The application of creativity is a prerequisite for any kind of change: breaking the rules become essential to let an innovative, more efficient, organisational formula emerge. On the basis of these observations, Confindustria Sicilia posed the following starting formulation: “How can we enhance the organisational management and optimise the diffusion of information with reference to creativity and innovation issues”?

The first step undertaken by Confindustria Sicilia working group, formed by members of the internal staff, was to consider the top levels of the

organisation, the main problem owners, and examine the possible idea killers that could hinder the creative process. In fact, the problem owners might be capable and competent but not too concerned or committed, because the problem is not recognised as

64

C

...

I AT E R

C

V


CR

E

VIT

Y

C CR

AT RE

T IVI

IVI T EA

TY

Y T

AY OD CR

...

TI EA

CR VIT

E

Y

T

CR

...

AY OD

CR E CR

TI EA

AT

T IVI

E VIT

Y

Y

T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR

T EA

CR CR

T IVI

TI EA

TI EA

VI

VIT

Y

TY Y

T

TO

AY OD

Y DA

CR

...

...

E CR

AT

T IVI

Y

CR E CR

VI TI EA

AT

T IVI

TY

Y

T

AY OD

Y DA TO

...

... CR CR

T EA

T IVI

VI TI A E CR

TY

TI EA

Y Y DA O T

VIT

Y

TO

...

Y DA

CR ...

T EA E CR

AT

CR

T IVI

Y

VI TI A E TO

TY

Y DA

Y DA O T ...

Y VIT I AT some specific techniques were applied, like directR Eanalogy and random C stimulation, which were chosen for their effectiveness in short lasting meetings. During the Converging phase, the collected ideas were classified following the COCD box. One of the Blue ideas, of easy implementation, was to draw a set of “Creativity Pills”, based on “Creativity Today” book, to be spread through the web site, the social network page and mailing lists. The future objective is to keep on working to develop the other ideas included in the COCD box, being aware that not all of them will reach a complete success and that we will not have to be discouraged by “nearlings”, i.e. those results that will not fulfil our expectations, as they represent a precious experience from which, looking forward, we can get a future benefit. But a more ambitious objective, with a long term vision, aims at transferring the creative approach also to the associated companies and key actors of our region, pointing to trigger off the rise of a new entrepreneurial culture, grounded on passion, motivation and imagination, able to help the socialeconomical texture innovating and supporting the development of our region with concrete and challenging actions. The use of creative methodologies within Confindustria Sicilia worked as a sort “open sesame”, that opened the first track to get out the usual mind patterns and observe problems from different point of views, highlighting the talents and energies of the organisation team. Today, a creative approach within an organisation can really make the difference, but it is a practice that require time and constant commitment, like cultivating a flower!

important or a priority. In this case, the group may intervene putting into action other qualities, like persistence, patience, passion and playfulness, able to answer back the rejecting attitudes towards change (there is no time, there is no money, why change, we are too few, we do not have enough authority). Then, the working group carried out a series of creative sessions applying the Creativity Today methodology.

Drawing a mind map helped better shaping the different aspects contained in the starting formulation. During the Diverging phase, after a first collection of “freewheeling” ideas,

65

CR

... TI EA

C VI


CREATIVITY TODAY...

Creativity in action VIT TI A E CR

Y

ANODICA & GREEN

TO

Y DA

... CR

CR

CR

E

VI TI A E

T EA

T IVI

Y

TY T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR

T EA

CR

T IVI

VI TI EA

TI EA

VI

Y

TY

TY

T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

CR CR

...

TI EA

Y VIT CR

CR

T EA

T EA

T IVI

T IVI

Y

Y T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR CR

T EA

T EA

T IVI

T IVI

AT RE

Y

IVI

Y T

AY OD

TY

T

...

AY OD

CR ...

T EA E CR

AT

CR

T IVI

Y

VI TI A E

TY

Y DA O T

Y DA O T ...

CR Anodica Trevigiana spa is a manufacturing company located in the northeast of Italy operating as a supplier of metal handles for the household appliance’s European industries. Started in ‘60s, it developed through a process of organization, specialization and internationalization until employing over 65 people and reaching a turnover of 11 million €. Because of the even more difficult market, with reduced volumes and the outcome of new competitors from low cost country, Anodica wants to explore the possibilities to differentiate from other actors of the appliance component’s market following the green prospective.

C Y IT Vpresentation I company project “Anodica & Green”; than there was Athe of T E R “creativity game’s rules”: C

Customers, in fact, in last time showed a deeper attention and sensibility about energy conservation, waste reduction, sustainability and environmental preservation and they look for suppliers that can express in their products and services the same interest and care. So, as it takes a new way of thinking and looking to the future, Anodica decided to use new creative methodologies tested in Leonardo Next project in order to help creation of new ideas about what company could do both to become a green company and to communicate suitably this change inside and outside; in this way “Anodica & Green” project rises up.

So the creative session could start…

• Postponing judgement: all ideas are welcome • Pay attention to naive ideas: they contains the breakthrough that helps creation of new idea • No hierarchy, no arrogance: everybody in the group is equal • Develop ideas starting from others’ ideas: each ideas is a good starting point for other ones

Participants speak in mixed group about three questions, even more

After the training and the transfer of creative methodologies developed in Nederland, Anodica decided to apply World Cafè technique, because the most innovative and involving. 12 people from different department took part to the meeting: marketing and sales office, product development technicians, purchase department, machine’s and process quality’ technicians. Meeting started with the presentation of Leonardo Next project and the explanation of decision about applying methodologies tested into the

66

C

...

I AT E R

C

V


CR

E

VIT

Y

C CR

AT RE

T IVI

IVI T EA

TY

Y T

AY OD CR

...

TI EA

CR VIT

E

Y

T

CR

...

AY OD

CR E CR

TI EA

AT

T IVI

E VIT

Y

Y

T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR

T EA

CR CR

T IVI

TI EA

TI EA

VI

VIT

Y

TY Y

T

TO

AY OD

Y DA

CR

...

...

E CR

AT

T IVI

Y

CR E CR

VI TI EA

AT

T IVI

TY

Y

T

AY OD

Y DA TO

...

... CR CR

T EA

T IVI

VI TI A E CR

TY

TI EA

Y Y DA O T

VIT

Y

TO

...

Y DA

CR ...

T EA E CR

AT

CR

T IVI

Y

VI TI A E TO

TY

Y DA

Y DA O T ...

Y VIT I T EA completed, because they would have been the result C R of the work of few singles and not of a group of people which contributed equally to build a piece of the ideas developed.

detailed: 1. What means for a company to be a green company? 2. How can we become a green company? 3. How can we, inside and outside the company, communicate and involve others in this change? Development of new ideas was also helped by some images and photos in the room, that could inspire some of the contributes of participants to creative session.

Moreover, if “Anodica & Green” project was only communicated to the company without asking the active contribute of employees, all the company would have been less involved, with a small comprehension of the relevance of the project and, most of all, less energy in carrying on the ideas of change developed.

The main results are three: a. Many and interesting ideas are gathered about how the company could become a green company and how it could communicate inside and outside this change in its philosophy and behaviour; b. More people and company departments are involved in this change toward green culture, giving awareness about the strategic relevance of the project and activating more energy about it; c. Knowledge about a new creative technique is spread; this technique has its strength not only on the discussion of ideas but also on the skill of building new ideas starting from others’ ideas; participants in effect look very interested to the tested method and said it is possible to reuse it in different context and on different problems or themes. Next steps in “Anodica & Green” project will be to select all the ideas gathered following characteristic of innovation and implementation difficulty, as explained by COCD Box technique. In this way it will be possible to plan the BLUE ideas (those most common and with less risks, and so easy to implement) and the RED ones (those most innovative to be implemented with some difficulties); as the same time we can put forward some activities in order to make red the YELLOW ideas (those most innovative but also far from being applied). COCD Box will enable to give an order to the ideas created but also to give all ideas possibility to grow up and be developed. Without the use of creativity, ideas gathered could have been less and less

67

CR

... TI EA

C VI


CREATIVITY TODAY...

Creativity in action VIT TI A E CR

Y

TO

Y DA

... CR

CR

E

VI TI A E

AT

T IVI

Y

TY T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR

T EA

CR

T IVI

VI TI EA I

Y

TY

TY

T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

CR CR

...

TI EA

Y VIT CR

T EA

AT

T IVI

T IVI

Y

Y T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR CR

T EA

T EA

T IVI

T IVI

Y

IVI

Y T

AY OD

TY

T

...

AY OD

IV E AT METHOD” RE SDI (SOLUZIONI D’IMPRESA) CHALLENGE: “HOW MANAGEMENT AT TO IMPLEMENT ACPROJECT CR RE CR

E

C

CR ...

T EA E CR

AT

CR

T IVI

Y

VI TI A E

TY

Y DA O T

Y DA O T ...

Y VIT I AT from the tool, In the past, we tried to work in a traditional way, starting RE C choosing the software installing it and then explayning to company’s people what they have to do. But the result was a failure. In fact if people must use a software, they use it but just to perform an assignment! The result was that, without a continuous assignment and hierarchical approach, nobody gave energy to the system and the project organization method was still a dream.

“How to implement a Project Management METHOD” is one of the big challenges in our company. This idea came from an age-old-need. We work in education and training sector. Our business model is based on complex and integrated projects. So our first resource is people, their knowledge and their time. The main challenge is to be efficient and achieve the goal as quickly as possible. The way we have chosen to have this approach to efficiency is to define a common and sharable Job Method that requires a controlled and responsible process management.

Thanks to Next project we tried to use creativity to achieve our goal. First of all we learned to not consider previous experiences as failure. They were just NEARLINGS, because we learned a lot from previous attempts.

We choose a Project Management method to obtain: • process improvement efficiency • control of times, cost and quality of activities.

In a creative session, using direct analogy method, we understood that we have needed to turn over the approach; starting from people to arrive to the software. Briefly, the Creative Thinking is an innovative approach that we needed for this reasons: • Remove internal patterns (pattern breaking) • Resist to idea killers • Encourage a creative empowerment.

Schedule, cost and quality are the three variables that every organization must optimize to be efficient. It’s a very complex balance. This challenge is a traditional evolution in process organization where complexity is going to be very high. Usually it is a work for engineers. In fact, the common point of view is that project management is a technical problem: you have just to define a Work Breakdown structure and a GANTT timetable and that’s all.

As already said, we started to work with the people rather than tools. Creative Thinking is the best approach to create a positive context/environment where everyone feels involved to give his own contribution. The creative steps that we did was useful to develop staff’s involvement and empowerment. A second creative session was spent to think how it is possible to start from people to arrive later to the software tools. The answer was: it is necessary that everyone understand that during all our days we use a project management method in our life.

68

C

...

I AT E R

C

V


CR

E

VIT

Y

C CR

AT RE

T IVI

IVI T EA

TY

Y T

AY OD CR

...

TI EA

CR VIT

E

Y

T

CR

...

AY OD

CR E CR

TI EA

AT

T IVI

E VIT

Y

Y

T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR

T EA

CR CR

T IVI

TI EA

TI EA

VI

VIT

Y

TY Y

T

TO

AY OD

Y DA

CR

...

...

E CR

AT

T IVI

Y

CR E CR

VI TI EA

AT

T IVI

TY

Y

T

AY OD

Y DA TO

...

... CR CR

T EA

T IVI

VI TI A E CR

TY

TI EA

Y Y DA O T

VIT

Y

TO

...

Y DA

CR ...

T EA E CR

AT

CR VI TI A E

T IVI

Y

VI TI A E

TY

TO

TY

Y DA

Y DA O T ...

The difference is that we don’t recognize it ad we don’t call it project management.

• Pleasant job sessions • Role awareness.

The first step was to organize an informal meeting with an Italian expert that realized a training approach starting from laughing. So we saw an Eduardo de Filippo film where the project was to create the best nativity scene (Presepio) in the building. Then we read a poetry where the same Eduardo tell in a very poetic way how to cook the Bolognese sauce . He wrote that it is necessary a three days work to have the perfect Bolognese sauce. Otherwise we saw a cartoon where a pizza maker produces a pizza in just thirty seconds. And other very interesting analogies.

This challenge needs time to enter in the normal organizational process. Next step is to reissue the challenge’s relevance. In fact new professional are now in the team and it is necessary to share evaluations and opinion to involve the new comers. It’s important to continue our internal creative sessions to monitor our objective. We scheduled creative sessions monthly where we will use most appropriate technique to face future issues.

CR

In the past we tried to apply a PM approach in our processes, but we failed. The creativity gave the right energy to the people to face a new way to work and plan personal job.

The result was that everybody challenged himself to make progress in his personal life. After a couple of weeks all the team members shared their personal project management challenges in the normal life, outside our company. Someone used consciously a project management approach to plan the son’s birthday party, others planned in a project management way their apartment’s redecoration. When all the team shared the relevance to have a project management approach, we create a PMO (Project Management Office), the owner of the challenge, the internal team responsible of the challenge. PMO’s members did a detailed training to be technically prepared. We achieved first important results: • Improvement of technical skills • Increase of the awareness • Employment of the PM tools and platform • Curiosity

69

CR

... TI EA

C VI


CREATIVITY TODAY...

Creativity in action VIT TI A E CR

Y

TO

AGE MANAGEMENT

Y DA

... CR

CR

CR

E

VI TI A E

T EA

T IVI

Y

TY T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR

T EA

CR CR

T IVI

VI TI EA

TI EA

VI

Y

TY

TY

T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

...

CR CR

TI EA

Y VIT CR

CR

T EA

T EA

T IVI

T IVI

Y

Y T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR CR

T EA

T EA C

T IVI

T IVI

AT RE

Y

IVI

Y T

AY OD

TY

T

...

AY OD

CR ...

T EA E CR

AT

CR

T IVI

Y

VI TI A E

TY

Y DA O T

Y DA O T ...

Y VIT I T E A was concerned, but separate challenges, thus identifying who andC Rhow committed and capable to act and react. Therefore experts and companies were involved, as well as so- called “wild geese”, namely people without any previous background or experience in human resources or education and training or company management. In order to stimulate discussion and allow the contribution of the 37 participants, SIAV choose the World Café2 technique, supported by Mindmeeting coordination. The questions proposed where:

Confindustria Veneto SIAV, together with 3 service companies for enterprise and innovation, managed an ESF funded regional project on Age management1 sensitization “A Virtual Market Place”. Contributions and tools were also proposed by three service providers from Sicily, Lombardy and Rhone Alpes (France). A final conference was foreseen the 26th of November 2010 in Mira, Italy. The challenge was to attract and involve qualified audience and stakeholders to the Conference and provide a concrete feedback to the Financing and Managing Authority (Region of Veneto), in a clear and effective way. The challenge is related to the ambitious aim of the project: create a permanent debate on age management at public and company level, also providing financial and expert support through the www.agemanagement.it platform. In fact, the issue is too often perceived as prevention of early retirement, or management of retired life. To widen the perspective of stakeholders and focus also on age management as a performance and innovation leverage means to act on motivational components, transfer of competences and aimed communication.

1. Benefits and limits of over-55 work to organizations; 2. Transfer of Competences: a. How the experience adds value to competences? b. What does it mean for reciprocity and continuity in transfer of competences? c. Which are the key moments in organisations routines to transfer competences?

The first step undertaken was to divide the problem in interconnected

3. Lifelong learning d. Which values represents the growth and the development of the organization? e. Which are the barriers to growth and development? f. Which are the solutions to overcome those barriers? The whole Conference was video recorded and uploaded in the project website, so to spread the results as well as the technique applied. The World Café generated: a. a set of ideas, immediately applicable, mainly through Human resources professionals and formal education to support companies growth; b. suggestions of actions to be undertaken in the long term, related to informal learning in working contexts, cultural change and cooperation

70

C

...

I AT E R

C

V


CR

E

VIT

Y

C CR

AT RE

T IVI

IVI T EA

TY

Y T

AY OD CR

...

TI EA

CR VIT

E

Y

T

CR

...

AY OD

CR E CR

TI EA

AT

T IVI

E VIT

Y

Y

T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR

T EA

CR CR

T IVI

TI EA

TI EA

VI

VIT

Y

TY Y

T

TO

AY OD

Y DA

CR

...

...

E CR

AT

T IVI

Y

CR E CR

VI TI EA

AT

T IVI

TY

Y

T

AY OD

Y DA TO

...

... CR CR

T EA

T IVI

VI TI A E CR

TY

TI EA

Y Y DA O T

VIT

Y

TO

...

Y DA

CR ...

Moreover, another expert, Prof. Renzo Scortegagna, was involved to elaborate the outcomes in so- called “meaningful frameworks”, in order to complete the convergence phase of the creative process. The stakeholders involved are now more conscious of the barriers as well of the possible solutions to apply and will continue to work in network. The method and the management of the conference was highly appreciated, and therefore SIAV will apply it to the possible largest number of events and workshops. The application of a creativity technique meant the production of ideas and the share of perspectives with all the participants, not possible with a standardized conference. In fact, most of the positive feedbacks about the event regarded the high level of interaction generated. Such a technique, thanks to the movement of people involved around tables, fosters also ideas circulation and improvement.

1 Project ESF n. 1075/1/1/4124/2008 “Un Virtual Market Place per il mutuo apprendimento nei servizi” – Partner: Confindustria Veneto SIAV, Treviso Tecnologia, Politecnico Calzaturiero, Centro Produttività Veneto, CSFU-UCIMU, SDI – Soluzioni d’impresa, CEFORALP. 2 http://www.theworldcafe.com/translations/Cafe-to-Go-Italiano.pdf

71

E CR

AT

CR

CR

as supporting tool for personal and professional development; c. the identification of values to be fostered within enterprises and barriers to consider.

T EA

VI TI A E

T IVI

Y

VI TI A E

TY

TO

TY

Y DA

Y DA O T ...

CR

... TI EA

C VI


CREATIVITY TODAY...

Creativity in action VIT TI A E CR

Y

TO

Y DA

... CR

CR

E

VI TI A E

AT

T IVI

Y

TY T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR

T EA

CR

T IVI

VI TI EA VI

Y

TY

TY

T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

...

CR CR

TI EA

Y VIT CR

T EA

AT

T IVI

T IVI

Y

Y T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR CR

T EA

T EA

T IVI

T IVI

Y

IVI

Y T

AY OD

TY

T

CR

...

AY OD

...

T E I EFFICIENT ECONOMIC RELATION R EDEPARTMENT’S MANAGEMENT E A AGRICULTURE C ROF COMMERCE, INDUSTRY AND AT AT THE TIMIS CHAMBER C

CR

E

CR

CR

In the department I am managing there are 10 employees. The organisation and the work is carried out according to quality procedures of the ISO System we had implemented some years ago. My challenge is to rise up an innovative climate through creativity by taking into consideration that there is a big human potential due to young employees. I started using some of the techniques learned in the training, in order to change myself first. Every day, I use my smile and I think “What have I done creative today?” “Did I do something innovative in my life today?”. Another skill I developed was to better listen to everyone. I understood first that the Change is the Door that can be opened only from inside. After working with myself, I tried to stimulate creativity around me, among the colleagues I am spending a lot of time every day. I use the following techniques: to better listen to suggestions, to recognize ideas, to ask “How can we do it in another way?” or “How do you think we can do it?”. I try to identify the talents of my colleagues in the department and stimulate them to use such talents in order to generate new ideas. We are working together to establish common goals and everyone has the duty to think which is the most efficient way to do things. The meetings were organised in another way. We changed the location trying to have meetings outdoors on a monthly basis. We also have quick, informal meetings (5 minutes) to discuss topics which concern us. And of course…we take decisions while having coffee. Another very important tool was to obtain feedback, so we developed a new rule: after every accomplished task, we meet, exchange opinions, find new ways of doing it next time, or we send opinions on email to the activity manager. The idea killers like “board will not agree” were changed into “we try to

72

T EA E CR

AT

CR VI TI EA

T IVI

Y

VI TI A E

TY

TY

Y DA O T

Y DA O T ...

C

...

I AT E R

C

V


CR

E

VIT

Y

C CR

AT RE

T IVI

IVI T EA

TY

Y T

AY OD CR

...

TI EA

CR VIT

E

Y

T

CR

...

AY OD

CR E CR

TI EA

AT

T IVI

E VIT

Y

Y

T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR

T EA

CR CR

T IVI

TI EA

TI EA

VI

VIT

Y

TY Y

T

TO

AY OD

Y DA

CR

...

...

E CR

AT

T IVI

Y

CR E CR

VI TI EA

AT

T IVI

TY

Y

T

AY OD

Y DA TO

...

... CR CR

T EA

T IVI

VI TI A E CR

TY

TI EA

Y Y DA O T

VIT

Y

TO

...

Y DA

CR ...

The first result is motivation, which can be seen on the faces of persons working in the department. They are more pleased doing things. They enjoy the change in the environment and they are coming with new ideas almost every day. They are not afraid of making errors. Mistakes are allowed. They know that every “problem” is only a challenge for finding a new solution. And the best ideas occur when you less expect. In this situation the stress is losing ground and they are promoting positive thinking. The next steps will follow the process of creating new ideas every day, we will try together to develop the spirit of initiative and creativity in every person. By this, we try to reach the goal of improving old procedures. For the next period, new products and new services for our members would be welcomed as a result of our creative thinking. Thanking into consideration that one of our activities is also contacting and visiting companies, our general objective is to promote creativity and innovation among companies. Without using creativity, the working environment of the department would not be proper for innovation. The old quality procedures would be time consuming. New technologies and new ways of doing things would not be promoted. No brainstorming would be organised in the department. New ideas would not be created. Silvana Adamovici

73

E CR

AT

CR

CR

propose it, we have nothing to lose”.

T EA

VI TI A E

T IVI

Y

VI TI A E

TY

TO

TY

Y DA

Y DA O T ...

CR

... TI EA

C VI


CREATIVITY TODAY...

Creativity in action VIT TI A E CR

Y

TO

Y DA

... CR

CR

CR

E

VI TI A E

T EA

T IVI

Y

TY T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR

T EA

CR

R ITL GROUP: CREATIVE COMMUNICATION C

T IVI

VI TI EA

TI EA

VI

Y

TY

TY

T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

...

CR CR

TI EA

Y VIT CR

CR

T EA

T EA

T IVI

T IVI

Y

Y T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR CR

T EA

T EA C

T IVI

T IVI

AT RE

Y

IVI

Y T

AY OD

TY

T

...

AY OD

CR ...

T EA E CR

AT

CR VI TI EA

T IVI

Y

VI TI A E

TY

TY

Y DA O T

Y DA O T ...

CR on individual and group level, as well. During the training we have collected ideas on how to create a working environment which supports creativity and innovation. Now we have to select the ideas to be implemented. This will be done with a COCD box, a tool for classifying ideas according to their level of innovation and feasibility.

Established in Budapest in 1995, ITL Group has become one of the most important consulting companies for Italian clients. Setting off with only a couple of employees today it employs more than twenty professionals. With our experience gained throughout the years our aim is to be able to answer any question regarding business in Hungary. Because of this, the range of activites has significantly widened during the years. The growth of the organization, the complexity of our activites have made ITL Group face new challenges recently. We understood that in the present market situation we will be able to maintain our leading position and be capable of further growth only if we are open to continuos change and innovation. To reach these goals we received support from the NEXT project in the form of a training on „Creativity and Innovation”. The goal of the training from one side was the establishment of the structure and roles within the grown organization, from the other side techniques and concepts on creativity and innovation within the organization with the use of methodology transferred within Leonardo Next project. With the help of the techniques of creative communication (postpone judgement, three times plus, avoiding idea killers, celebration of success and use of the different forms of appreciation) we have come to a shared definition of the structure and values of the organization. We have used the random stimulation methodology to collect ideas for creating a more inspiring working enviromnet . This is also a creative technique that uses words, images not related to the topic of the discussion to generate ideas .

By improving creative communication and creative thinking within the organization we are convinced that we will be able to face the challenges and find new opportunities and solutions. The training was the very first step on this trip.

As first results we have experienced an improvement in communication within the organization. There is a tendency to accept each other’s ideas, to postopne judgment and a consciousness to avoid “idea killers” a growing openness towards the others’ ideas. As an immediate result we see the growing efficiency of communication between departments. We know that it takes time and practice until these techniques are integrated in our minds and become routine, so, as next steps, we have to keep practicing

74

C

...

I AT E R

C

V


CR

E

VIT

Y

C CR

AT RE

T IVI

IVI T EA

TY

Y T

AY OD CR

...

TI EA

CR VIT

E

Y

T

CR

...

AY OD

CR E CR

TI EA

AT

T IVI

E VIT

Y

Y

T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR

T EA

CR CR

T IVI

TI EA

TI EA

VI

VIT

Y

TY Y

T

TO

AY OD

Y DA

CR

...

...

E CR

AT

T IVI

Y

CR E CR

VI TI EA

AT

T IVI

TY

Y

T

AY OD

Y DA TO

...

... CR CR

T EA

T IVI

VI TI A E CR

TY

TI EA

Y Y DA O T

VIT

Y

TO

...

Y DA

CR ...

E CR

AT

CR

CR

75

T EA

VI TI A E

T IVI

Y

VI TI A E

TY

TO

TY

Y DA

Y DA O T ...

CR

... TI EA

C VI


CREATIVITY TODAY...

Creativity in action VIT TI A E CR

Y

TO

Y DA

... CR

CR

CR

E

VI TI A E

T EA

T IVI

ABGO: A TASTY CHALLENGE

Y

TY T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR

T EA

CR CR

T IVI

VI TI EA

TI EA

VI

Y

TY

TY

T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

CR CR

...

TI EA

Y VIT CR

CR

T EA

T EA

T IVI

T IVI

Y

Y T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR CR

T EA

T EA C

T IVI

T IVI

AT RE

Y

IVI

Y T

AY OD

TY

T

...

AY OD

CR ...

T EA E CR

AT

CR VI TI EA

T IVI

Y

VI TI A E

TY

TY

Y DA O T

Y DA O T ...

CR By developing the detailed plan of this initiative, our working group started with a first feasibility study, by defining the products, the team and the costs involved, by identifying the target market with an analysis of its structure, as well as through a SWOT analysis of all factors at stake. Then the preliminary aspects for launching activities were taken into consideration, e.g. branding, production structure, commercial plan, investments and

ABGO - Abbinamenti Golosi is an initiative focused on the production of typical regional fresh food in Italy, accompanying already marketed agrifood products such as freshly-made pasta, wine, oil, cheese, sausages etc. The delivery of products to the customers, especially abroad, is made through carriers whose delivery times are fast, thus maintaining the cold chain during transport and, consequently, assuring higher quality in the food taste. By supplying easily perishable foodstuffs only on demand, the exclusive use of fresh ingredients is absolutely guaranteed. This initiative started from the idea of a partner who had contacts with two chefs and a sales agent from Germany. The meetings organized by Confindustria Veneto SIAV involved the participation of the current five partners of the ABGO initiative. We implemented concepts and creative methods, in order to identify clearly the opportunities arising from our idea, as well as to create and select innovative solutions to the encountered problems.

financing, and a company was set up. At present, we are defining the production and management phase, while at the same time developing marketing and sales activities, before proceeding with the real kickoff by the end of 2011. We used different creative methods in order to develop and make the idea feasible. We classified our idea as a “red idea” in the COCD Box®. The following is a list of some of the methods used, which can also be found in this book, with a few suggestions on the results, obviously based on our experience!

76

C

...

I AT E R

C

V


CR

E

VIT

Y

C CR

AT RE

T IVI

IVI T EA

TY

Y T

AY OD CR

...

TI EA

CR VIT

E

Y

T

CR

...

AY OD

CR E CR

TI EA

AT

T IVI

E VIT

Y

Y

T

T

AY OD

AY OD

...

... CR

T EA

CR CR

T IVI

TI EA

TI EA

VI

VIT

Y

TY Y

T

TO

AY OD

Y DA

CR

...

...

E CR

AT

T IVI

Y

CR E CR

VI TI EA

AT

T IVI

TY

Y

T

AY OD

Y DA TO

...

... CR CR

T EA

T IVI

VI TI A E CR

TY

TI EA

Y Y DA O T

VIT

Y

TO

...

Y DA

CR ...

Our next efforts will be specifically focused on finding premises to rent, already suitable for food processing activities and possibly already equipped with reusable machinery and installations. We will continue to develop our knowledge on the relevant markets in typical Italian regional specialties, and our efforts will be addressed towards the reduction of fixed costs in the launching phase of activities, also by studying other business opportunities in this sector. Moreover, our website will soon be developed and activated: YOU could be our next customer! The ABGO partners – Franco Tadiotto and Federico Celoria

77

E CR

AT

CR

CR

• Free incubation: this was very useful, as it allowed us to separate the context and the problem. In particular, physical exercise relaxed our mind and helped us find the best solutions; • Flexible association: we used it to choose our name and brand, starting from key words and stimulating emotions, rather than pure rationality; • The mirror: in order to analyse and verify activities in their development stage, we often resorted to this technique with friends and acquaintances, as the listener does not judge the idea and keeps asking questions until this is clear enough to him/her; • PMID (Plus, Minus, Interest, Develop): this is a useful technique, especially when it is mastered in such a way that it can be used unconsciously; • View the results: by viewing the target and identifying the energizing aspects of the idea, it is really easier to keep motivation at its highest level.

T EA

VI TI A E

T IVI

Y

VI TI A E

TY

TO

TY

Y DA

Y DA O T ...

CR

... TI EA

C VI


9

From CREATIVITY to ... Following the imaginative tradition, from time to time applied with the use of metaphors, storytelling and images (Morgan), let us try and explain the process of technological transfer, a difficult process involving different actors: enterprises, territory, research institutes and universities. Let us take as an example the beautiful Lake of Venus on Pantelleria Island. The Lake of Knowledge in the Island of Innovation On top of the mountain there are the companies, which need to keep their store of knowledge updated in order to remain competitive in the stormy sea of global competition. Far away, on the opposite hill, a beautiful university, with its campus, produces knowledge which is often limited to scientific publications, conferences and hardly ever produces small fish escaping into the lake. An innovative company, needing to get new knowledge by catching fish in the lake, sends a fisherman to the shore, who immediately asks himself two questions: what kind of hook should he use to catch the fish he wants, and which are the right fish (targeting) to catch? One of his colleagues reaches the lake down there, too, he is a researcher in another company who hopes to solve the problem by fishing with a net (scanning) and catching all the fish that are trapped in the net. He will then select them and eventually throw the useless ones back into the water, although this is not a good environmental practice! Another company, instead, needs fish of knowledge which are difficult to reach, they live in deep water and a scuba diver (broker) will be necessary to catch them. In the lake there are also inedible fish, as well as a few predacious sharks (competence destroying innovation!). In the meantime, in order to self-finance its research and with the support from public institutions, as well as through its social commitment, the university has decided to build a small canal reaching the lake, in order to pour its young fish into it. Some business-oriented people have set up a fish culture establishment, where fishing is obviously forbidden, but you can buy fish, even ready-to-eat or frozen for future use. Another interesting business has been started by an old fisherman (the wise old consultant!), who sells fishing equipment. However, for our fisherman there is always a big problem, as until now he has caught few fishes: where are the fish that bite? Many people are keen to teach us how to fish, but nobody explains to us how we can catch the right fish! This is the beauty of innovation, and of creativity! 78


... THE LAKE OF KNOWLEDGE IN THE ISLAND OF INNOVATION

79


CREATIVITY PEOPLE

Anne Heleen Bijl new shoes today Netherlands

Mike Van Der Vijver Mindmeeting Netherlands

Willem Stortelder new shoes today Netherlands Ferruccio Cavallin Creative consultant Italy

Gabriella Bettiol Project Manager Confindustria Veneto SIAV Italy

Francesca Cremonese Confindustria Veneto SIAV Italy

Chiara Salatin Confindustria Veneto SIAV Italy

Giovanni Bernardi UniversitĂ di Padova DIMEG Italy

Antonio Marchi Iniziative Unindustria Treviso Italy

Antonio Mocci Confindustria Veneto SIAV Italy

Silvana Adamovici CCIAT Romania


Geneviève Morand Rezonance Switzerland

Ágota Medgyesi Kopernikusz Hungary

Giorgia Petrotta SDI Soluzioni d’Impresa Italy

Angela Brisotto Anodica Trevigiana Italy

Giada Platania Confindustria Sicilia Italy

Flavio Tomaello Federlegno-Arredo Italy

Barbara Ács Kopernikusz Hungary

Diana Fiti CCIAT Romania

Massimo Plescia SDI Soluzioni d’Impresa Italy


PARTNERSHIP


CONTACTS Italy Anodica Trevigiana S.p.A. Angela Brisotto Tel: +390438771771 Fax: +390438771777 E-mail: angela.brisotto@anodica.it www.anodica.it Confindustria Veneto SIAV S.p.A. Gabriella Bettiol Tel: +390412517511 Fax: +39041251573 E-mail: area.progetti@siav.net www.siav.net Confindustria Sicilia Giada Platania Tel: +39091581100 Fax: +39091323982 E-mail: g.platania@confindustriasicilia.it www.confindustriasicilia.it FederlegnoArredo Flavio Tomaello Tel. 39.02806041 Fax 39.0280604392 E-mail: flavio.tomaello@federlegnoarredo.it www.federlegnoarredo.com S.D.I. Soluzioni d’Impresa srl Massimo Plescia Tel. +39 091 6702977 Fax. +39 091 347534 info@soluzionidimpresa.it www.soluzionidimpresa.it

Netherlands - Belgium Mindmeeting b.v. Mike Van Der Vijver Tel: +3162198020 Mob: +393392744471 E-mail: mike@mindmeeting.org www.mindmeeting.org

new shoes today b.v. Willem Stortelder Tel: +31645066331 Fax: +31102055645 E-mail: willem@newshoestoday.com Anne Heleen Bijl Tel: +31650281760 E-mail: anneheleen@newshoestoday.com www.newshoestoday.com

Romania Camera de Comert, Industrie si Agricultura Timis Diana Fiti Tel: +40256219173 Fax: +40256219173 E-mail: Diana.Fiti@cciat.ro www.cciat.ro

Switzerland Rezonance Geneviève Morand Tel: +41(0)227338414 E-mail: info@rezonance.ch www.rezonance.ch

Hungary Kopernikusz – Association for Innovation Agota Medgyesi Tel: +3612695679 Fax: +3612695625 E-mail: a.medgyesi@kopernikusz.hu www.itlgroup.eu/kopernikusz

Website www.leonardonext.eu


BIBLIOGRAPHY Books First part: Arden, Paul. It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want to Be. Phaidon Press, 2003 Chesbrough, Henry. Open Innovation. Harvard Business School Publishing Corporation, Harvard, 2003 Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly. Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention. HarperCollins Publishers, New York, 1996 De Bono, Edward. Lateral Thinking. Pelican Books, London, 1970 De Bono, Edward. Opportunities. Penguin Books, London, 1980 Fletcher, Alan. The Art of Looking Sideways. Phaidon Press, London, 2001 Florida, Richard. The Rise of the Creative Class. Basic Books, New York, 2002 Gladwell, Malcom. The Tipping Point. Little, Brown and Company, London, 2000 Greenfield, Susan. Brainstory. Bosch en Keuning, Baarn, 2001 Handy, Charles. The Empty Raincoat. Hutchinson, London, 1994 Harvard Business Essentials. Managing Creativity and Innovation. Harvard Business School Publishing Corporation, Harvard, 2003 MacLennan, Nigel. Opportunity Scouting. Gower, Alderschot, 1994 Markham, S.K..‘A Longitudinal Examination of How Champions Influence Others to Support Their Projects’ in: Journal of Product Innovation Management. Vol. 15, 1998 Mc Kim, Robert H. Thinking Visually, a strategy manual for problem solving. Wadsworth Belmont, USA, 1980 Peters, Tom. Re-magine! Dorling Kindersley Limited, London, 2003 Samuels, Mike, et al. Seeing with the Mind’s Eye, the history, techniques and uses of visualisation. Random House, New York, 1997 Tanner, David. Total Creativity in Business and Industry. Advanced Practical Thinking Inc, New York, 1997 Second part: Hofstede G,. Culture’s Consequences. Sage, London, 1980. Revised and expanded edition, 2003.

Other references Project ESF n.1075/1/1/4124/2008 “Un Virtual Market Place per il mutuo apprendimento nei servizi” – Partner: Confindustria Veneto SIAV, Treviso Tecnologia, Politecnico Calzaturiero, Centro Produttività Veneto, CSFU-UCIMU, SDI – Soluzioni d’impresa, CEFORALP. http://www.theworldcafe.com/translations/Cafe-to-Go-Italiano.pdf


This book helps individuals, companies and organisations to innovate. It is the result of a 2-years program in which methods and techniques were tested and developed . The focus is on the front-end of innovation, the ultimate point where new ideas come alive. It has become a practice book, ready to use for anybody at any moment, to discover the own creative mind, to organize a professional brainstorm or to establish a creative environment.

Profile for Factory of Knowledge - Confindustria Veneto SIAV

CREATIVITY TODAY... DRIVING INNOVATION FOR THE FUTURE  

This book helps individuals, companies and organisations to innovate. It is the result of a 2-years program in which methods and techniques...

CREATIVITY TODAY... DRIVING INNOVATION FOR THE FUTURE  

This book helps individuals, companies and organisations to innovate. It is the result of a 2-years program in which methods and techniques...

Advertisement